The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is more than just one of the biggest health crises of our generation. It’s a core reason why the American economy has spun into major turmoil. Not only has the virus impacted industries across the globe, but it’s also impacted consumer spending and shopping behaviors all around.
But while COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into the normalcy we all once knew, it has also shaped the “new normal” we know today, where social distancing precautions and access to contactless shopping and payment experiences are considered essential.
Many of these behaviors also seem to have risen from the financial setbacks created by the virus. According to Jungle Scout’s new quarterly Consumer Trends Report, which explores how U.S. consumers have shifted their spending habits, particularly in a pandemic economy, more than half of American consumers (56 percent) are now living “paycheck to paycheck,” while 48 percent have experienced unexpected financial setbacks in the last three months.
Furthermore, 73 percent reveal that due to financial concerns, they are becoming more conscientious of where and how they spend their money, while 70 percent admit to looking for less expensive and/or alternative products when shopping.
Overall, 43 percent of consumers revealed that total spending is down, while 31 percent indicate that spending has remained the same.
But then there’s 26 percent of participants who revealed that spending has actually increased. (Can we safely label that 26 percent the “bored and rich” who caused an abnormal uptick in jewelry sales during the pandemic? Maybe, maybe not.)
Anyway, but as consumers have changed how often they spend these days, so have their methods. These days, it seems consumers are opting for browser extensions or plug-in solutions when shopping online (45 percent), online grocery shopping (48 percent), restaurant curbside pick-up offerings (32 percent) and/or social media shopping experiences (54 percent).
The report also found out that 37 percent of consumers have increased online spending altogether.
“As American consumers have largely remained inside and socially distant during the past year, they’ve become increasingly comfortable with and dependent on online shopping,” said Greg Mercer, Founder and CEO of Jungle Scout.
“But consumers have also leveraged online shopping and emerging technology to help ease the financial strain the pandemic has caused for so many of them, as well.”
Jungle Scout also found that consumers’ loyalty toward Amazon and Walmart is continuing to thrive. Some 38 percent of consumers are Walmart+ members, while 70 percent hold an Amazon Prime membership.
And through the pandemic, Amazon continues to be the most frequented by consumers, followed by Walmart in-store, Walmart.com and in-store at Target.
In an effort to retain loyalty, retailers have made strong efforts to elevate their offerings. Walmart, for example, eliminated its minimum shipment requirement of $35 for its Walmart+ members on orders placed through its website.
These loyalty trends are also something that many other brands and retailers are witnessing during this time.
To learn more about the report, visit junglescout.com.