Freemavens have developed a new way of tracking consumer confidence (and anxiety), based on over 400 variables in Search, Social & News data, that is measured and reported on instantly.

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Updated: 26th Nov 2021

CCI Number: -10.9 (October)

FINAL QUARTER FRENZY: LAST MINUTE TRAVEL, EARLY CHRISTMAS SHOPPING & RESISTING UNIVERSAL CREDIT CUTS

October’s CCI number saw no overall change compared to September, however there was a lot of activity behind the scenes which influenced it differently from the month prior.

Travel was back on people’s radar. After the successful stories from people’s summer getaways, those who before seemed cautious to travel were now more confident to venture afar again. This was apparent in the growth of searches around traveling abroad, which grew by +50%. However, put away your sun cream as the conversation now seems to focus much more on European city breaks. The fear of traveling during the pandemic is still very much alive.

Conversation around travel wasn’t all positive, in fact, 27% of this conversation was driven by negative sentiment. This was down to two factors: a rise in fares caused by sudden high demand and safety concerns due to other travellers who fail to follow Covid-related rules. We found that consumers continually complained about the lack of masks worn at airports and train stations, knocking consumer confidence for six, just like the UK’s new “super cold” working its way through the nation.

This summer, we spoke about the tech industry’s influence on consumer confidence, which was driven by the annual Apple conference. In October, we saw the true effects of a technological era as searches went up by +22%. With Christmas approaching, consumers took the opportunity to get their orders in early to avoid last minute stress and disappointments. The overall sentiment has been relatively positive, which wasn’t the case in previous years, and Apple’s sales for this quarter went up by 47% for the iPhone and 21% for iPads, compared with last year. We’re also seeing some pandemic habits endure, such as the binge-watching culture. This has led to a rise in searches for Smart TVs as consumers prepare for an entertainment packed Christmas.

We close off October’s analysis with a follow on from the fall out of the Universal Credit cut and to our surprise, conversations and searches relating to the topic have continued to fall. By 20% in fact. This influenced our CCI in a positive way, though the conversations which are still circulating focus on discrimination, specifically about those who are unable to work due to disability.