2022 Shopping Outlook: Consumers Tightening Their Budget and Spending Less Overall

Shopkick survey finds that continued inflation and supply chain issues are concerns for consumers heading into the new year  

As a new year approaches, it is apparent that the economic challenges of 2021 will continue to influence consumer behavior in the future. Supply chain hiccups and record-breaking inflation are just a few of the factors causing Americans to plan to spend less in 2022 and have already impacted how they chose to shop in 2021. According to the Adobe Digital Economy Index, Black Friday foot traffic was up 48 percent and overall online spending was down compared to 2020 — a direct result of consumers’ supply chain concerns. In addition to finding ways to avoid supply chain challenges, the majority (63 percent) of consumers lowered their budgets in 2021 and unfortunately, 45 percent do not anticipate their spending habits will return to “normal” in 2022.

Shopkick, a leading shopping rewards app, surveyed more than 14,000 consumers across the country from November 5 – November 9, 2021, to gain insight into consumer behavior and outlooks as we approach 2022.

Key Findings Include:

  • Tightening Budgets: When asked what spending habits they foresee themselves making in 2022, the majority of consumers (69 percent) said they will be spending less overall. Most consumers (58 percent) plan on approaching their finances by proceeding with caution and 22 percent are significantly tightening their budgets. Overall, 23 percent of consumers will be decreasing their non-essential spending entirely.
  • In-Store Shopping Remains Strong: Despite the popularity of online shopping in recent years, consumers still expect to do the majority of their shopping in physical stores. Most plan to purchase both non-essential (71 percent) and essential items (87 percent) in brick-and-mortar stores and the majority (59 percent) of consumers view in-store shopping as an event or something to look forward to as life returns to “normal.”
  • Searching for Savings: To maximize savings in 2022, consumers will purchase sale or discount items (58 percent), use shopping and rewards apps more frequently (56 percent), and prioritize shopping at budget-friendly stores (51 percent). Consumers also plan to purchase more store brand products instead of larger brand names (35 percent).
  • Learning from Last Year: Of those 22 percent tightening their budgets, almost half (49 percent) are doing so because they feel less financially stable and are unsure what the future holds (49 percent). Nearly all consumers are concerned about the risk of continued inflation (96 percent) and supply chain and product shortage issues (95 percent).
  • Safety is Still a Priority: Though Covid-19 vaccines are widely available to the public, health and safety precautions continue to be important to consumers. More than half (55 percent) of shoppers say retailers’ health and safety guidelines will play a role in where they choose to shop in 2022.
  • Treat Yourself: For the 22 percent of consumers that will be increasing their non-essential spending, they are doing so because they feel more financially stable and have a more flexible budget (47 percent), plan to spend more on experiences like dining, travel, or entertainment (34 percent), or plan to spend more money on other people (27 percent).

Generational Insights

  • Conscious Consumers: Many consumers (36 percent) anticipate shopping more frequently and spending more money at retailers and with brands that align with their core values (politically, socially, etc.). Generationally, Gen Z (53 percent) is most likely to shop more frequently at retailers or with brands that align with their core values (politically, socially, etc.), followed by Millennials (42 percent).
  • Proceeding with Caution: Health and safety guidelines will play a role in 60 percent of Gen Zers shopping choices, followed by 65 percent of Silent Generationers, 53 percent of Gen Xers, and 50 percent of Baby Boomers and Millennials.
  • Young Money: Of the 22 percent who expect their non-essential budget to increase in 2022, Gen Zers are the most likely to do so (59 percent), as they feel more financially stable and have a more flexible budget. Of those Gen Zers increasing their budget, 36 percent plan to spend more on experiences like dining, travel, and entertainment now that these non-essential businesses are back open.

“After a tumultuous turn of the decade, 2021 was a critical juncture for retailers and brands to strategize for the new year and beyond,” said David Fisch, general manager of Shopkick. “The findings from this survey continue to tell us that physical retailers reign supreme and health regulations that help people feel more secure remain essential. They also further reveal the need for seamless, omnichannel shopping experiences that help consumers save as much as they can, especially when the economy makes it difficult.”

About Shopkick, Inc. 

Shopkick, a Trax company, is a leading shopping rewards app, bringing moments of joy to everyday shopping – both on- and off-line. For brands and retailers, Shopkick provides high consumer engagement along the entire path to purchase. The company’s unique pay for performance model has been proven to deliver high ROI, while driving incremental traffic, product engagement, and sales. Some of its leading brand and retail partners include Kraft-Heinz, Barilla, GE, Kellogg’s, TJ Maxx and Unilever, among others.

Shopkick is available for free on iPhone from the App Store and for Android from Google Play. For more information, please visit www.shopkick.com.

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Dima Volovik

EVP of Product and Engineering

Dima Volovik is the EVP of Product and Engineering at Trax Retail — Shopkick.

Dima Volovik is the accomplished product and engineering leader who led teams to deliver innovative and commercially successful e-commerce products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions for Amazon, Comcast, Fandango, and Universal Music. Before joining Trax, Dima was the Director at Amazon, where he led product development and Engineering for Amazon Appstore and Amazon Prime Video, CTO at Fandango, and Paciolan, head of technology at Golf Channel/Golf Now, and Global VP of Direct to Consumer Technology at Universal Music Group. Dima’s expertise includes developing consumer products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions.

Dima grew up in Baku, Azerbaijan, where he received his MS in Electrical Engineering from Azerbaijan Oil Academy, and he currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with his family.