Klarna Report Uncovers How Consumers Plan to Shop Post-pandemic

As the U.S. reopens, so are consumer wallets. According to Klarna’s new Reopening Insights report, as a majority of shoppers plan to refresh their closets, spend is also increasing over the next six months across clothing, footwear, beauty and travel.

Klarna’s extensive report, which surveyed Gen Z, Millennial, Gen X and Baby Boomer shoppers in the U.S. from January to June 2021, aims to provide retailers with insights to tackle the months ahead.

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Notably, consumers acknowledged the impact that the pandemic had on their shopping behaviors. While 69 percent of shoppers said their shopping behaviors have been altered, 80 percent said they now prefer to shop online although 80 percent of consumers also said they have missed the in-person shopping experience — especially Gen Z and Millennials.

At the same time, 74 percent of consumers said they are now seeking out flexible payment options and more than half of shoppers are on the hunt for deals and coupons. An additional 40 percent of consumers said they want easy returns.

With a large majority of consumers saying they will refresh their wardrobes, 72 percent of respondents told Klarna they will be cleaning out their closets, 59 percent said they will be purchasing new accessories, 54 percent said they plan on splurging on “going out” clothes and 54 percent said they will be investing in new basics.

Moreover, 73 percent of shoppers told Klarna they are “ready to change their styles.” How will they do this? More than a third of shoppers said they will add a splash of color, nearly a quarter said they plan to wear more patterns and 39 percent said “slipping into something a little fancier makes them feel more confident and sexy.”

This shopping will likely cause a spike in spending, with 89 percent of shoppers saying they plan to spend more money on clothes now than they did throughout the pandemic and 33 percent reporting they intend to spend $100 to $250 more each month.

According to Coresight Research, livestream shopping events are poised to become a $25 billion industry by 2023. These events, said Klarna, show promise with older audiences being the early adopters. Though only 25 percent of shoppers told the company they had attended a virtual livestream shopping event, 60 percent of shoppers who had tried it said that it improved their online shopping experience. At 28 percent and 27 percent, respectively, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers were found to be the most likely to attend these events.

Surprisingly, consumers said they are shopping for new apparel items much more than vintage pieces. In fact, 84 percent of shoppers said they would rather by new apparel items over upcycling or heading to secondhand boutiques and 93 percent of consumers said they will bypass rental clothing options in favor of never-worn-before pieces. Still, when it comes to purchasing outdoor equipment and gear, 27 percent of Gen Z shoppers and 20 percent of Millennials said that secondhand stores are their favorite places to shop.

Meanwhile, the beauty and wellness categories will continue to thrive as the country reopens, but it may be the end of DIY. The top three at-home regimens consumers will discontinue in favor of visiting salons and spas are manicures and pedicures (57 percent), haircuts (54 percent), waxing (53 percent) and facials (50 percent).

Within the fitness category, younger shoppers — 78 percent of Gen Z and 69 percent of Millennials — will be spending the most money on fitness clothes over the next six months, while Gen X and Baby Boomers say they will be spending on fitness machines for home workouts.

Interestingly, in contrast to at-home beauty and wellness behaviors, consumers who worked out at home during pandemic may be likely to continue. While 71 percent of respondents told Klarna they worked out at home during the lockdown, 46 percent said they are continuing to work out at home more often now compared to pre-pandemic. Still, 66 percent of respondents — especially Gen Zers and Millennials — say they are excited to get to the gym or fitness studio.


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