Stick to new COVID-19-era habits, or go back to the old ways of doing things? For most US consumers, the answer seems to be “both.” Two years into the pandemic, people across the country have discovered that they like shopping online, but they’re also going back to brick-and-mortar stores. They’re venturing out of their homes again, but they’re continuing to spend money on home improvement. And—in what could be boon or bane for manufacturers and retailers—today’s consumers are quite willing to abandon their once-preferred brands in favor of new ones that offer value or novelty.
The following seven charts highlight findings from our latest Consumer Pulse survey, which was in the field between February 25 and March 1, 2022, and garnered responses from more than 2,100 US adults (sampled and weighted to match the general US population). The survey results, combined with third-party data on consumer spending, provide insights into how US consumer sentiment and behavior have been evolving since the COVID-19 pandemic began. And the evolution continues: this survey did not address the invasion of Ukraine in any form. We believe, therefore, that the results do not capture the full effect of the invasion on US consumer sentiment.
It remains to be seen how—and how intensely—recent geopolitical and economic developments will affect US consumers’ outlook. What’s clear is that, more than ever, companies must stay on top of consumers’ fast-changing attitudes and behaviors.
The next US Consumer Pulse survey will be in the field in autumn 2022. Watch for our analysis of those survey results and our updated perspectives on the state of the US consumer, forthcoming on McKinsey.com. In the meantime, listen to the authors discuss the latest Consumer Pulse findings in this McKinsey on Consumer and Retail podcast episode.