How COVID Is Changing Consumer Spending Habits

Ahh, those wily consumers, what will they do next? Every business is asking themselves just this question.

So let’s get right to it and see what some of the leading retail minds have to say about consumer spending in the post-pandemic economy:

1. American Consumers Are Still Terribly Anxious about Their Health

7,000 global consumers surveyed by Alix Partners still rate their health as a primary concern in the post-pandemic world.

44% of US consumers surveyed fell into the “Most Anxious” category when it came to their health. For comparison purposes, just 33% of those in the United Kingdom had the same sentiment.

So, whatever you can do to make your customers feel more comfortable in your store, do it.

And of course, any product you can offer to help your customers protect their health is a win.

2. Safe Outdoor Cultural Events Gain Momentum

These technically don’t come from retail stores per se. But, you can certainly use them to inspire your own thinking.

In California, for example, you can go to the Field of Lights, which is a solar-powered exhibit of a field of lighted artificial poppy flowers (poppies are the state flower of California).

In Toronto, you can go to the “Van Gogh by Car” exhibit, the world’s first drive-in art exhibit. You can see 40 different Van Gogh paintings.

Animated video is projected on the walls and floor. And you can listen to music made for the exhibit on the radio.

Those may be more elaborate and risky for your retail store to pull off. But, consumers are willing to go to these types of things because they can stay safe.

And you might be able to do something similar, but smaller-scale.

3. Discretionary Spend is Accelerating

This one should really come as no surprise. With COVID relaxing its stranglehold on society (at least a little bit anyway), consumers are relaxing with their finances at least a little too.

McKinsey reports that stimulus payments and holiday pull-through have influenced recent growth.

Further, more than 50% of consumers intend to do something nice for themselves and splurge on something in the near future. And higher-income millennials will be the leaders in this type of spending.

Apparel, beauty, and electronics are their intended categories for spending.

McKInsey expects to see spending continue to increase in 2021.

Let that information simmer for a while and see how it influences your 2021 – 2022 strategy. And armed with this information, your revenues will be just fine.