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American Consumers in 2020


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American Consumers in 2020

American Consumers in 2020 offers a comprehensive view of the future in order to provide marketers and retailers with a vision of what American consumers will look like, how much they will have to spend, how they will be shopping and what they will be buying in 2020. The report presents a plausible scenario of how American consumers will evolve and the economy will unfold over the next five years so that marketers can align their current strategies to meet the challenges of the future.

Although the Great Recession officially ended five years ago, the American economy has failed to achieve the robust growth experienced in the aftermath of the economic downturns experienced in previous decades. As a result, Packaged Facts expects that American marketers and retailers in 2020 will find themselves operating in an economy reflecting the “new normal” of modest growth forecast in 2015 by agencies such as the Federal Reserve and Congressional Budget Office.

Yet, according to Packaged Facts National Online Consumer Survey data, as American consumers look ahead five years from now, they have a much less dystopian vision of the future than might be expected, given the harsh realities many have faced in recent years. For example, only a small minority expect that global warming will make life harder in five years. While most doubt that the American economy will be in good shape five years from now, they are optimistic about their own job prospects and overall personal financial situation.

The report highlights a series of challenges that marketers and retailers need to understand so they can convert them into opportunities in 2020. For example, as a result of demographic changes, marketing strategies tied to the needs of traditional two-parent-with-children households will be increasingly outmoded. The youth market will shrink and the spending power of older consumers will grow. Retailers will be forced to find ways to deal with a shrinking middle class created by a deeply entrenched two-tier economy, frugal spending habits instilled by the Great Recession and the growth of the sharing economy that will entice more consumers to rent or re-use products rather than buy new ones.

Technological change on both the shopper and retailer side of the shopping equation will result in a dramatic shift in the options available to consumers as they shop and pay for what they buy in brick-and-mortar stores in 2020. Virtual reality, 3D printing, beacon technology enabling hyper-personalized in-store messaging to shoppers’ smartphones and wearables allowing hands-free payment are just a few of the innovations that will be on the way to changing the in-store shopping environment by 2020.

At the same time, brick-and-mortar retailers will be under increasing competitive pressure from online retailers that are able to meet the demands of customers ordering up products for same-day delivery. In 2020 brick-and-mortar retailers will face a significant problem in attracting shoppers, especially Millennials, unless they implement technological innovations creating a shopping experience that integrates in-store and online shopping.

Scope of the Report

This Packaged Facts report forecasts how the American economy will perform and envisions how the American consumer will behave in 2020. It includes an analysis of the trends likely to shape the demographic profile of consumers in 2020, a review of the factors that will influence the magnitude of consumer spending in 2020, an assessment of how consumer spending patterns are likely to change between 2015 and 2020, and a projection of shifts in the shopping and retailing environment that are likely to occur by 2020.

Methodology

Consumer data in this report come from two primary sources. The first source is the Packaged Facts National Online Consumer Survey conducted in August 2015. These surveys reflect a panel of 2,000 U.S. adults (age 18+) that is balanced to the national population on the primary demographic measures of gender, age bracket, race/ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, presence or absence of children in the household and household income.

Another source of consumer data in this report is the Simmons National Consumer Study (NCS) for Winter 2014—which was fielded from February 2014 through March 2015—and Spring 2005 (for trend analysis tables) from Experian Marketing Services. On an ongoing basis, Experian Marketing Services conducts booklet-based surveys of a large and random sample of consumers (approximately 25,000 for each 12-month survey compilation) who in aggregate represent a statistically accurate cross-section of the U.S. population.

U.S. Government sources include the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Federal Reserve System, including the Atlanta and St. Louis regional Federal Reserve Banks, and the General Accountability Office. The report cites surveys and studies conducted by a wide range of private sector organizations and is also based upon data collected from a wide range of industry sources, including company websites, trade publications, business newspapers and magazines and consumer blogs.


  • Executive Summary
    • Scope of the Report
    • Methodology
      • Table Selected Data Sources
    • Insights and Opportunities
      • What the Future Holds for the American Economy
      • Demographic Shifts Will Change the Marketing and Retail Environment
      • Frugal Spending Habits Learned in Great Recession Will Die Hard
      • Consumers Foresee Demise of Traditional Print Media but Not TV
      • Technology Will Start to Revolutionize the Shopping Experience
      • Millennials Will Lead the Retail Revolution
      • Boomers Will Provide Major Opportunity for Retailers in 2020
      • Multicultural Consumers More Prominent in 2020
      • Affluent Consumers Will Be Key in 2020
    • Demographic Profile of American Consumers in 2020
      • An Aging Consumer Population
      • A More Diverse Population of Consumers
      • Fewer Traditional Households
      • A Growing Divide between Haves and Have-Nots
    • The American Consumer Economy in 2020
      • Factors Supporting Robust Consumer Spending by 2020
      • Factors Leading to Modest Consumer Spending by 2020
      • Projected Consumer Spending in 2020
    • Consumer Spending Patterns in 2020
      • Trends Affecting Consumer Expenditure Patterns in 2020
      • Changes in Consumer Spending Patterns in 2020
    • American Shoppers and Retailers in 2020
      • Millennial Minimalism Will Change Ground Rules
      • Consumers Will Expect More On-Demand Products and Services
      • Consumers Will Demand Hyper-Personalized Attention from Retailers
      • Shoppers Will Become "Channel Agnostics" and "Omniconsumers"
      • Retail Channels Will Reconfigure to Adapt to Shrinking Middle Class
      • Technology Will Transform Shopping
  • Insights and Opportunities
    • Topline Insights
      • What the Future Holds for the American Economy
        • Table Measures of Consumer Optimism about the Future Five Years from Now, 2015
      • Demographic Shifts Will Change the Marketing and Retail Environment
        • Table Selected Demographic Trends Affecting the American Consumer Economy in 2020
      • Frugal Spending Habits Learned in Great Recession Will Die Hard
        • Table Consumer Views of Their Likely Spending Patterns over the Next Few Years, 2015
      • Technology Will Start to Revolutionize the Shopping Experience
        • Table Consumer Views of What Shopping Will Be Like Five Years from Now, 2015
      • Consumers Foresee Demise of Traditional Print Media but Not TV
        • Table Consumer Views of What Media Usage Will Be Like Five Years from Now, 2015
    • Marketing Opportunities in 2020
      • Millennials Will Lead the Retail Revolution
        • Table Use of Mobile Phones When Shopping by Age Group, 2015
      • Millennials Will Be Elusive Target for Brick-and-Mortar Retailers
        • Table Attitudes toward Use of the Internet for Shopping by Age Group, 2015
        • Table Selected Online Shopping Activities by Age Group, 2015
        • Table Attitudes toward Shopping by Age Group, 2015
      • Boomers Will Provide Major Opportunity for Retailers in 2020
        • Table Distribution of Aggregate Household Net Worth by Age of Householder, 2011 (in billion $)
      • Boomers Will Offer Hope to Brick-and-Mortar Retailers in 2020
        • Table Retail Outlets Shopped in Last Three Months by 60- to 69-Year-Olds, 2005 vs. 2015
        • Table Type of Store Where Made a Purchase in Last Four Weeks by Age Group, 2015
      • Affluent Consumers Will Be Key in 2020
      • Multicultural Consumers More Prominent in 2020
  • Demographic Profile of American Consumers in 2020
    • An Aging Consumer Population
      • 2020 Population Marked by Maturing Millennials and Aging Boomers
        • Table Projected U.S. Population Growth by Age Groups, 2015 vs. 2020 (in thousands)
      • Youth Population Will Decline as Older Consumers Come to the Fore
        • Table Projected Population Growth by Selected Age Groups, 2015 vs. 2020 (in thousands)
        • Table Selected Age Groups as Percent of Total Population, 2015 vs. 2020
    • A More Diverse Population of Consumers
      • Growth of Multicultural Population Will Accelerate
      • Hispanic Population Will Register Highest Growth
        • Table Projected Population Growth by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2015 vs. 2020 (in thousands)
      • America Will Still Beckon to Immigrants as Land of Opportunity
        • Table Projected Population Growth in Population by Nativity, 2015 vs. 2020 (in thousands)
      • Kids and Teens Will Form the Vanguard of More Diverse Population
        • Table Change in Size of Multicultural and Non-Hispanic White Populations under 15 Years of Age, 2000-2013
        • Table Non-Hispanic Whites as Percent of Entire Population Under 15 Years of Age, 2000 vs. 2013
      • Color Lines Will Blur
      • Acculturation Will Have Major Impact on Latino Consumers
        • Table Nativity of Hispanics, 2000 vs. 2013 (in thousands)
        • Table Growth in Number of U.S.- and Foreign-Born Hispanics, 2000 vs. 2013 (in thousands)
        • Table English-Language Ability of Hispanics Five Years Old and Over, 2000 vs. 2013 (in thousands)
        • Table Hispanics Five Years Old and Over by Language Use, 2000 vs. 2013
        • Table Language Media Preferences of Hispanic Adults, 2014
        • Table Measures of Acculturation of Hispanic Adults by Language Spoken at Home, 2014
    • Fewer Traditional Households
      • Smaller Households without Children Will Trend Upward
      • Single-Parent Households Will Grow in Importance
      • Women Will Head More Households
      • LGBT Families Will Become More Prominent Market Segment
        • Table Estimates of Same-Sex Couples by American Community Survey, 2008-2013
    • A Growing Divide between Haves and Have-Nots
      • Long-Term Trends Lead to a Two-Tier Economy
      • Wealth Disparity Even Greater than Income Gap
      • Hollowing Out of Middle-Income Consumer Segment Will Have Major Impact
        • Table Median Net Worth of Highest-Income and Middle-Income Families, Selected Years 1989-2013 (in thousand $)
      • Stark Economic Differences within Large Metro Areas
  • The American Consumer Economy in 2020
    • Factors Supporting Robust Consumer Spending by 2020
      • Household Formation Will Accelerate
      • Reviving Housing Market Will Boost Economy
      • Boomers Will Work Longer
        • Table Size of Civilian Labor Force by Age Group, Selected Years 1992-2022 (projected) (in thousands)
      • Affluent Consumers Have Regained Confidence
        • Table Percent Annual Change in Average Consumer Spending by Third and Top Quintiles of Income, 2005-2013
      • Latinos and African Americans Still Believe in the American Dream
    • Factors Leading to Modest Consumer Spending by 2020
      • Great Recession Casts a Pall on the Future
      • Aging Population Will Slow Down the Economy
      • Two-Tier Economy Will Hamper Growth
      • Too Many Part-Time and Temp Workers Will Place Drag on Spending
      • High Rental Costs Will Dampen Discretionary Spending
      • Slow Growth in Labor Force Will Hamper Economy
      • Sharing and "No Ownership" Culture Will Temper Consumer Spending
      • Economy Weighed Down by Educational Loans
      • Baby Bust Will Prove to Be Near-Term Economic Drag
      • Too Many Boomers Lack Sufficient Retirement Resources
    • Projected Consumer Spending in 2020
      • Economic Forecasts Project Modest Growth through 2020
        • Table Selected Economic Indicators, Congressional Budget Office, 2015 vs. 2020
        • Table Economic Projections of Federal Reserve Board Presidents and Federal Reserve Bank Presidents, June 2015 2015 and Beyond
      • Consumer Spending Will Grow Steadily Through 2020
  • Consumer Spending Patterns in 2020
    • Trends Affecting Consumer Expenditure Patterns in 2020
      • Overview
      • Consumer Spending Has Settled into the "New Normal"
      • Essential Spending Has Been Eating Up Household Budgets
      • Middle-Income Consumers Hit Hard
      • Even the Affluent Closed Their Wallets after the Great Recession
        • Table Percent Difference in Selected Consumer Expenditures in 2007 and 2013, Consumer Units with Income of Less than $70,000 vs. Consumer Units with Income of $150,000 or More
      • Boomers Have Begun to Drive Consumer Spending
      • "Leading-Edge" Boomers Are Spending More on Discretionary Items
    • Changes in Consumer Spending Patterns in 2020
      • Boomers Will Capture Largest Share of Aggregate Income
        • Table Projected Aggregate Money Income by Age Group, 2015 vs. 2020 (in billion $)
      • Aging Population Will Affect Consumer Spending in 2020
        • Table Age Groups as Percent of Consumer Units, 2014 Population and Projected 2020 Population
        • Table Average Consumer Expenditures by Age of Consumer Unit Reference Person, 2014 (in billion $)
        • Table Percent Allocated to Selected Consumer Expenditure Categories, Consumer Units with Reference Person 55 Years Old and Over vs. All Consumer Units, 2014
      • Maturing Millennials Will Spark Shift in Spending
        • Table Percent Allocated to Selected Consumer Expenditure Categories, Consumer Units with 25- to 44-Year Old Householder vs. All Consumer Units, 2014
      • Multicultural Consumers Will Grow in Importance
        • Table Projected Consumer Expenditures by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2015 vs. 2020 (in billion $)
      • Multicultural Consumers Will Affect Overall Expenditure Patterns
        • Table Percent Allocated to Selected Consumer Expenditure Categories by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2014
      • Two-Tier Economy Will Have an Impact
        • Table Consumer Expenditures by Consumer Units in Highest Income Decile
  • American Shoppers and Retailers in 2020
    • Cultural Trends Affecting the Future of Shopping and Retail
      • Millennial Minimalism Will Change Ground Rules
      • Sharing Economy Will Expand
      • Consumers Will Expect More On-Demand Products and Services
      • Same-Day Delivery Will Take Hold
        • Table Where Consumers Have Purchased Products Online in the Past 12 Months for Same-Day Home Delivery, 2015
      • Many Consumers See Drones in their Future
      • Consumers Will Demand Hyper-Personalized Attention from Retailers
      • Shoppers Will Become "Channel Agnostics" and "Omniconsumers"
      • Socially Responsible Marketers Will Win Out
      • Authentic Marketing and Artisanal Products Will Matter More
    • Economic Forces Shaping the Future of Retail
      • Two-Tier Economy Will Continue to Disrupt Retail Industry
      • Retail Channels Will Reconfigure to Adapt to Shrinking Middle Class
    • Impact of Technology on the Shopping Experience
      • Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Will Look to "Internet of Things"
        • Table Shopping Habits of Consumers Who "Often Buy Products Online for Home Delivery," 2015
      • Virtual Reality Will Transform Shopping
      • 3D Printing Will Enable Shoppers to Make Their Own Thing
      • Lowe's Imagines the Future
      • Amazon Taps into the Future of Customer Convenience
      • Beacon Technology Will Be Widespread
      • In-Store Use of Mobile Phones Has Much Room for Growth
        • Table Use of Mobile Phone as Shopping Tool in Retail Environment in Last 12 Months, 2015
      • Privacy Concerns Will Create Challenges for Retailers
    • The Future of Mobile Payments
      • Technology Will Change How Consumers Pay for What They Buy
      • Wearables Will Play Greater Role in Shopping and Retailing
      • In-Store Payments Still Made the Old-Fashioned Way
        • Table Payment Methods Used at Cash Register or Actual Sales Location in Last 12 Months, 2014
      • Pace of Change on Payments Front Will Be Slow
      • Millennials Will Help Change Payments Landscape
    • The Future of Grocery Shopping
      • The Rise of "Delivery Nation" Will Cause Shifts in Food Industry
      • Grocery Shopping Will Be Very Different in 2020
        • Table Percent Shopping for Groceries within Last Month Online or Using a Mobile App, 2015
        • Table Where Consumers Shopped for Groceries within Last Month Online or Using a Mobile App, 2015
      • Supermarket Mobile Apps Engage Foodies
        • Table Percent Who Have Used and Will Continue To Use a Supermarket Mobile App by Type of Activity, Foodies vs. All Adults, 2015
      • Food Marketers and Retailers Will Be Forced to Adapt

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