After more than two years of decreased traffic to dining, travel, and retail locations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, new data shows that U.S. consumers are back on the go; however, spending at these types of locations is nearly unanimously down compared to a year ago. The data, compiled by PlaceIQ, which was acquired by Precisely, suggests that inflation is the new driver behind consumer behavior in the United States, not social distancing and stay-at-home mandates.
The data is sourced via anonymized mobile movement data and aggregate purchases from millions of credit and debit cards from data provider Affinity Solutions. It compares consumers’ visits to dining, travel, and retail venues, along with how much they spent, in April 2021 versus April 2022. The findings show clear trends and changes to consumer behavior:
- Travel is back in full swing.
- Both visits (4%) and spend at hotels (13%) are up.
- High prices aren’t keeping people away from gas stations, as visits are close to flat year-over-year, but spending is up 25%.
- People are eager to get out of the house but tightening their purse strings.
- Visits to beauty, pet, electronics, and clothing stores, as well as grocery, big box, pharmacy, and dollar stores were all up (averaging 12%), yet spending was down across the board (averaging 4%).
- Home projects and remodels, a main hobby during the height of the pandemic, are no longer of interest.
- Visits to home improvement stores were down 12%, as well as spend (25%).
- Simultaneously visits at furniture and décor retailers was down 2%, as well as spend (27%).
“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.”
Precisely is the global leader in data integrity, providing accuracy, consistency, and context in data for 12,000 customers in more than 100 countries, including 99 of the Fortune 100. Precisely’s data integration, data quality, data governance, location intelligence, and data enrichment products power better business decisions to create better outcomes. Learn more at www.precisely.com.
PlaceIQ is a leading data and technology provider that powers critical business and marketing decisions with location data, analytics, and insights. An early industry pioneer, PlaceIQ has become the standard for fueling better outcomes for marketers, analysts, and publishers through powerful, location-based consumer insights, real-world measurement, and attribution. With PlaceIQ, companies can uncover opportunities within the consumer journey by learning about and connecting with location-based audiences, measuring real-world ROI, and applying insights that drive intelligent marketing and successful business outcomes. For more information, visit www.placeiq.com.