Leading location-based insights provider PlaceIQ today released new data, which reveals that Americans are back on the move after two years of diminished travel, and decreased visits to retail and dining locations.
However, U.S. consumers’ spending in these categories is down across the board in comparison to this time last year. The data compiled by PlaceIQ suggests that the current inflation situation is to blame for this consumer behavior trend in the U.S., not pandemic-related factors like social distancing or stay-at-home advisories.
The data compiled by PlaceIQ, which was provided by Precisely—consisting of anonymized mobile movement data and aggregate purchasing data sourced from millions of credit and debit cards—was sourced from data provider Affinity Solutions.
A comparison was made of American consumers’ visits to dining, retail and travel-related venues, along with how much they spent at these locations, in April 2021 versus April 2022.
Findings from the year-over-year analysis clearly show shifting trends and changes in consumer behavior.
Travel is back in full swing.
— Both visits (four percent) and spending at hotels (13 percent) are up.
— High prices aren’t keeping people away from gas stations, with visitation being nearly equal year-over-year, but spending at the pump is up 25 percent.
While people are eager to get out of the house, they’re also cutting down on how much they spend at each venue.
— Visits to beauty, pet, electronics and clothing stores, as well as grocery, big box, pharmacy and dollar stores were all up (averaging 12 percent); yet, spending was down across the board (averaging four percent).
Home projects and remodels, which became a primary hobby for many during the height of the pandemic, are no longer of as much interest.
— Visits to home improvement stores were down 12 percent, as well as spending (25 percent).
— Simultaneously, visits to furniture and décor retailers were down two percent, as was spending (27 percent) at such locations.
“In March 2020, we saw a seismic shift when it came to consumer behavior—people were staying home and completely shifting where they spent money,” said Drew Breunig, VP of Strategy at PlaceIQ. “This created a mad dash for marketers to understand how and where to best target their customers—and even who their customers were in the ‘new normal’. What we’re seeing now is another, albeit slower, transition—not back to the way things were, but to a consumer culture that reflects the challenges of a post-pandemic and inflation-driven world. Marketers need to be quick to understand how to reach their new audience.”
“As brands look to navigate these shifting consumer forces, gleaning insights and making confident-business decisions from their data will help them stand out from the crowd,” said Dan Adams, SVP Data Strategy and Operations at Precisely. “Yes, spend is down, but visits are mostly up. People are indeed out there looking for ways to save while creating new experiences. It’s an opportune time for marketers to attract new customers by focusing on product pricing as a way to get people out of the house.”