The U.S. economy has yet to really turn around. Whether the bottom in site or not, one thing is for certain - consumers are spending less and that isn't good news for performance marketers.
Performics released the second month’s consumer behavior findings from its “2009 Online Buyer Economic Trend Study” and the results are for all intents and purposes - depressing.
Family vacations and home improvements - two popular summer pastimes – are those industries feeling the greatest direct heat as a result of the economic downturn. According to the survey results, nearly 50 percent of respondents say they plan on spending less money than they normally do on home improvements this spring or summer. Similarly, nearly one out of five respondents cancelled summer vacation plans due to the economy. Twenty to 34 percent of consumers scaled back vacation plans since 2008 in terms of amount of money spent (33 percent decrease), number of trips being taken (32 percent decrease), length of stay (25 percent decrease), distance traveled (20 percent decrease), and number of trips involving air travel (34 percent decrease).
Should you scale back your marketing or ad spending in the home and travel areas?
While some consumers may cut back on spending, many plan to maintain their past spending levels. For example, 43 percent of consumers plan to spend the same as they normally do on home improvements. The May study also asked about the recent Mother’s Day holiday; although 40 percent of respondents spent less money on mom in 2009 than they normally do, more than half said they spent the same this year as last year.
“From a low-key Mother’s Day to cutbacks on summer travel and home improvement, it’s clear consumers continue to tighten their belts and be more selective with their spending,” notes Michael Kahn, SVP of Marketing at Performics. “Advertisers across the board, especially in highly affected segments like travel and home improvement, must acknowledge these behaviors and find creative ways to engage their consumer audience online and stay competitive.”