ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How We Shop Now: Post Recession Shopping Behavior

Updated on July 1, 2017

Online and Web-Influenced Shopping

Patterns and Trends in Retail Shopping Behavior

This time last year, dismal sales forecasts were projected in retail stores and shoppers held on tightly to their disposable income due to uncertainty and fears related to the recession. There was talk about converting empty shopping malls into community colleges and dance studios. It was thought that even if retail spending increases, the increases would occur online rather than in the mall, unless retailers were able to lure shoppers back in to the mall.

This weekend, listening to the local news, I was surprised to hear that a local mall is requiring that shoppers under the age of 18 must now be accompanied by a parent. I wondered about the motivation for this change, and if it had anything at all to do with attracting shoppers to the mall, and began an updated search of retail trends. I didn’t learn about the local mall’s policy change, but there are some interesting new patterns and trends that relate to our shopping behaviors, this shopping season, ways social media, web cameras, and virtual dressing rooms are being used to make online shopping more social and interactive; and how one retailer plans to make your in store experience a Disney experience.

Consumer Spending and Confidence

July retail sales were sluggish. Sales increased slightly over last year, but not as much as was expected. July is the time stores are clearing summer stock and preparing for the Back to School season. Sales are typically mild in July, but July sales patterns can be used to predict how well the Back to School season might go. This year, discount and department stores fared well, with the exception of stores, such as Aeropostale, that cater to teens.

Consumer spending is an important component of economic recovery, and consumer confidence surveys can be used to help rate consumer confidence and predict consumer behavior. Consumer confidence slipped from 54 points in June to 50 points in July. 90 points indicates a strong economy. Consumers have been saving more and working to pay down consumer debt. Consumer savings is three times higher now than before the recession. Will consumers spend or save their disposable income? How much will we spend on what? How has the recession affected our spending behavior? How do online sales compare with in store sales?

Online Retail Sales and Spending

Some sources estimate an increase in online sales of 8% from the previous quarter of this year; a 20% increase over 2009 online sales for the same quarter. Forrester research predicts e-commerce sales in the U.S. will keep growing at a 10 percent compound annual growth rate through 2014. It forecasts online retail sales in the U.S. will be nearly $250 billion, up from $155 billion in 2009. Last year, online retail sales were up 11 percent, compared to 2.5 percent for all retail sales. In Western Europe, Forrester expects a slightly faster 11 percent growth rate for online retail sales, going from $93 billion (68 billion Euros) in 2009 to $156 billion (114.5 billion Euros) in 2014.

2010 Back to School Shopping

According to Business Wire 2010 and the eBillme Online Spending Index, 17% of consumers plan to do their back to school shopping online this year, spending $272.00 online. 18-24 year olds plan to do the most online back to school shopping this year. Shoppers plan to spend an average of $516.96 on back to school, both online and offline. Here is how we plan to spend:

Computers and electronics: $144

Clothing: $96

Books: $95

Shoes: $50

Dorm furniture: $42

Gifts: $37

School supplies: $32

Other: $20

A Deloitte survey completed July 27th predicts an improved outlook for back to school spending. It finds that nearly 30% of consumers surveyed plan to spend more this year over last year, while 17% say they will spend less. 58% of respondents say they will change the way they shop, buying more items on sale or only what the family really needs. Of families who expect to spend more, they say their children need more expensive items; computers; and that school budget cuts mean parents pay for more.

According to Deloitte, consumers are returning to department stores and discount storesthis year. The majority (89%) of shoppers will shop at discount/value stores for back to school. However, dollar stores dropped to the 3rd most popular destination from the 2nd, and now follows office supply stores. 33% of consumers, down from 40% last year, will shop at dollar stores. 31% plan to head to department stores, up from 26% last year, and putting department stores in the fourth most popular destination. 23% will go to specialty clothing stores, up 6% from last year.

Web-Influenced Retail Sales

In addition to online sales, many sales are now web influenced. Shoppers are tapping in to social networks and using mobile phones applications to enhance their shopping experiences, compare prices, view advertisements, and access coupons and discounts.

Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, now offers a feature where Amazon shoppers can connect their Amazon and Facebook accounts. This allows online shoppers to engage in social interactions and consult with others about purchasing decisions.

JC Penney just released an online application to sell back to school clothing to teenage girls. The application allows shoppers to use their web camera to enter a “virtual dressing room,” where they can browse through, try on and buy clothes. If a shopper likes an item she has virtually tried on, she can post a screen shot of herself in the outfit on facebook.

Luxottica, an eyewear company with stores like LensCrafers and Sunglass Hut is using technology to lure shoppers in to their stores. They are introducing a wind tunnel where glasses can be tried on in simulated weather conditions, and have a feature where a person can post photos of themselves onto facebook in different pairs of sunglasses. The store itself is shaped like an eye, and can be accessed like a web page; where the shopper is met by a concierge, told what the store offers, and asked how they would like to interact with the store.

SpendingPulse: 2010 Holiday Season


1. Deloitte - Outlook for Back to School Shopping

2. Deloitte - Back to School Survey PDF

3. NY Times; Luxottica

4.NY Times; JC Penney

5. NY Times; Amazon and Facebook Alliance

6. Forrester Forecast

7. NY Times; July Sales

8. Business Wire 2010 and eBillme


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)