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Five Years of Payments Perspectives: Slow Astern on the Time Machine

Andi DeFonce |

We didn’t quite speak with H.G. Wells, but we did take a time machine to Year 2011 and we want to share with you our findings as to what has changed and what has remained the same with the blog you’re now reading, Payments Perspectives.

In the blog’s very first post, Global Insights’ own Ted Iacobuzio published A Cash-Only Christmas?  His post shed light on holiday spending and busted some crisis-time myths along the way:

  • Luxury sales excluding jewelry for December 2010 rose 8.5 percent over the same month in 2009, while jewelry itself rose 10.4 percent.
  • MasterCard Advisors Spending Pulse indicated that US consumers spent $36.4 billion—a 15.4 percent increase from the previous year.
  • One e-zine reported that e-commerce picked up 18 percent from the previous year.
  • Americans made a point to spend within their means, and there was avoidance to racking up credit card debit.

Heading back to the future to year 2015’s holiday shopping season, it is very interesting to compare what we saw:

  • MasterCard Advisors Spending Pulse revealed that online sales and a demand for furniture (showing a double digit growth and women’s apparel boosted US retail sales 7.9 percent.
  • Online sales grew 20 percent, and consumers shifted from shopping in-store to shopping via their mobile phones.
  • Consumers used money saved from cheap gas prices for holiday shopping
  • More people are eating out.

In 2011, with the smoke from the crisis hardly cleared, consumers still wanted luxury items for themselves, but they understood that they had to live within their means (a major theme of the Road to Recovery: Why We Bank Where We Bank) or they would have to invest more time at the gym to withstand the weight of debt they would be in—hence their behavior in “cash spending” was simply an attempt to avoid piling up credit card bills.

Over time, consumers’ values shifted, as their behaviors reflect. Today we see more people more realistic in spending—wanting to invest in experiences—dinner out with the family paid for in pocketing money from lower fuel prices. With consumers today being digitally connected via mobile devices and tablets as well as PCs, there’s a premium placed on convenience, increased mobile shopping research–with eight out of 10 consumers globally using a smartphone, tablet or computer in shopping—what Global Insights refers as Omnishopping in The Retail CMO’s Guide to the Omnishopper, to find the best deals, and not spending because retailers tell them to—they instead are shopping when it fits within their schedules and disposable income flow.

Topics: Big Data, Credit, Economic Outlook, Retail Trends

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