In a matter of days during March 2020, the U.S. changed in so many ways – employment rates tanked, businesses shuttered, schools kicked students off campus, people went into hiding and once common household products became hard-to-find items people strategized to locate. Save for those alive during the rationing days of WWII, no American could comprehend what the country, and world, was crossing into and the changes they would experience.
How that manifested varied by region, personal needs and even by household. In some cases, rulebooks were thrown out and people had to adjust their lives on the fly. This meant cancelling long anticipated summer trips, home schooling, wrestling with unemployment (or working overtime in some industries) and finding ways to fill unexpected free time (or spend extra money) now at the feet of many. There were obvious ways people filled their idle days – home-cooked meals, new exercise routines, indulging more than normal (alcohol sales skyrocketed), baking bread (which I never really understood) and of course streaming content and diving deeper into social media.
Given the global pandemic and unknown future, not to mention the roller coaster economy, I don’t think many saw the sizable purchases people were on the cusp of making. After consuming industry research, compiling articles and studying trends, we thought it would be fun to document some of the more interesting and surprising items Americans purchased during the pandemic. Below are several points that grabbed our attention, because, well, we knew people were spending more time at home, but enough for pool purchases to skyrocket 200%?
This graphic highlights only the tip of the iceberg of big-ticket purchases. On the flip side, there are many more everyday purchase trends to pay close attention to. Expanded fulfillment options like buy online/pick up in store, a continued rise in subscription services to try the latest products, and commerce via social media platforms, to name a few.
Understanding trends provides insight into the motivation of groups of people and helps marketers capitalize on opportunities. For a media agency like Morgan & Co., trends lead to concepts of audience segments which ultimately drive media strategy. If your brand needs help navigating trends to reach a smart media strategy, contact us. As numbers people, we know a thing or two about audience segmentation, media strategy and analytics.