Shoppers’ spending habits throughout the Covid pandemic underscore the resilience and agility of U.S. consumers, CMO Council report finds


SAN JOSE, California, November 18, 2021 / PRNewswire / – American consumers have once again proven themselves to be very resilient and adaptive during the Covid-19 pandemic. Their buying behaviors have changed rapidly and dramatically to meet new priorities and limitations, with consumer spending rising sharply in most categories, according to a new report just released by the CMO Council.

Consumer-facing brands and retailers have also responded to the changes brought on by Covid, moving quickly to upgrade digital and e-commerce experiences, and becoming increasingly data-driven. They will need to continue to adapt to the realities of a post-pandemic world, with new products, sales and marketing models, and digital and in-store experiences that align with the new normal of tomorrow, according to the report. , developed in partnership with Commerce Signals, a Verisk company.

The report, “Leveraging consumer change: insight into purchasing behavior during Covid and beyond“, explores how consumers, businesses and marketers have shifted focus during the pandemic to meet changing needs and demands, as well as what those changes will mean for the future. based on analysis of debit and credit card spend data anonymized for 40 million U.S. households from Commerce Signals. The report also incorporates the views of marketing and other executives a cross section of retailers, media companies and brands including Audacy, Cuisinart, Echelon, Lamp Plus, Pokeworks, Fandom and Trax.

To download the full report, please visit:

Among the conclusions of the report:

  • Travel and hospitality, the industries hardest hit during the pandemic, are experiencing a significant recovery. While still below 2019 spending levels, airline travel purchases are expected to increase 245% this holiday season compared to 2020. Hotels and motels are expected to increase 163%.
  • Most of the spending categories tracked in the study fully recovered from the effects of the pandemic by June 2020. Leaders included furniture, home entertainment, sporting goods, groceries, and mass discounters. Latecomers, in addition to travel and hospitality, included clothing and department stores.
  • Online spending has seen massive growth due to the pandemic, increasing by 50% in 2020 compared to 2019. In-store retail spending during this period has only increased by 1%.

“Consumers are going to be consumers. Spending is changing, but it doesn’t stop,” said Nick Mangiapane, CMO of Commerce Signals. “Our analyzes of card spending throughout the pandemic clearly show that American consumers have rapidly reshaped their shopping behaviors to meet new needs and wants. For example, clothing and department store purchases have declined during the epidemic because there was less reason to dress. On the other hand, streaming media and home furnishings have both increased significantly to accommodate a lifestyle in the foyer.”

“The past 18 months have underscored the need for marketers to continuously monitor, forecast and respond to rapidly changing consumer needs and behaviors,” said David Murray, Executive Vice President of the CMO Council and author of the report. “Going forward, marketing teams need to hone their ability to track consumer buying habits and quickly pivot when needed. This includes the use of point, granular, and localized spend data for marketing planning, audience segmentation, and personalization.

The shift to online spending
One of the main ways that the American consumer has adapted to the pandemic has been to significantly shift their spending to online channels. Online retail sales soared in 2020, tripling their growth rate from the previous year. During the period of march 2020 To March 2021, online retail sales increased 56% from the previous 12 months.

Nonetheless, in-store purchases have rebounded in recent months. In fact, Commerce Signals predicts that over the next holiday season, in-store sales will be a major driver of retail spending growth, increasing 15% from the same period of 2020. Sales online retail will only grow 3% year-over-year. – there is a period, as online sales growth is slowing from its huge surge in 2020.

Retailers and other consumer product businesses have responded to the e-commerce boom in 2020 by working quickly to improve online shopping experiences. From e-commerce website upgrades and home delivery improvements to online shopping / in-store pickup models – retailers and other consumer brands have adapted to the new mindset and behaviors of consumers.

Retailers will need to focus on upgrading their online and in-store experiences going forward, which will make it easier for customers to understand and see available inventory and make purchases, as well as support new hybrid models such as the online purchase / in-store pick-up models.

About the CMO Council
The Board of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building between top corporate marketing executives and brand decision makers across a wide range of global industries. The CMO Councils More than 16,000 members control over 1000 billion dollars in aggregate annual marketing expenses and conduct complex and globally distributed marketing and sales operations. In total, the CMO Council and its strategic communities of interest include more than 65,000 global marketing and sales leaders in more than 110 countries spanning multiple industries, segments and markets. Regional chapters and advisory councils are active in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. The boardStrategic interest groups include the Customer Experience Board, the Digital Marketing Performance Center, the Brand Inspiration Center, the Marketing Supply Chain Institute, the GeoBranding Center, and the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE). To learn more, visit

About trade signals
Commerce Signals, a Verisk Financial company, is a leading source of credit and debit card data for marketers. With an authorized and anonymous view of consumer behavior in credit and debit card spending, Commerce Signals’ powerful insights, accurate audiences, and campaign measurement help eliminate waste and increase customer ROI. marketing. Its solutions are used by some of the largest retailers, directly with consumer and adtech companies nationwide.


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