Americans consumer spending expected to be boosted by vaccine rollout, but online will continue to be key

Eighty percent of American consumers plan to continue to shop online post-pandemic

The United States’ massive vaccinations program is leading to increased optimism among American consumers, which should help maintain consumer spending as social distancing requirements are reduced.

A survey from Harris Poll found that 45% of Americans are confident that life in the US will soon ‘return to normal’. This has had an immediate impact on future spending, with 53% of consumers, and 61% of households with an annual income over $100,000 per year, noting that the vaccine rollout has had ‘some influence’ on how much they plan to spend. In fact, almost a third (30%) of those households say they plan to spend more than last spring, and 28% planning to spend more than this winter.

Although 47% of Americans miss the experience of shopping in-store, 77% are satisfied with online shopping and eight-in-ten will continue to shop online post-pandemic.  

This trend is due to behaviours resulting from the reaction to COVID-19 carrying forward and changing consumer dynamics. For example, maintaining distance and cleanliness will be key for many Americans, with shoppers expressing a preference for the "no contact" method of purchasing, as 64% state that they plan to continue to use less cash and almost half (48%) not wanting to touch cash anymore. 

Looking across industries, healthcare is among the top three industries rated for doing the best job at digitally adapting their products and services, followed by grocery, then food and beverage.

"While impossible to predict exactly how American life will look past the pandemic, one thing that is certain is that our "new normal" is unlikely to resemble life before the pandemic," said Will Johnson, Co-CEO of The Harris Poll "From our personal interactions, to our consumer habits and work lives, our data suggests many changes in behaviour are here to stay, and it is imperative business and our institutions continue to adapt for the betterment of society."

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