Consumer purchases on decline | Retail Customer Experience

Isaura M. League


A majority, eight out of 10, U.S. consumers plan to make changes when it comes to product spending in the next three to six months, and there are already signs they’re making fewer purchases compared to a year ago.

That’s a prime finding from The NPD Group which reports that while general merchandise retail sales revenue is up 2%, through mid-May compared to same time last year and 22% higher than the pre-pandemic level in 2019, shoppers are not buying as many products as they did this time in 2021.

“There is a tug-of-war between the consumer’s desire to buy what they want and the need to make concessions based on the higher prices hitting their wallets,” Marshal Cohen, chief retail industry advisor for NPD, said in a press release on the group’s data findings. “And consumers aren’t just buying less stuff, they are shopping less, which means a loss of the impulse-shopping moments that are critical to retail growth.”

In the first three months of 2022, consumers bought 6% fewer items at retail than they did in the first quarter of 2021. Despite a 10% increase in the average selling price of the products purchased, this decline in demand sent the average amount spent per buyer down more than 2% during the same period. The 5% drop in purchase frequency of U.S. buyers is further contributing to the slowing of retail sales.


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