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03/24/2022

Study: Inflation cutting into in-store, e-commerce spending

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Online consumers are feeling the effects of inflation.

A new study reveals the details of exactly how inflation is affecting consumer online purchase behavior.

Nearly all consumers (72%) are spending less due to recent inflation, significantly cutting out “fun” or “impulse buys,” according to the new Q1 2022 Consumer Trends Report from selling platform JungleScout, a quarterly study of 1,000 U.S. consumers. Almost four in 10 (38%) respondents are spending less overall, and more than one-third (34%) are spending less online, the highest reported figures on decreased consumer spending in at least one year.  

Close to half (47%) of respondents buy from their favorite brands due to affordability, which is ranked as the leading driver of brand loyalty over quality, familiarity, and sustainability. More than half (53%) of respondents make a purchase when presented with a deal, coupon or discount code; and 47% only purchase products that are on sale or discounted. 

In addition, six in 10 respondents are spending more time at home, and 50% are more willing to spend money on their homes than before the pandemic. And 62% of respondents have a greater interest in self-care now than pre-pandemic. 

Other notable findings include: 

Top increase in spending by category (other than essentials and groceries) 

  1. Pet supplies.
  2. Clothing .
  3. Beauty & personal care.

Preferred online retailers

  1. Amazon.
  2. Walmart.
  3. eBay.
  4. Target.

Salesforce – Inflation pushes revenue up, shopping down
Recent Salesforce Commerce Cloud data confirms that U.S. consumers placed fewer orders and purchased fewer items during February 2022 than during the same month the previous year. According to Salesforce, February online order volume was down 11% year-over-year (YoY), and the items per order decreased by 1.3% YoY (3.79 items, compared to 3.84 items in 2021).

Prices for consumers in the U.S. rose 11.2% YoY in February 2022, while globally prices increased by 4.4% YoY. Meanwhile, product inventory in February shrank by -1% in the U.S. and -5% globally, as retailers and consumers continued to grapple with supply chain issues.

In one good piece of news for e-commerce, as inflation drove higher prices, U.S. retailers saw online revenue grow 6% year-over-year (YoY). Product categories with the highest price growth in February YoY include home furniture (21.8%), home appliances (17.9%), and home, dining, art & decor (11%).Product categories with the least price growth in February YoY include active footwear (1.3%), general footwear (.8%), electronics and accessories (.5%)

“Rising inflation is making consumers keep a tight hold on their wallets and seek out deals and discounts more than ever,” said Michael Scheschuk, chief marketing officer at Jungle Scout. “As consumers lean into homebody living, categories such as self-care and home will thrive. This presents an opportunity for e-commerce brands to build consumer loyalty with the right products, perks, and promotions to meet shoppers’ needs,”