Here’s Why You May Be Spending More After Quarantine

3 min read

From April to May, retail sales increased by 17.7%, although from last year, they are still down by 6.1%.

As retailers are coming out of this pandemic, many are being forced to focus on their online presence which is now imperative with consumer reliance on convenience and avoidance of physical stores. However, for many nonessential items like apparel, us consumers who prefer to shop in store for these products may have postponed many of those purchases until now. 

Now that shops are open and retail is back in business, retailers are hungry for in-store sales which is a dangerous game for a consumer. Keep an eye out for these top ways that retailers are trying to make you spend MORE money after the pandemic.

1. Marketers are getting creative. 

In Lithuania, “The restaurants have placed mannequins at empty tables being used to space diners out within dining rooms and now the mannequins are wearing local designer clothing and accessories” to entice consumers to spend on apparel that may not have an online presence. Definitely creative and great for local business!

See any creative marketing in your area? Tag or message us on social media @consumersense so we can check it out!

2. Convenience may just be every consumer’s kryptonite.

According to the National Retail Federation, contactless payments have grown 20% since the start of the pandemic, including mobile wallets or services like Venmo. Some stores are even rolling out scan-and-go capabilities, allowing us to scan a barcode and pay for products without visiting the register. The ease of these no-touch pay systems can be tempting, be careful that you’re not just taking advantage of the fact that you don’t have to stand in line.

3. Your email inbox is a minefield.

Retail Info Systems advises retailers on email marketing during covid to “target deep discounts and sales to those most likely to buy based on past interest to keep inboxes uncluttered, and incorporate in-email personalized modules to keep blasts highly relevant to a customer’s current activity.” Essentially, they’re targeting you with similar products related to what you may have bought in the past.

4. Loyalty programs are going to sound very intriguing.

Antavo advises retailers to set up a loyalty program that reaches us everywhere: “on the website, on social media, on their mobile, in the store and even in the customers’ daily life”. 

Online and in store retailers will send location-based push notifications to inform you about the latest sales and if you click on these notifications, it will take you to the brand’s loyalty program. 

As consumers, we appreciate feeling appreciated (and special)! Retailers know this and capitalize on it by setting up insider groups that are either invite-only or restricted to a certain demographic. In exchange, members receive early access to upcoming sales or products, which actually sounds pretty cool.

5. Retailers may have more on you than you think. 

Many retailers are being encouraged to utilize in-store data (remember when they asked for your email and phone number at checkout? Yeah, they have that AND they know your previous purchases) to move consumers that prefer to shop in store, online by offering benefits and recommending products similar to those bought in store. 

“46% [of retailers] are leveraging in-store data to encourage online shopping, and 39% are planning to”. SmarterHQ Retail Poll Results


6. Your wishlist is definitely not private.

Online retailers are also keeping an eye on all those items you saved to your wish list, so if you’re easily swayed, be careful of what you put in there because it could pop up in one of those emails we mentioned and temp you all over again.

7. It’s actually not them- it may be you(r emotions).

As much as we would like to blame retailers and genius marketing strategies for all of our extra spending, part of the reason you may be spending more after quarantine has nothing to do with these tactics, it may be your emotions: 

Stress or impulse shopping has increased since the pandemic and if you’ve been waiting to buy in store, you may be finding yourself spending more than usual now that things have opened up. 

How do you reel yourself back in from impulse shopping? Before buying, Dr. Audrey Guskey wants consumers to ask themselves, “If I left the store right now, would I feel bad that I didn’t buy it?”

Tricks are around every corner and in every email inbox, try your best to stick to budget and shop smart!

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