[Consumer study] How affected are consumers by rising interest rates?

As interest rates are on the uptick, we wanted to determine how consumers are affected. Are they making purchase decisions differently?

That’s what we asked them in this consumer study.

"I've held off on any big purchases because the market is just so uncertain. I don't want to make a regretful decision, so I'm trying to be comfortable where I am."

The methodology

We completed the entire study of 100 respondents through Voxpopme’s Influence market research online community (MROC) of on-demand consumers.

In the platform, we combined quantitative and qualitative questions in the study, and the platform neatly packaged the results in one dashboard.

interest rates consumer insights

interest rates consumer insights summarized

On the quantitative side, we asked:

  • Have you been affected by the rising interest rates?
    • Yes
    • No
  • Have the rising interest rates influenced your purchase decisions?
    • Yes
    • No

On the qualitative side, we asked:

  • Please tell us why your purchase decisions have or have not been influenced by the rising interest rates.

Read next: Not sure what to ask? Check out Voxpopme’s tried and tested open-ended questions for video research.

The results

Here’s a quick highlight reel of reactions:

The quant results

In the study, most respondents – 62 percent – said they have been affected by rising rates.

Have You Been Affected By The Rising Interest Rates

Sixty-one percent said rising rates had influenced their purchases.

Have The Rising Interest Rates Influenced Your Purchase Decisions


The qual results

Respondents recorded a quick video message for the qual questions – selfie-style, directly from their phones.

In all, the automatic sentiment analysis showed that 51 percent of all statements were on the negative side, with 29 percent being neutral and 20 percent being positive.

interest rates consumer sentiment

This sentiment analysis pulls from what respondents said in their video responses, unlike the quant questions.

The automatic theme explorer and Word Cloud gave me an idea of some of the most mentioned topics.

themes around consumer insights

At times, I also use Theme Builder and my knowledge of the subject to build and group themes for topics that I consider related.

interest rates wordcloud

The analysis

I like to review the theme explorer first to get an idea of what trends I’m seeing. The Word Cloud is my next step. Then I like to skim through the automatic transcripts and each response. Finally, let’s see what respondents said.

There has been an impact

Melissa, 36, of Jasper, said she’d skipped larger purchases because of the rise in interest rates.

In the past, Katie, 31, of Warren, said she’d buy a car from a dealership with a loan. This time around, she bought it from another person without a loan to avoid interest rates.

Several respondents said the rising interest rates impact the search for buying a home.

“It’s just made it more challenging to find a home that has is a good fit for me to make a purchase on with the added expenses of the increasing interest rates,” said Mykah, 22, of Lawrence.

"I absolutely feel that whenever interest rates go up, it affects everybody. Some it may affect directly. Some it may affect indirectly."

No impact

Jennifer, 47, of Belton, said the interest rates have not affected her because she buys things when she needs them.

Rose, 34, of Eugene, said she pays off her credit cards in full every month so she hasn’t been affected.

Carolyn, 57, of Philadelphia, said she also buys the items she needs without giving interest rates a second thought.

“I feel I have no alternative but to ignore it,” she said, adding that she does forego some larger purchases.

“They have not influenced my decisions or anything,” said Josh, 32, of Port Clinton. “I’m locked in on my mortgage payment. We refinanced a couple of years ago. So I’ve got no issues with interest rates now.  Maybe when I buy my next car interest rates will start hurting more. But overall, I’ve got no complaints.”

Where to next?

The study saw a wide variety of purchases that were affected by interest rates. Smaller purchases – through credit cards – to home and car purchases.

That’s an opportunity for follow-up. Ask consumers what the products are that they purchase by choice or as a necessity using credit and what type of credit. Based on what that survey finds, it could be determined next steps for potential products to help those consumers.

Read next: How you can use video surveys for your next project!



What’s a question you’d like to ask consumers?