Smart shopping—New study ranks the top countries with the smartest consumers

  • France crowned top country for smart shoppers, Poland takes last place in the ranking
  • Fashion and lifestyle top shopping categories for deals and discounts overall
  • US residents among the world’s smartest shoppers, ranking fourth in the index
  • Hobby Lobby most searched for brand online in relation to savings

A new study by online savings platform BravoDeal reveals the top countries with the smartest consumers as part of the Smart Shopper Index, a global ranking of the top countries where consumers are the savviest with their spending habits and their savings. 

Americans among the world’s smartest shoppers

The study analyzed several consumer habits including household savings and debt, purchase consideration, overall spending relative to cost of living, and food spending relative to cost in all OECD countries for which data was available, and aggregated these in a points-based index to find out which countries have the most discerning shoppers.

Only 4 points behind Germany, the US came in fourth for overall shopping savviness, with a score of 284. US consumers rank fourth for both overall spending and food spending relative to cost. They also score high in terms of household savings, ranking ninth in the top ten countries with the highest savings rate.

When it comes to savings-related online searches, the top two brands that Americans search for in relation to savings were arts and crafts brand Hobby Lobby, followed by retail giant Kohl’s, while online food delivery company DoorDash ranked fifth as the most searched for.

In terms of search volume, after adjusting for population, Americans search for savings online over 10 million times a month, ranking fourth out of the seven countries where Google search data was studied. With by far the largest population of all our markets, US shoppers perform a low amount of online searches for deals and offers overall, in comparison to the Europeans – close to three times less than France and less than half compared to the UK.

France crowned top country for smart shopping

France tops the ranking for the smartest shoppers, according to the new index, scoring highest on the considerate purchasing scale and an overall score of 421 points. The French also rank third when it comes to household savings, losing out only to Germany and the Netherlands. In second place, coming near the top of the list with 312 points is Ireland, as a result of its shoppers’ overall spending and food spending savviness. Germany comes in third in the ranking, with a score of 288, with Germans’ household savings being the highest in the OECD countries analyzed.

Rounding up the top five countries are the United States in fourth place, a country with a high propensity to save up, and savvy overall spending habits, and Norway, in fifth place, coming top for overall spending relative to cost of living. 

The most popular brands and shopping categories with savvy consumers

The study dug deeper into Google search data for seven of BravoDeal’s biggest markets in the rankings – the UK, France, Germany, the US, Italy, Spain and Poland, uncovering a positive correlation between search behaviour and shopper savviness.

Fashion is the top shopping category in four of the seven countries analyzed, when it comes to savings and discounts, with fashion retailers leading the ranking of the most popular brands with smart shoppers – Kohl’s retail chain in the US, ranking in second place, with 14 million monthly searches, online fashion giant ASOS and sports retailer JD Sports in forth and fifth place respectively, in the UK. Similarly, Germany’s ranking is dominated by fashion and lifestyle retailers, with e-commerce company Otto leading the ranking, followed by fashion retailers Zalando and ASOS.

Marco Farnararo, CEO at BravoDeal, said: “What consumers regard as being smart with their shopping differs from country to country, and our study explores how different factors impact their overall shopping savviness. While online searches may tell one story, there are different variables that come into play, especially looking at spendings relative to cost or household savings. It’s interesting to see that although many shoppers continue to value more traditional deals and discount categories such as fashion and lifestyle, other categories that surged in interest during the pandemic, such as online food delivery, arts and crafts and even gaming are piquing their interest.”