Consumers are more confident, but they're
still spending cautiously.
Slow as it may be, the economy is gradually recovering from the great recession of 2008. Unemployment is declining and consumers are growing more optimistic, which generally translates into greater discretionary budgets and more retail purchases. That should be great news for merchants going forward.
However, as a recent forecast from AnyCodes noted, that's not necessarily the case. People are growing more confident, which generally has a strong correlation with more spending, but the wounds of the recession are still fresh for many Americans
. Instead of opening up their wallets and going on a shopping spree, they are trying to be more realistic about what they can afford.
According to the AnyCodes forecast, 40 percent of shoppers are either confident or very confident about the future, which is an 8 percent jump compared to the same time last year. Approximately half of customers have become more practical and realistic about their purchases. Additionally, four in 10 customers have become more budget conscious. Consumers' goal for 2014 isn't to pamper themselves with commodities; instead, they just want to pay off any debt they've amassed over the past few years.
Appealing to budget-constrained shoppers
Online stores have long held the reputation of being the place where consumers can find the best sales and lowest prices on products.
"In 2014, shoppers will look for the best values online," the report added. "The convenience and low prices of eCommerce, and the use of coupons, has doubled sales in just eight years. Since 2006, online sales have risen from just under 3 percent to nearly 10 percent of total retail sales."