Print Page Subscribe

Payments Perspectives Blog

Email page to a friend
Tweet this page
Share on Facebook
Share on LinkedIn
+1 This Page

In Italy Experiences, Not Possessions, Should Guide Rewards Design

Sabrina Tharani |

The recession, which in Italy began in late 2009, has forced consumers there to make significant cutbacks: high unemployment and the declining value of their savings and investments tell the story.

This doesn’t mean Italian consumers are drastically changing their lives – they are looking for ways to maintain their lifestyle without fundamentally changing their values. They have continued to spend, but adopted spending strategies and calculated spending approaches to accommodate their changing financial picture.

In our recent white paper, Trends Impacting Today’s Italian Consumer, Global Insights identified four consumer trends that best describe the state of the Italian consumer. What we found will help banks and other financial services institutions navigate choppy financial waters and help Italian consumers regain a sense of financial strength.

Experiences Trump Possessions: Consumer sentiment is migrating from “what I have” to “what I do”—memorable experiences may not cost as much as material possessions, but memories and shared life events are just as significant to consumers.

In Italy, consumer sentiment is evolving from “what I have” to “what I do”— memorable experiences may not cost as much as material possessions, but memories and shared life events hold just as much significance with consumers. Italians highly value learning, honesty and curiosity, which are all fulfilled through memorable experiences.

As shown in below, Italians would much rather have free time/leisure, a happy marriage, and travel than any tangible possession such as nice clothes, a second car or the latest electronics. This is especially true of the Italian youth (15-29), who much prefer free leisure time to their older counterparts (60+) (55 percent versus 36 percent), who prefer financial security (81 percent versus 68 percent).

These findings parallel trends in the U.S., where consumers, specifically the youth, tend to be less focused on material possessions and more concerned with having memorable experiences. For example, many U.S. consumers view shopping more as an experience than a transactional event – agreeing it is fun because it gives them an opportunity to socialize with their friends.

Banks and FIs can address this phenomenon by implementing reward programs redeemable for events such as dining out, entertainment, and travel. Facilitating these programs will not only help consumers persevere through the recession, but also help banks and financial institutions remain relevant when it is over.

Italy ETP

Topics: Payments Strategy

Post a Comment