Saturday Data Dive: Even the Rich Are Now Trying to Save Time and Money
Throughout the pandemic, we have all collectively acquired a whole new set of digital gadgets and pastimes, but as this episode gives way to the jarring inflationary plunge, consumers of all ages and walks of life incomes are now reprioritizing how they spend, shop and relax – even the wealthy who have, until now, been able to maintain their status quo.
However, even the highest earning Americans no longer find themselves immune to the effects of inflation in 2022, making the need to save money and time more pressing.
This shift, or spread, is evident in the reams of data collected and analyzed by PYMNTS over the past few months, as falling COVID-19 infection rates have taken precedence over runaway inflation and people began to show shifts in sentiment and spending that reflected the new austerity.
In this inaugural edition of Saturday Data Dive, we call in a series of revealing statistics and findings from the latest PYMNTS studies and interviews that collectively show how people across the income spectrum are handling financial strain.
More top earners go paycheck to paycheck
Not so long ago, even a low six-figure salary significantly shielded these workers from economic shocks, but that advantage is fast fading.
According to New Reality Check: The Paycheck-To-Paycheck Report: The Consumer Savings Edition, the share of high-income consumers living paycheck to paycheck increased by nine percentage points in June. Our latest survey found that the share of consumers earning more than $100,000 a year and living paycheck to paycheck rose from 36% in May to 45% in June.
Read more: New Reality Check: The Paycheck-to-Paycheck Report: The Consumer Savings Edition
The growth of BNPL
Another measure of how well-off Americans feel about their finances is their increasing use of buy now, pay later (BNPL) installment credit.
Not historically associated with high earners who have savings and revolving credit to make any purchase they might want, this group uses BNPL more as it is to cover higher priced luxury items than the wealthy still want, just on more affordable terms.
The Buy Now, July/August Pay Later Tracker®, a collaboration between PYMNTS and Splitit, notes that “Older, wealthier consumers are rapidly embracing BNPL as a way to simplify financing for larger, more expensive items and reduce impact on their credit ratings. .”
Merchants love it for different reasons. As the Tracker states, “BPL offers high-end retailers the same benefits as other sectors: it leads to larger transactions and increased customer conversion. Research has shown that 64% of BNPL users are more likely to buy if BNPL is available, for example, and merchants who advertised the ability to split purchases into multiple smaller installments saw a 56% increase in average volume of orders. »
Get your copy: Buy Now, Pay Later® Tracker
Mute Mobility Pinched Paychecks
Ah, making decisions. Consumers in all walks of life are trading or otherwise looking for ways to conserve right now and the “Move” pillar of the connected economy is feeling it too.
In PYMNTS’ August ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report: Paycheck-to-Paycheck Consumers Are Disengaging Digitally, data shows depressed ride-sharing activity rebounding for high earners, but still not to levels before the pandemic. Again, high earners are not immune.
According to the study, “the use of [ride-hailing] apps have plateaued among those who don’t live paycheck to paycheck and those who live paycheck to paycheck but have no trouble paying their bills. This data once again seems to suggest that money may be a factor in many financially-struggling consumers’ decision to cut back on digital travel and commuting apps.
Read more: The ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report: Paycheck-to-Paycheck Consumers Are Digitally Opting Out
The value of time saved
It’s not all about the Benjamins when it comes to saving. Time is precious – a fact we feel keenly when queuing or going through countless online payment experiences.
This makes the Buy Button a more popular feature, as we see in the PYMNTS 2022 Buy Button Report: Accelerating Checkout Optimization study. This survey of over 800 merchants found that Buy Buttons save consumers 148 million hours every year when paying online.
With a pay-per-buy button lasting an average of 68 seconds inline, it’s somewhat surprising that smaller e-commerce sites offer more than their larger competitors. “The data reveals that small merchants in particular are embracing Buy Button technology. In Q2 2022, PYMNTS found that 87% of small eTailers – defined as those generating less than $100 million in annual sales – offer at least one buy button at checkout. In contrast, 73% of large merchants – those that generate $1.5 billion or more per year – support buy buttons,” the study said.
Download report: Buy Button Report 2022: Accelerating Checkout Optimization
Bring the smart carts
For a physical manifestation of the savings mindset, look no further than the smart cart trend at brick-and-mortar retailers. This is another checkout simplification technology to streamline shopping expeditions, eliminating the worst elements – unable to find an item and lines – out of the equation.
Speaking to PYMNTS’ Karen Webster, Lindon Gao, CEO of Caper and VP of Instacart, described how the company’s Caper Cart uses artificial intelligence (AI), computer vision technology and capabilities payment systems built into carts to create the perfect grocery store visit.
Caper Cart is added to the Instacart Platform technology suite, Gao said, which combines for a very different kind of grocery experience. “We could connect Instacart’s e-commerce activation platform to Instacart’s in-store activation platform and funnel them together so that customers can place pickup orders online, and eventually staff could use a Caper Cart to fill those orders and deliver them directly to customers,” he said.
This is good news for stores and shoppers alike, he added, saying: “By making it easier for customers to checkout, retailers now have the option of taking their staff who typically stand behind a till recorder [and help shoppers]. Now they can walk on the floor and help customers inside the store, enriching that experience. I think ultimately it’s going to yield a much higher bottom line benefit for retailers than just achieving labor efficiency. »
Read more: Smart carts with integrated payments put consumers in control of payment