Consumers still spending money at retail, easing economic concerns
During the economic recession, consumers closed their wallets and opted to only purchase the bare necessities. However, it seems Americans are increasingly opening up and spending their hard earned dollars online and at physical retail locations, according to a new report from the Commerce Department.
In May, overall retail sales increased by 0.6 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted $421.2 billion.
This outpaced experts’ forecasts, which called for a much smaller 0.4 percent growth. Increased sales should be reassuring news for retailers as they head into the summer shopping season, as consumers are showing resilience to a still-soft economic landscape. Despite higher taxes and a wavering labor market, consumers continue to spend money at eCommerce and retail locations across the country.
“U.S. consumers continue to be the gift that keeps on giving,” said Jim Baird, chief investment officer for Plante Moran Financial Advisors, told the Wall Street Journal. “Slow, steady improvement in the jobs market, the resurgence in home values and rising stock prices have boosted consumer spirits and catalyzed spending.”
Using eCommerce software to prepare for summer shoppers
As the summer months approach, retailers should be sure to capitalize on increased spending by offering relevant products and special promotions. Of course, this strategy will depend largely for the retailer in question. A toy store could sell pool accessories and waterguns, apparel stores may want to begin stocking shorts and other warm weather attire and office supply stores could carry back-to-school commodities for the end of the season.
Stocking the right products to engage summertime shoppers is a complex task, and it’s not always evident which items will be a hit for that season. You must stay on top of trends, follow market leaders and fortunately, merchants can use eCommerce software such as SalesWarp to forecast and guide their preparation for the summer season.
By utilizing the right software, retailers can optimize their inventory by using customer purchase data, ensuring they’re always ordering enough product to meet demands. This level of insight prevents merchants from buying items that won’t sell well and avoid running out of valuable stock during peak seasons, which for many retailers, is the summer.