29% of US Residents Have Already Increased Retail Spending: Braze Data Shows Consumers are Ready to Shop this Summer

By May 26, 2021

As pandemic reopenings have begun in earnest in much of the world and access to vaccines has accelerated, retailers are poised to benefit from what Bloomberg Economics estimates to be $1.7 trillion in American “revenge spend” savings. Based on a recent Braze survey of 1,000 US consumers, 29% of respondents have increased their retail spending and shopping habits in response to reopening measures. Additionally, 69% are looking forward to purchasing items and services this summer that they haven't needed or used much over the past year.

The survey also found that consumers’ “splurge purchases”—those drastically outside usual spending habits—have accelerated significantly. Overall, 38% of consumers plan to make a splurge purchase for themselves in the next 30 days. Some have even gotten a head start, with consumers splurging on purchases including clothing and apparel (34%), fine jewelry and accessories (20%) and vacations (16%) in the month of April.

Convenience is still key to successful customer engagement

As physical stores have steadily reopened in the US, more than a quarter (26%) of consumers say they are back to shopping mostly or only in-store. However, consumers also anticipate they will continue to use convenient services such as click-and-collect (43%), grocery delivery (31%), and restaurant and food delivery (40%) over the long term.

Almost half (46%) of consumers said mobile was their preferred device for completing purchases over the last 30 days. Similarly, Braze customer data also shows that over the past six months, mobile comprised about 76.2% of all purchases, a five percentage point increase, compared to six months prior. With so many consumers completing purchases on mobile, key mobile messaging channels like push notifications and in-app messages are becoming an even more important tool for retailers looking to communicate with their customers, including in connection with in-store and online engagements.

Capitalizing on Amazon Prime Day and the Upcoming Holiday Shopping Season

While signs point to accelerated retail spending in the US, 45% of consumers are actively trying to spend less and save money as reopening continues, highlighting the importance of retail brands finding ways to showcase high-value deals.

This year, Amazon is expected to host its annual Prime Day sale in June to capitalize on the anticipated “summer of spending” and demand for eye-catching deals. This move may also usher in an earlier-than-ever start to the holiday shopping season, as our findings show 51% of consumers say they plan to purchase holiday gifts as part of the sales event. However, there’s still opportunity for other retailers; 31% of consumers say they find it valuable when other retailers host competitive sales events in similar timeframes.

According to the National Retail Federation forecast, retail sales are expected to exceed $4.33 trillion this year, the fastest growth since 2004. While capitalizing on consumer eagerness to shop, it’s important for retailers to understand dynamic shopping behaviors and identify the best channels for engaging customers to motivate purchases.

Final Thoughts

As the US slowly emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers need to embrace mobile channels like push as part of a thoughtful, comprehensive cross-channel customer engagement strategy to see optimal results. To learn more about how retail brands can make the most of their outreach to build customer loyalty and drive higher revenue in today’s fast-moving landscape, check out our exclusive look at retail and customer engagement.

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