There are over 2.5 million adult consumers in the Tampa Bay area. Collectively, in a typical year, these shoppers would generate $59.4 billion in retail sales. This money would be spent on cars, shoes, fast-food, entertainment, groceries, mattresses, adult beverages, haircuts, makeup, and an over-abundance of other of goods and services. Their money was being spent on both the essential and the frivolous.
The way Tampa Bay consumers spend money changed radically in March as COVID-19 began to spread. Six months into the pandemic, shopping strategies are about to change again.
It started with panic buying. Consumers began ignoring prices and were paying what was ever necessary to ensure the safety, health, and comfort of their families. According to Nielsen, this sudden spike in demand caused widespread price increases. To put it in perspective, retail prices shot-up in 64% of all product categories stocked in grocery stores.
Almost immediately, advertising messages from local retailers shifted from promises of low prices and convenience to product availability and shopper safety.
Based on new research from Nielsen, consumers' shopping strategies are beginning to shift again. This will require Tampa Bay small business owners and retailers to also change their advertising strategies, too.