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Consumers Are No Longer In The 'Panic Purchase' Mindset

Sensibill, a customer data platform for the financial services industry, has published its Barcode Report on consumer spending related to panic-purchases (such as toilet paper and masks), using its customer spending data, and including SKU-level data and transactions, to help uncover new insights into changing consumer spending patterns. This article is copyright 2021 The Best Customer Guide.

For the report, Sensibill amassed a database of receipts and transactions from 220,000 merchants worldwide, including 96% of the top 100 in the US. Of these merchants, the company has extracted more than 6 million unique SKUs across 32 different countries, developing more than 6,000 unique product categories. In this report, Sensibill analyzed millions of receipts from US and Canadian consumers to determine consumers’ behavior and habits as the world reopens.

Among the report’s key highlights and trends:

  • Consumer spend on toilet paper ranked No. 1 in predicting “panic-purchase” behavior when compared to other spend indicators.

  • Online searches for toilet paper during the pandemic followed consumer spend in this category. Out of the 12 months analyzed, consumer spending trends influenced the following month’s online searches 75% of the time. An increase in average consumer spend on toilet paper was followed by a 6 to 7 fold increase in online searches.

  • In September 2020, the average consumer spend on toilet paper increased by approximately 9%, which was then followed by an 80% increase in online searches in October 2020.

  • Based on Sensibill’s prediction models, the average consumer spend on toilet paper is expected to decrease at an approximate monthly rate of 10% in the next quarter, while the average consumer spend on masks is expected to grow 110% over the next quarter.

  • The latest findings support trends highlighted in the previous monthly Barcode Report, which indicated consumer spending was already returning to normal.

Izabella Gabowicz, Chief Operating Officer at Sensibill, said, “Our analysis, when layered against data from Google, revealed that consumers are no longer in ‘panic-purchase’ mode even as some regions impose new lockdown measures. It seems that consumers have now adjusted to a ‘new normal’ with respect to their spending decisions.”

Empowered with this knowledge, businesses can more effectively tailor their offerings and communications, tapping into consumer sentiment that is less emotion-driven than at earlier stages of the pandemic, and thereby come across as being more relevant in their customer interactions.

According to Gabowicz, “showing your business to be in-tune with customers’ state of mind directly supports efforts to boost customer loyalty and retention.”

This article was first published by Customer Strategy Network. Permission to use has been granted by the publisher.

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