Shopping for Joy. Back-to-Life Consumer Shopping Habits.

By Idil Cakim, SVP, Research & Insights, Audacy

Consumers are stepping out, and not letting go of the shopping habits they acquired during the pandemic. Everything from curb-side pick-ups to in-store shopping is game. And online shopping trends continues to climb1

People are optimistic that they can seize back their normal lives. And they are finding ways to lift up their spirits along the way. That means shopping for all the little (and big) things that make you feel good in the moment. According to MRI/Simmons’ July 2021 COVID study, some 20% of U.S. adults are shopping for joy. Younger people (18-34 year olds) are even more likely to do so (28%). As September approaches, America is not just going back to school, it’s going back to everything – new computers, home improvement projects, health and beauty items; you name it.  

But brands cannot get complacent about consumer euphoria to shop: Loyalty is seriously at stake. During the pandemic, many bought what was available. And just as many tuned into influencers who lead crowds down paths of discovery. As new brands, deals and opportunities abound, consumers are now more likely to switch products than before. Especially those brands who court Gen Z should revamp their efforts now: Younger consumers are fickle and they are bound to make that switch. In fact, Gen Z consumers are +56% more likely than average to indicate they ‘like to change brands often for the sake of variety and novelty.’ They are also +16% more likely than average to boldly state that they would ‘gladly switch brands to use a coupon.’2

What’s a marketer to do, to acquire new customers and ride the rising tide of retail? Audio offers significant options:

  • Radio listeners are fueling their communities. They are more likely to spend (shop for groceries or non-grocery items or clothes, order take-out or dine out, visit coffee shops or hair salon/ barber or pharmacy) than typical US adults.1
  • Streamers are ahead of the spend curve in almost every category. Whether major purchases such as personal computers, or smaller items including health and beauty aids, audio streamers spend more dollars than the typical U.S. adult.
  • Digital audio fans consume media across devices and activities, offering numerous opportunities to engage them throughout the day. On a daily basis, digital audio listeners are more likely than the typical US adult to seek music, news and podcasts on audio channels, use social media, play video games and call out to their smart speakers.2
Podcast ListenersStreaming Audio Listeners

Listen to audio content such as music, news, podcasts, etc.
Use social media+11%+13%
Use video console / hand-held+26%+23%
Use smart speakers+17%+26%

It’s a new day! Positive consumer sentiment is drumming up retail activity. Advertisers that move fast to meet customers in channels they crave and love to use every day will earn their share.

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1 Source: Custom Nielsen study conducted June 2021 via an online survey, based on a weighted sample of 1000 among P18+

2 Source: 2021 Spring MRI-Simmons USA

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