Shopping Trends Report Shows Change In Spending Behavior In 2023

Forty-five percent of respondents participating in a survey said they spent less on non-essential items like travel or dining out in 2022 than they did in 2021, and 39% expect to buy fewer full-priced items this year, echoing warnings from large retailers like Macy's that consumers have changed their buying habits.

Wildfire Systems, a financial technology platform that powers reward programs and shopping companions, and research firm Big Village, have released the second annual report on consumer shopping habits.

This year’s report, Shopping in the New Normal, surveyed 1,009 consumers to determine how the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic uncertainty have changed shopping habits. It also considers the behavioral changes that respondents expect to keep.

The report also highlights growing consumer expectations of the retailers and financial institutions, indicating increased pressure on retailers, banks and other fintechs to enable the right programs and features to meet those expectations.

Economic uncertainty has changed consumer’s shopping and spending habits, and cashback rewards is taking a front seat to savings.

Some 74% of respondents to the survey said they are more interested in earning cashback rewards and using online coupons for shopping due to inflation and the uncertain economy, and 55% of respondents expect to earn cashback rewards and coupon codes for shopping online from their credit card.

Only 9% of Millennials and 13% of Gen Z reported using neither cashback or coupons when shopping online, while 27% of Baby Boomers reported using neither to save money online. Some 51% of Millennials and 43% of Gen Z favor cashback over coupons.

Some 79% of respondents reported purchasing more generic brands and discount products in 2022 vs. 2021 rather than premium brands, as well as 40% who already shop at discount retailers expect to shop at discount retailers more in 2023.

The majority of shoppers participating in the study have found a wide variety of tactics to save money while shopping, with 74% of respondents increasing their use of money-saving tools and tactics, such as using browser extensions for cashback rewards, in 2022 vs. 2021

Not surprisingly, 73% of respondents already use at least one money-saving tactic such as participating in loyalty programs, shopping at discount retailers, or earning cashback rewards; and most expect to continue employing those tactics or even increase participation this year.

Cashback is the preferred money-saving tactic across all age groups, with 45% preferring cashback rewards the most, with coupon use at 31% ranking second.

Some 75% of respondents using a browser extension use it to receive cashback rewards or activate online coupons while shopping.

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