Academic journal article Business: Theory and Practice

Behavioural Reactions of Consumers to Economic Recession

Academic journal article Business: Theory and Practice

Behavioural Reactions of Consumers to Economic Recession

Article excerpt

Introduction

The economic cycle can have an important impact on consumption patterns, with expenditure usually rising during the periods of economic upturn. When an economy is booming, there is often an upturn in the consumption of luxury goods and consumer durables. And vice versa, during the periods of recession, disposable income is reduced and consumer confidence usually falls. A slowdown or contraction in economic activity often results in fewer luxury purchases being made, for example, lower sales of jewellery, holidays abroad, or other big-ticket purchase, such as cars or furniture (Eurostat European Commission 2009).

European consumers, as well as consumers of every other market, are considered to be a driving force of the market competitiveness, if they seek out the best offers. Indeed, consumer spending is often cited as a key driver for growth and economic integration. Within the particular market there is a huge amount of consumer. In the middle 60th or 70th the population in Europe was quite young, but it is not the same these days. The market is mostly focused on so-called silver generation (55 years old and more) and on head-to-silver generation, people in the age of 45-54 (Higham 2010). Not only these consumer, but all of them, are oriented on purchasing products which they need and their purchasing behaviour has changed significantly. Consumption of luxury goods is very often postponed or simply deferred. The economic shocks of the past years, since 2008, have created greater requirements on retailers and their suppliers to understand and respond to the new marketplace realities, especially to the new trends in consumer behaviour. They are analysed in details in the fourth chapter also with references.

The novelty of the study is that the article analyses a variety of published surveys and determines new trends in consumer shopping behaviour caused by the economic crisis which puts and important foundation for further research.

The object of this article is changed shopping behaviour of the European consumers. The main aim of the study is to analyze the post- recession consumer behaviour. To achieve the main aim, partial aims were set:

1. to analyse consumer behaviour and its characteristics from a literature perspective,

2. to introduce the European consumer policy of the current period 2014-2020,

3. to present the results of the survey conducted in the Slovak consumer market,

4. to verify the results of the survey by various studies and searches realized in other countries to portray the main changes in consumer shopping behaviour.

In order to describe changes in behaviour of Slovak consumers we conducted a survey which was aimed to describe the key changes in behaviour. The aim was not only to define new trends in consumer behaviour but also to determine the possible correlation between the selected descriptive variables of consumers. For the purposes of this paper, we set three hypotheses and we searched the relationship between changes in consumer behaviour and the age structure of consumers, the length of crisis and disposable income. The intensity of changes in consumer behaviour is classified into five categories: very low intensity, low intensity, no changes, high intensity and very high intensity of changes. Each of them is characterized by different parameters. Very low intensity of changes is described by unstable consumption and conscious savings. Postponing the purchase is typical of low intensity of changes. At high level of intensity consumers seek the shopping benefits and purchase mostly the private label products. The last group is characterized by buying the cheapest products in the cheapest business sales points.

Hypothesis 1

H0: There is no statistically significant dependence between the changes in consumer buying behaviour and the age structure of the population.

H1: There is statistically significant dependence between the changes in consumer buying behaviour and the age structure of the population. …

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