As coronavirus continues to restrict travel and create financial hardships for some Americans, it appears that mixed messages about spending habits have led to a divide between those who are hunkering down to conserve money and those that are digging a little deeper to get what they need now.
Many of the shoppers reducing their spending are seniors, who are most at risk from the virus but often live on fixed incomes and are seeking to stretch their money as far as possible. Depending on their resources, many of these Americans are now postponing any purchases beyond essentials or opting to use coupons and buy only discounted items.
On the other hand, an increasing number of shoppers continue to spend by looking for buying options that fit their current financial needs. This includes conditional payment plans like “buy now, pay later” programs, which allow consumers to purchase an item and then repayment in designated smaller installments over time. This can be a helpful option to reduce financial stress and still meet basic needs.
For retailers and businesses offering conditional payment plans, the hope is that shoppers will reap the benefits and be able to make purchases for necessary items, while maintaining a good loyalty to the businesses that provided them the option.
It’s clear that this virus has caused a divergence in spending habits among consumers, but it remains to be seen how far people are able or willing to dig deep in order to make ends meet, particularly with the uncertainty of what the future holds for the global economy.