Survey: Tariffs will change consumer shopping habits

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Survey: Tariffs will change consumer shopping habits

08/06/2019
40% of the 60% of respondents aware of tariffs have already noticed higher prices in stores.

Shoppers are about to change the way they shop after another round of tariffs are imposed on the remainder of Chinese imports to the U.S.

According to a survey conducted by Redwood City, Calif.-based Shopkick, a technology company that develops shopping apps for retailers, 60% of American consumers say they will change the retailers where they currently shop because of the imposed tariffs. Of that percentage that’s aware of the tariffs, almost 40% reported having already seen higher prices in stores. Further, 38% of shoppers said they expect a household cost increase of up to $500, and 30% anticipated an increase of more than $1,000 because of higher prices.

“If the tariffs announced by the current administration are implemented, annualized consumer cost is likely to double,” stated Shopkick. “While the arrival and scope of the tariffs remain uncertain, it’s clear that consumers are thinking ahead and plan to adjust their shopping habits and destinations, ushering in a new age of consumer shopping habits that American retailers will be forced to adapt to.”

The results of the survey come shortly after President Donald Trump announced another 10% tariff on the remainder of Chinese imports. Many consumer products — including clothing, shoes and electronics — had been spared from the last three rounds of tariffs. But the remaining $300 billion of China-made goods are now targeted.

Other survey findings included:

  • 44% said they planned to cut down on shopping.
  • 29% said they were stocking up on goods now.
  • 25% said they would switch to U.S.-made goods.

When it came to the various generations:

  • 34% of Gen Z respondents are aware of tariffs, compared with 74% of baby boomers.
  • 50% of millennials plan to cut down on spending versus 38% of baby boomers; the majority 62% of whom said that they would seek alternative options to cutting costs.
  • 40% of millennials expect that tariffs would cost their households up to $500 annually, while 31% of Gen Z respondents estimated the same monetary impact.

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