Song of the Summer: Stimmy & Jab?

How much of an impact will the vaccine have on summer spending? The answers surprised us.

Good news: consumer confidence is reaching pre-pandemic levels and household incomes are growing (thanks to both lower unemployment and stimulus checks); our own weekly income tracker shows that consumers who say they’re making less money than before the pandemic are at the lowest point since we started surveying (29% as of April 23):

So, we asked consumers: How much do you plan to spend on products for this summer compared to summer last year?

Are vaccinated consumers spending more?

popular narrative in public discourse has been that growing numbers of vaccinated consumers, feeling fresh with confidence and imperviousness, will drive this positive economic trend with greater spending on goods and services. However, our survey found this wasn’t such a clear driver. In fact, there appears to be very little difference in the spending plans of consumers who have received (or plan to) and do not plan to get the vaccine (+9.4% vs. +8.4% more planning to be spent, respectively).

  • Interestingly, pro-vaxxers plan to outspend no-vaxxers on pet supplies by 6.4%; this, coupled with a bigger soft spot among Millennials (see below) implies more are adopting pet as they move to the suburbs and buy houses with yards for the first time, and plan to spend more time with their pets in their vaccinated futures.
  • No-vaxxers plan to outspend pro-vaxxers on sporting goods by 4.8%; this correlates with knowing that younger consumers — with Gen Z in particular favoring sporting goods purchases this Summer — are among the least likely to get the vaccine.
impact of vaccines

Younger consumers have big (spending) plans

  • At +14.75% among GenZers and +13.62% among Millennials, younger consumers’ summer spending increases are significantly higher than Gen Xers’ (+7.85%) and Baby Boomers’ (+3.83%). 
  • Highest category increases by generation:
    • Gen Z: Sporting Goods an astounding 32.5% more planned spend versus last year.
    • Millennials, who are buying more of everything versus last year, lean most heavily on sporting goods up by 18.9%
    • Gen X: Apparel/Footwear/Accessories up 8.93%
    • Baby Boomers: Pet Supplies up 7.14%
  • Other demographic groups with money burning a hole in their board and cutoff jean short pockets:
    • Mid-income earners ($50-$100K, +12.1%) report that they will increase their spending more this summer vs last compared to low- and high-income earners (<50K, + 5.2%; >$100K, +10.7%) 
    • Men plan to spend nearly 2x more vs. women (11.1% vs. 6.4%) 
    • Parents (+15%) report they will spend about 3x as much more this summer vs non-Parents (+5.4%) 
    • Urban (16.6%) significantly more than non-urban (6.7%) (suburban, 5.3%, rural, 8.1%)
    • Spending increases will be somewhat regionally concentrated: Northeast (+13.2%) and West (+10.1) vs. Midwest (+5.8%) and South (+8%)

BOXpoll™ by Pitney Bowes, a weekly consumer survey on current events, culture,and ecommerce logistics. Conducted by Pitney Bowes with Morning Consult //2094 US consumers surveyed April 2021.© Copyright Pitney Bowes Inc.

Get the BOXpoll inside scoop
Pitney Bowes is surveying consumers on a wide variety of ecommerce topics each and every week, and publishing the best of our findings on every month.
Loading form content…