Companies see an opportunity with more relief money headed to consumers
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Over the past few days, some people have started to receive their $1,400 relief payments, and Wednesday morning, banks and credit unions are receiving the government funds they need to distribute payments to even more people — tens of millions, according to the American Bankers Association.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates that this latest round of direct payments adds up to more than $400 billion. And retailers are competing to receive some of this as people spend.
Consumers are likely to spend this latest round of relief payments quickly, said Matt Kleinschmit, CEO of the market research consultancy Reach3 Insights. On people’s shopping lists are “things like groceries, household essentials, clothing, footwear, outerwear, etc. So it really is a competition,” Kleinschmit said.
And it’s a competition that’s playing out online where consumers have been shopping throughout the pandemic, said Sucharita Kodali at Forrester Research.
“That’s where they expect to see any deals or offers that are there,” Kodali said.
And throughout the pandemic, many brands have been focusing on selling products directly to consumers, said marketing professor Barbara Kahn at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. That’s given those companies a lot of consumer shopping data.
“They know what their purchase histories are, they know what their preferences are, and it’s much easier to get tailored and personalized messaging,” Kahn said.
She said much of that messaging is likely to come from apparel, entertainment and other industries that have struggled throughout the pandemic.
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