Erica Forrette

Wildfire’s New Shopping Trends Report Indicates the Majority of Consumers Plan to Sustain Changes to Spending Behavior Amidst Economic Uncertainty

Survey: 87% of consumers who changed shopping habits due to the economy say they plan to sustain those behavior changes going forward, pressuring banks and retailers to offer money-saving options

SAN DIEGO, June 13, 2023 /PR Newswire/–  Wildfire Systems, an innovative fintech platform that powers white-label rewards programs and shopping companions,  in conjunction with research firm Big Village, today released its second annual report on consumer shopping habits. This year's report, "Shopping in the New Normal," covers how the pandemic and subsequent economic uncertainty have changed consumer shopping habits - and which behavioral changes respondents expect to sustain in the years to come.

The survey of 1,009 adults nationwide offers insights into how consumer shopping and spending behavior changed in 2022 in light of record-high inflation, and respondents' use of shopping rewards programs and other money-saving tools to stretch their budgets. The report also highlights growing consumer expectations of the retailers and financial institutions, indicating increased pressure on retailers, banks, and other fintechs to enable the right programs and features to meet those expectations.

Key findings from the report include:

Economic uncertainty has changed consumers' shopping and spending habits.

  • 74% of respondents said they are more interested than ever in earning cashback rewards and using online coupons for shopping due to inflation and the uncertain economy
  • 55% of respondents expect to earn cashback rewards and coupon codes for shopping online from their credit card
  • 79% of respondents reported purchasing more generic brands and discount products in 2022 vs. 2021 rather than premium brands
  • 40% of respondents who already shop at discount retailers expect to shop at discount retailers more in 2023
  • 39% of respondents expect they'll buy fewer full-price items this year
  • Almost half (45%) said they spent less on non-essential items like travel or dining out in 2022 than in 2021, echoing new warnings from large retailers

Consumers are shopping smarter; the majority employ a wide variety of tactics to save money while shopping.

  • 74% of respondents increased their use of money-saving tools and tactics, such as using browser extensions for cashback rewards, in 2022 vs. 2021
  • 73% of respondents already use at least one money-saving tactic such as participating in loyalty programs, shopping at discount retailers, or earning cashback rewards; and most expect to continue employing those tactics or even increase participation this year 
  • Cashback is the preferred money-saving tactic across all age groups, with 45% preferring cashback rewards the most, with coupon use ranking second (31%) 
  • 75% of respondents who use a browser extension use it to receive cashback rewards or activate online coupons while shopping

There are generational differences: younger generations are savvier money savers when shopping online.

  • Only 9% of Millennials and 13% of Gen Z reported using neither cashback or coupons when shopping online
  • Meanwhile, 27% of Baby Boomers reported using neither to save money online
  • Both Millennials (51%) and Gen Z (43%) favor cashback over coupons 

Now more than ever, financial institutions are at risk of abandonment for options that offer preferred loyalty and cashback programs.

  • 80% who use a shopping rewards program would switch to a rewards program offered by their current bank or credit card, especially if it paid rewards directly into their account
  • Respondents list cashback rewards as one of the top five features they consider when choosing a new bank
  • 52% prefer getting cashback rewards and coupon codes for shopping online from their credit card and 33% prefer to receive these from their bank

Shoppers spend more money with retailers that participate in rewards programs.

  • 43% of online shoppers who use a browser extension for cashback or coupons are more likely to shop at a retailer offering cashback
  • 48% are more likely to complete a purchase when they earn cashback rewards
  • 33% are likely to purchase more items when they can earn cashback rewards 

"The pain of inflation and economic uncertainty is driving people to be careful about what they buy, where they shop, and the financial institutions with which they do business," said Jordan Glazier, CEO, Wildfire. "With consumers increasingly looking for ways to stretch their dollars, retailers and financial services providers are stepping up to help consumers earn rewards and save money when they shop."

Download the full report here.


About Wildfire Systems, Inc.

Wildfire Systems provides an enterprise platform that enables clients to embed social commerce, cashback rewards, digital coupons, and shopping companions within their existing services. Wildfire’s patented suite of technologies rewards online shopping and harnesses digital word-of-mouth, delivering enhanced user experiences, consumer loyalty, and new revenue streams for clients. Wildfire drives incremental revenue for over 50,000 online merchant programs in over 50 countries. The company is based in San Diego County and was founded in 2017. For more information, visit


Media contact

Lori Scribner

Market Street Group for Wildfire




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Published by Erica Forrette June 13, 2023
Erica Forrette