The pandemic had a noticeable impact on consumer purchase behavior, not only where they were shopping, but also what they were choosing to spend their money on. A survey [pdf] from Ipsos and Country Financial shows that some US consumers made purchases during the pandemic that they would not have otherwise bought.
When asked if they had purchased certain products or services during the pandemic that they would not have otherwise purchased, 40% of the more than 1,000 US adults (ages 18+) surveyed reported that they had bought at least one of the identified products. The largest percentage (11%) reported purchasing supplies or equipment for a new hobby.
With more people working from home since the pandemic, 1 in 10 consumers say they bought office equipment. An equal portion of respondents say they bought electronics in order to pass the time (10%) or started a new subscription (i.e. Disney+ or cooking class) to entertain themselves and their family (10%).
Others say they bought exercise equipment (9%), countertop appliances for the kitchen (9%) or a big-ticket item just for themselves (i.e. car or home; 7%), while 6% brought home a new pet.
Looking ahead to the next 6 months, the survey shows a willingness to resume travel, with sizable percentages expecting to travel to visit friends or family (34%) or go on a vacation (33%). The majority of these individuals plan to travel within the US (68%). Half say they will take a road trip and 46% will stay in a hotel or motel. While others say they will travel to a beach or lake (39%), visit a national park (21%) or a big city (21%), only 13% plan to travel outside the US.
Even as consumers start thinking about getting back into the world, the events of 2020 have inspired a few consumers to change some of their personal finance habits. Some 1 in 5 (21%) will save more for an emergency, while 11% will increase the amount they save for retirement.
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About the Data: Findings are based on an April 2010 survey of 1, 15 US adults ages 18+.