A new report on retail and e-commerce reveals that inflation is affecting the shopping habits of 85% of Americans, leading most to cut back on purchases and feel more unhappy shopping online.
In the report released Thursday, Morning Consult found that 77% of Americans are buying less to save money. Only 41% said they enjoyed shopping online in June, compared to 50% in March.
The report cautions against blaming supply chain issues for this trend. He notes that Americans, especially millennials who make up most online shoppers, have less money to spend as consumer prices rise.
“Online shoppers are reporting fewer delayed orders, but as consumers begin to put off discretionary purchases due to inflation, shopping for pleasure isn’t what it used to be,” the report said.
Many shoppers are also coping with inflation by seeking discounts and shopping at discount stores, Morning Consult reported.
Some retailers say the results are perfect.
“We sell pet food, among other things, and everyone wants to do their best for their pet, but inflation and rising credit card fees are driving up prices,” said Jessica Bettencourt, CEO of Klem’s in Spencer, Massachusetts. . “Customers are forced to make decisions to continue buying the items or brand they have come to love.”
Robert Jones, president of American Sale in Tinley Park, Ill., said his customers are “more selective” about purchasing patio and pool items.
“Inflation brings uncertainty and consumers pause before shopping,” Jones said.
In northern Indiana, the president of clothing store Stephenson’s of Elkhart predicts consumer discontent will grow as inflation catches up with families.
“Additional spending on online business, coupled with inflationary price pressures, will only continue to drive up retail prices,” said Danny Reynolds.
In an email to The Washington Times, the National Retail Federation said many consumers are cutting back on luxuries from the service sector to prioritize “back-to-school and college items” this month.
“Inflation is certainly a top concern for consumers right now. But it’s important to remember that higher prices don’t affect all shoppers or all categories equally,” the statement said.
The trade association noted that retail sales figures rose 7.3% in July compared to the same month last year, “further illustrating that consumers continue to spend where they need to” while that they face “the highest levels of inflation in four decades”.
Rising food and rent prices have hit consumers the hardest this summer.
Food prices jumped 10.9% in July from the same month last year, the fastest annual increase Americans have seen in the cost of groceries since May 1979. Housing prices , medical care, new vehicles and auto insurance also increased.
According to the Morning Consult report, 92% of US consumers are “very” or “somewhat” concerned about the impact of inflation on their grocery budget, leading them to spend less on clothing and personal care items.
Retailers say the rising cost of basic necessities has also reduced Americans’ spending on recreation, including model trains.
“Grocery, food and gas are the most common expenses we hear about,” said Patti Riordan, owner of Smoke Stack Hobby Shop in Lancaster, Ohio. “Less discretionary income in their pockets and higher gas prices equates to buying low-cost items from our store and less travel.”