From petrol stations charging record prices for fuel to soaring food expenses and energy bills, the cost of living crisis means UK households are facing the highest levels of inflation since the 1980s.
Around nine in 10 (91%) UK adults reported a rise in their cost of living from late June to early July 2022. According to ONS, more than three quarters (78%) of people said they were worried about increasing prices.
To offset the rise in living expenses, many consumers are lowering their spending. This includes buying less food and fewer non-essentials, not using as much gas and electricity in their home, reducing the number of unnecessary car journeys and shopping around more for deals.
Large numbers of consumers are also shopping differently. The Retail Gazette reported this includes swapping to supermarket own brand products, joining loyalty schemes and taking smaller more frequent foods shops potentially in a bid to save money by avoiding food waste and reducing over purchasing.
Impact of the cost of living crisis on businesses
With consumers cutting costs to save money or make ends meet, the rising levels of inflation are naturally having a knock-on effect on businesses as well. The latest figures show retail sales in the UK fell by 0.5% in May.
On top of the decrease in sales, businesses may be feeling the pinch elsewhere. Higher energy overheads are likely affecting your commercial premises. Rents and rates are also going up, which could have a bearing on the running costs of your existing premises and impinge on any expansion plans. If you have a motor fleet, you’re almost certainly going to be impacted by the hike in fuel rates.
As a business, how do you plan for or manage rising prices and support your clients affected by the cost of living crisis? That’s where location intelligence can come in.
How can location intelligence help businesses during the cost of living crisis?
It’s more important than ever to focus your efforts in the right places. Any wrong move could prove costly and, in some circumstances, might make or break your business.
Location intelligence software helps you understand the nuances between different areas. As there is a diverse range of consumers and regions across the UK, your customers could be disproportionately impacted by the cost of living crisis depending on their personal circumstances and where they live and work. This will be especially pertinent if you have more than one commercial outlet. Therefore, when you’re determining your prices, offers and location and renewal strategies, it’s important to look at your sites separately to take local territories and populations into consideration.
However, this can often be a time-consuming and labour-intensive process. Whether you have one site or 50, our platform – Periscope® – uses your data along with key demographic profiles to help you understand the effects increasing levels of inflation are having on your customers and local communities. You can then see how this might be influencing their spending at a local level, so you can tailor your discounts, rewards and loyalty schemes to your most affected customers to support them during these challenging times.
By showing you recognise your customers’ struggles and pain points, you could foster more loyalty. Cheetah Digitals 2022 Consumer Trends Index found there has been a 110% increase in the number of consumers who have an allegiance to a brand because they feel appreciated as an individual. Plus, almost a quarter (23%) of consumers described the relationship with their favourite brand as one which understands them.
By demonstrating how you’re putting yourself in people’s shoes, it can show that you’re a compassionate and caring business. Many businesses are now adopting empathetic approaches to support their customers and neighbourhoods. For example, Greggs has pledged to have 760 open breakfast clubs by the end of 2022 to help children “get the right start to their day”.
By showing compassion, you’re more likely to nurture an affinity with your customers or clients, who in return may stay with you during times of hardship. It can also be rewarding as a business, as you’re giving back to your local community and devoted consumers who’ve supported you throughout your business journey. Location intelligence allows you to monitor changes in buying behaviours, so you can continue to adjust your sales and marketing strategies to help your customers.
Lastly, location intelligence software allows you to understand challenges in the supply chain that are caused by the economic landscape. This can help you see where there could be further rises in your company expenses. From there, you can adjust your finances and commercial forecast, seek different suppliers if their new rates are out of your budget and decide if you’re making a profit or loss by selling or using certain products.
See Periscope® in action for free
Periscope® provides you with a secure version of Google Maps. With four different user options, it can be tailored to your business needs. Available 24/7 and on all devices, you can access it anywhere at any time.
Want to see how Periscope® can help you adapt to the rising costs and support your customers? Book a free 10-minute demo with our Sales Director, Paul Thomas, and see the platform in action. Alternatively, you can call him on +44 7967 342747 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Send Paul a sample of your data before your meeting and he will show you exactly how Periscope® can support your unique business strategy and goals.