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BUYING BEHAVIOUR

Shopper spending patterns during Covid emphasise agility of consumers

By our News Team | 2021

Study shows how US shoppers’ buying behaviours have evolved quickly and dramatically due to the pandemic.

US consumers once again have proven themselves to be highly resilient and adaptive during the Covid-19 pandemic. Their buying behaviours have evolved quickly and dramatically to address new priorities and limitations, with consumer spending growing solidly in most categories.

This is according to a report published by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, an organisation that promotes high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship-building among senior corporate marketing leaders around the world.

The study says consumer-facing brands and retailers were also responsive to the changes brought about by Covid, moving rapidly to upgrade digital and e-commerce experiences, and becoming increasingly data-driven.

Buying behaviour

New York shopping photo by Jim.henderson via Wikimedia Commons

Those business sectors will need to continue to adapt to the realities of a post-pandemic world which has developed new products, selling and marketing models, and digital and in-store experiences that align with the ‘new normal’ of the future.

The report, entitled Gaining Lift from the Consumer Shift: Insights into Buying Behavior During Covid and Beyond, explores how consumers, businesses and marketers shifted focus during the pandemic to address changing needs and requirements, as well as what these changes will mean to the future.

Among the key findings:

  • Travel and hospitality, the hardest-hit industries during the pandemic, are making a significant recovery. While still behind 2019 spending levels, airline travel purchases are projected to be up 245 percent this holiday season compared to 2020. Hotels and motels are forecast to be up 163 percent.
  • Most spend categories tracked in the study fully recovered from the effects of the pandemic by June of 2020. Leaders included home furnishing, home entertainment, sporting goods, grocery and mass discounters. Laggards, in addition to travel and hospitality, included clothing and department stores.
  • Online spending experienced massive growth due to the pandemic, increasing 50 percent in 2020 versus 2019. Instore retail spending during that period grew only 1 percent.

“The past 18 months have underscored the need for marketers to continuously monitor, predict and respond to the fast-changing needs and behaviours of consumers,” said Dave Murray, Executive Vice President with the CMO Council and author of the report. 

“Going forward, marketing teams need to fine-tune their ability to track consumer purchasing patterns and pivot quickly when necessary. That includes the use of timely, granular and localised spending data for marketing planning, audience segmentation and personalisation.”

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