Americans’ Shopping Habits Have Changed Due to Rising Prices and Stock Shortages

82 percent of consumers have noticed price increases on everyday essentials; 81 percent say it has affected the way they shop.

Over the past year, consumers have been faced with significant supply chain issues and massive inflation, directly impacting the way they shop. In fact, 81 percent of consumers are now more likely to wait on making a purchase until there is a sale or coupon due to price increases and 79 percent would purchase the next best option if their favorite brands are sold out or low-in-stock, highlighting their wavering loyalty to brands.

Shopkick, a leading shopping rewards app, surveyed more than 20,000 consumers across the country from February 17-24, 2022 to uncover how consumer behaviors have evolved since 2021.

Key Insights Include:

  • In-Store Shopping Behavior Shift: The majority of consumers (88 percent) are still shopping for their household essentials in-store, however more than half (62 percent) say their in-store shopping habits have changed over the past year. When consumers were asked how in-store habits have shifted, 69 percent say the time of day and frequency during the week, 56 percent say their safety practices, and 44 percent say the retailers they shop at and brands they buy from.
  • Consumer Changes: For those in-store shoppers whose time of day and frequency has changed, 52 percent say they now go to the store at less busy times, 23 percent say they go to the store fewer times a week and 17 percent say they are going to the store at less busy times AND fewer times a week. The majority of consumers who say they have changed where they shop (59 percent) are now shopping at big box retailers like Target and Walmart more frequently, as well as doing more research online before making purchases in-store (43 percent) and shopping more at local, independently-owned retailers (27 percent).
  • Out of Stock Items: Out-of-stock issues are nothing new for shoppers but 80 percent have noticed that more shelves are out-of-stock or low-in-stock at their usual retailers and grocery stores than they were 12 months ago. Items they have noticed that are unavailable include meat products (53 percent), dairy products (52 percent), boxed goods (50 percent), canned goods (48 percent), toiletries (50 percent), fresh produce (30 percent), bottled water (29 percent) animal supplies (28 percent), and medicine (23 percent).
  • Limited Loyalty: Brand loyalty is wavering as the majority of consumers (65 percent) say they would buy the next best option if their go-to brands are sold out or low-in-stock, and 59 percent say they are very willing to try a new brand and do so regularly. When it comes to what influences consumers’ loyalty to brands, the majority (75 percent) say the taste, flavor or quality of the product is most important.
  • In-Store Experiences: When asked what in-store experiences are most important to consumers, the majority (62 percent) say the ability to try on, touch and see products in-person. Other important experiences include better deals and lower prices (62 percent), the ability to confirm the quality of the product (61 percent), convenience (49 percent), in-person interactions or support from store associates (23 percent), and product sampling (14 percent).
  • Online Shopping Behavior Shift: It is not just in-store shopping that has shifted, 51 percent of consumers say their online shopping habits have changed too. Of those, 76 percent say they are making more online purchases, 26 percent have signed up for more online memberships to take advantage of shopping rewards and promotions and 20 percent have tried new brands due to their go-to brands rising in price or being out of stock.
  • Purchasing Perks: There are many perks of online shopping but 85 percent of consumers say the most important is free shipping and returns. Other important advantages include fast shipping (56 percent), avoiding crowds and contact with others (43 percent), high quality products or brands (38 percent), buy online pick up in-store options (34 percent), flexible return policy (21 percent), and buy now, pay later options (14 percent).

“This survey data has revealed that consumer habits and priorities have transformed over the past year as a result of ongoing supply chain issues and inflation,” said Brittany Billings, EVP of strategic markets and marketing at Shopkick. “In order for brands and retailers to retain customers’ share of wallet, heart and mind, it is more important than ever to deliver a frictionless – and connected – online and in-store experience to ensure a positive interaction each and every time.”

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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.