2011 Consumer Plans Are Good News for Marketers

After several years of belt tightening, consumers appear ready to begin spending on themselves again. Personal savings is still a top goal but spending on categories like personal fitness and electronics has entered the picture. In addition, the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker indicates that marketers of appearance-​related products have reason to cheer this year.

The American Express study found consumers plan to fulfill New Year’s Resolutions by spending on products and services designed to help them achieve better fitness this year. Nearly half, 47%, of consumers will spend more on this category. Here are the planned averages:

  • Gym memberships: $131 a month
  • Fitness equipment: $127 a month
  • Personal trainer: $75 a month
  • Fitness-​related video games: $60 a month

Consumers also plan to boost spending on grooming (73%), clothing (61%) and jewelry (34%).  While they are out shopping, consumers will be looking for new entertainment options. About 1/​3rd of consumers say they will buy portable media players, tablet computers or e‑book readers this year.

But many U.S. adults have not forgotten the painful lessons of the recession. Over 80% of consumers still have financial goals in 2011. These include:

  • Reducing debt 17%
  • Saving money each month 15%
  • Buying only what they can afford 14%
  • Saving for travel 6%

Last year’s survey revealed that the average consumer planned to save $14,000. This year, the savings target is significantly lower, $ 2,600. The difference, $11,400 will be spent. This kind of jump in consumer spending should be a huge incentive for marketers to begin advertising.

[Source: Americans to Invest in Themselves in 2011; Consumers Plan to Spend More Green on Grooming. Americanexpress​.com. 6 Jan. 2011. Web. 24 Jan. 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.