BRACKNELL, UK – 9 January 2024Circana™, as it expands into market measurement of consumer electronics (CE) and home appliances in the United Kingdom and Europe, conducted research on UK and US consumer shopping habits and intent. The survey of over 5,000 shoppers from both countries about their recent CE and home appliance purchases over the last 12 months (ending November 2023) uncovered some intriguing trends.

The results revealed several cross-country differences in category demand and the impact of rising living costs on consumer spending. Consumers in both countries are experiencing changes in spending patterns post-pandemic differently, which is influencing purchase choices. 

Commenting on the research, Paul Gagnon, Vice President and Technology Industry Advisor for Circana, said: “From the survey, we learned that UK consumers were more likely to have spent money on experiences like vacations and concerts in the last year, so the increased purchases of mobile devices like tablets and audio products across ages and genders relative to the US indicates a similar interest in making time away from home more convenient and comfortable.” 

“In the UK, 63% of consumers say they have changed their shopping behaviours due to cost-of-living increases,” said Joe Derochowski, Vice President and Home Industry Advisor for Circana.
“One way they can save money is by eating more meals at home, creating a greater desire for appliances.”

Key insights from the Shopping Habits and Intent Among UK and US Consumers report include: 

  • Small Appliance Purchases Higher in the UK. UK households recorded a notable 70% purchase rate for small kitchen appliances, surpassing the US by 21%, with adults aged 35+ showing the largest gaps between UK and US.
  • Major Appliance Purchases Higher in the UK. 36% of consumers opted for major appliances. This is 3% higher than the US, especially among adults aged 25-34, where there was an 11% difference in purchase rates.
  • UK Has Greater Demand for Floorcare and Home Comfort. All age groups had a higher demand for these categories than the US, particularly among those aged 45+ for floorcare and 35- to 44-year-olds for home comfort.
  • Economic Impact Shapes Consumer Choices. More than three-quarters of Generation Z consumers indicated that cost-of-living increases changed their shopping behaviour, which is higher than any other age group.
  • Smartphones Maintain Popularity, Followed by TVs. While smartphones remained the top CE purchase (40% of consumers), TVs were the second-most-purchased CE product, accounting for 30% of US and 29% of UK shoppers.
  • Consumers Look for Online Deals. Consumers sought convenience and cost-effective options, with 52% of UK consumers turning to online platforms for deals, a higher rate across demographic groups than US consumers. The reason chosen most often on why to shop online was “convenient and delivered to my front door.”
  • Tablet Purchases Higher for UK Consumers. Despite economic challenges, the UK led in tablet ownership (24%), driven by under-35-year-olds.
  • Demand for Computer Monitors Was Relatively Low Compared to Computers. The ratio of monitor to computer purchases was similar in each country, but the biggest difference was a higher purchase rate among 24- to 44-year-olds in the UK, perhaps for flexible working setups and PC gaming.
  • Portable Audio Surges Among Younger Audiences. Audio products were in high demand in both the UK and the US, with the greatest purchase incidence among those under age 35. 

The details of these and other findings are included in Circana’s Shopping Habits and Intent Among UK and US Consumers report, published here.

Notes to Editors:
Which of the following have you purchased in the past 12 months?
Base: Purchased consumer electronics or appliances N: 2028 (UK); 3012 (US) 

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