Amidst the Delta variant, US consumers exhibited strong optimism and spend in July and August, driven by higher-income and younger consumers.
By Tamara Charm, Janette Hwang, Jackie Laird, Nancy Lu, Jason Rico Saavedra, Andrea Leon, Daniela Sancho Mazzara, Anirvan Maiti, Kelsey Robinson and Tom Skiles – Given the recent surge of the Delta variant, we will continue to track changes in consumer sentiment and behavior as the next normal continues to evolve.
Consumer optimism and spending have remained strong
High levels of optimism and spend through July and August, even as the Delta variant spread in the US, have been driven by higher-income and younger consumers (optimism at 57 percent and 59 percent; spending growth of 11 percent and 15 percent year over year relative to pre-COVID-19 respectively). Lower-income and older consumers are less optimistic (optimism at 36 percent and 35 percent), and lower-income consumers in particular are spending less (spend declined 9 percent year over year relative to pre-COVID-19). While the intent to continue to splurge is less now than it was in February, it is still strong among younger, higher-income consumers.
Omnichannel is ascendant and here to stay
Even as consumers go back to stores, with 5 percent growth year over year in August, e-commerce sales also continued to experience strong growth, rising by about 30 percent year over year. This has meant elevated online penetration of about 30 percent higher than pre-COVID-19. Omnichannel shopping is ascendant, with about 60 to 70 percent of consumers across categories shopping/researching both in store and online and social media influencing up to 40 percent of consumers in categories like jewelry, accessories, and fitness. more>