Summer is over, the kids are back at school, and the rest of the autumn routine has fallen into place – but with a slight twist. According to a new NerdWallet survey, more consumers have had to dip into their savings or emergency funds to pay for essentials, and over a third of consumers have stopped saving – people are tightening their budgets. High inflation and a worrisome economic forecast contribute to these shifting consumer behaviors and are evident in the data.

Here at PlaceIQ, we’re seeing this dynamic play out in real-time. Major brands across retail and dining categories saw visits and spend decline from Q2 to Q3.

•  Seasonal categories such as Movie Theaters and Home Improvement were down roughly 20% in spend.

•  Essential categories (Pharmacy, Warehouse Clubs, Grocery, and Fast Food) had more moderate drops at 5-10%.

•  Specialty retailers like Electronics, Furniture, and Sporting Goods performed better than others, with flat or just slightly negative quarter-over-quarter visit and spend.

Specialty retailers benefitted from Back to School, as purchasing electronics, sporting goods, and college furniture are more of an “essential” for the school year.

As inflation and the economy remain top-of-mind for consumers, people are making tough decisions on ways to use their monthly budgets – spending less and prioritizing more. There are however positive indicators that shoppers are still willing to spend on specialty categories during promotional periods.

Marketers impacted should target high-value and active shoppers with PlaceIQ segments like Low Cost Discount Purchasers, Top Apparel Spenders, Top Back to School Spenders, and Frequent Visitors. Our Real-time Proximity Audiences are now available for self-service in the Trade Desk – allowing you to intercept consumers while they’re shopping in store.

Consumers will react differently to the shifting economic outlook, and PlaceIQ will continue to monitor retail trends in the coming months. We’ll be following to see how holiday expenditures and visitation net out this year as pent-up demand meets budget strain. Subscribe to follow along or reach out to your PlaceIQ account manager for more trending analysis.


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