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Consumers Spending More Money Per Trip, Shopping Less Often

A recent study by the The NPD Group found that the amount of money consumers are spending on each shopping trip or occasion is increasing, but the amount of times they are shopping overall is decreasing. When the pandemic first hit in March 2020, consumers spent an average of $34.13 per shopping occasion (either online or in-person). Since that time, the amount spent per occasion has remained elevated each month, still up at $34.83 in July 2021. 

The number of times a consumer shops has decreased, indicating that customers are still in a stock-up mentality, buying more items at one time and shopping fewer times overall. In each of the 12 months since March 2020, the average amount spent per shopping occasion has been between 13 percent and 29 percent higher than the same month in the prior year. 

“Fewer shopping trips to limit in-person contact at retail stores, combined with supply-chain challenges making fewer products available, means consumers are more willing to spend more now to get the products they need,” says Marshal Cohen, retail chief industry advisor for NPD. “This dynamic alters the traditional cadence of product seasonality and creates less price sensitivity.”

Warehouse clubs and home improvement stores were the top two industries that saw increases per transaction spending in both online and in-person sales. Home improvement retailers should utilize add-on sales best practices to encourage higher transaction sizes when customers are in the store and implement in-store marketing tactics to make each shopping occasion a positive experience.

About Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A native of Ohio, Lindsey earned a B.S. in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Ohio University. She loves spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and one dog, as well as doing DIY projects around the house, going to concerts, boating and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.

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