As consumers assess the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, shopping habits have undergone a dramatic shift. Some shoppers are opting to tighten their budgets, while others are using layaway or buy-now-pay-later schemes to make deferred payments.
According to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, consumer spending has fallen about 3.5%, and the data indicates that most of the decrease was attributed to the decline of durable goods. This could be due to increased anxiety about the future combined with the need for immediate financial savings. Americans have also been cutting back on going out to eat and entertainment, as well as clothing.
On the other hand, increased desperation for late-model goods such as cars, electronics, and furniture has given rise to more savvy payment options like buy-now-pay-later schemes, which lets shoppers purchase products now and pay in small installments over a longer period of time. These popular services are being utilized by a larger portion of the population as an alternative to traditional financing arrangements, such as loans or credit cards.
Additionally, more shoppers are turning to layaway plans, which allow customers to pay off items over a predetermined period of time. Similarly, many retailers are also offering discounts of up to 25% on top of layaway plans to encourage shoppers to buy now and pay later.
It’s clear that, as consumers adjust to today’s economic climate, they are adopting different methods of spending and payment plans that better suit their current financial situation. Shopping habits are in flux, and the way people spend money is likely to stay in flux for some time.