In an interview with PYMNTS, Tam noted that the travel and luggage direct-to-consumer (D2C) site, which has also been expanding into brick-and-mortar, has seen shoppers grow increasingly savvy about when they will get the most bang for their eCommerce buck.
“We are definitely seeing consumers waiting for particular buying seasons, whether it’s Mother’s Day, certain long weekends like the Fourth of July or the upcoming Labor Day,” Tam said. “I think these are typically buying seasons anyways, but we are seeing consumers — especially with the shift over the past two, three years, with newer entrants that are becoming online purchasers — getting used to the cadence of this type of sales seasonality.”
He added that, with inflationary pressures, consumers are doing more comparison shopping, looking for the highest value as prices rise.
Indeed, macroeconomic challenges continue to weigh heavy on consumers’ minds. Data from the latest edition of PYMNTS’ Consumer Inflation Sentiment Report, “Consumer Inflation Sentiment: The Great Resignation Is Not Over,” which drew from a survey of a census-balanced panel of more than 2,200 U.S. consumers last month, revealed that shoppers’ purchasing power is 11% lower than two years ago.
Tam said he sees this shift toward comparison shopping as a benefit for brands that are already profitable, giving them a competitive edge.
“Brands that are fundamentally sound and healthy to begin with are using this period as a weapon because if you have a great product, and you believe in the value, and it is profitable in terms of unit economics, in these times, [they benefit from] not having to increase pricing,” he said.
Overall, an increasing share of commerce is occurring online. PYMNTS research from the study “Tracking the Digital Payments Takeover: Catching the Coming eCommerce Wave,” created in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), which is based on a survey of nearly 3,000 U.S. consumers, revealed that the share of retail spending that occurs in-store could drop in the next few months, as nearly one-third of consumers expect to lean more on digital channels throughout this second half of the year.
Additionally, findings from the U.S. edition of PYMNTS’ “The 2023 Global Digital Shopping Index” study, for which we surveyed more than 2,800 U.S. consumers, revealed that 34% of shoppers in the country are digital enthusiasts (those who are the most aware of digital shopping features offered by merchants and most eager to use them). That share jumped to 39% for Generation Z and millennials and 43% for bridge millennials.
Looking at the decade ahead, Tam said he expects to see significant (but relatively slow) shifts in the D2C brand landscape.
“Sustainable growth takes time,” he said. “It takes experience and learning, and I think we’re going to see the next cohort of digitally-native brands learn from the past 10, 12 years, and I think we’ll see some generational brands being built in this next cohort.”