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Does Your Business Really Understand American Consumer Buying Habits?

Since a large percentage of Americans of all ages watch countless hours of TV each week, they constantly see ads for a wide array of products and services. In fact, it’s been estimated that “children aged 2-11 watch over 24 hours of TV per week, while adults between 35 and 49 watch more than 33 hours.”   

Furthermore, most people spend even more time in front of the TV as they grow older. Therefore, it’s wise for companies to spend large amounts of money advertising their goods to Americans on TV. But what exactly are we currently buying – and how are we purchasing goods and services?  

 A Brief Analysis of the How, What, When, Where and Why Tied to American Spending Habits

  • Male vs. Female buying/spending habits. While it was once assumed that women were the “problem shoppers,” always rushing out to buy whatever was supposedly on sale, men are definitely catching up. According to Time magazine’s double September 2014 issue, six percent of women are “compulsive buyers” while 5.5% of men now fit that category;
  • The amount we spend on food. Although many poorer Americans regularly stretch their food dollars by buying natural foods and preparing their own meals from scratch, many of their wealthy counterparts regularly buy high-priced coffee and eat at expensive restaurants. These generalizations are based upon the Time magazine article referenced above; it states that “$151 is the average amount [of money] Americans spend per week on food.” Fortunately, the poor often find ways to spend about one-third of that amount to avoid eviction from their homes and apartments. Apparently, the spending habits of the wealthiest one percent in this country are definitely influencing many others each year;”
  • Where nearly half of us often go to eat. The September 2014 double issue of Time magazine states that in March of 2013, “forty-nine (49%) of Americans over [the age of] 14 . . . went to McDonalds.” It certainly sounds like it might be wise to team up with that restaurant to sell many products;
  • More than half of us now shop online each year. This new fact helps back up the common advice that all companies must have a very strong Internet presence. Stated differently, just about all businesses should look into how they might profit from selling some of their products or services over the Internet;
  • Walmart is now nearly everywhere. Sure enough, this chain is present in so many American neighborhoods that most of us just live an average of about 6.7 miles (10.8 km) from a Walmart store. Therefore, companies not currently selling to this chain should seriously reconsider their marketing strategy;
  • Disposable or “discretionary spending. Our pets definitely do rule when it comes to our spending on them each year. In 2013, Americans spent $55.7 billion on their pets. While much of that was probably used to cover basics like food and monthly RXs (especially for heart protection and to kill fleas and ticks), it also means that we’re spending a true fortune on “extras” for little Fido and Fritz the household cat;
  • Time spent shopping. When you hear this number, you may want to log even more sleep each day. According to this same Time magazine double issue, most Americans spend about an average of 7 and ½ full days shopping each year. Clearly, companies should keep advertising heavily in shopping malls and many brick-and-mortar stores, even when their own goods aren’t sold in most of them.

To obtain help with handling all of your Georgia business planning needs, please contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith today.  You can schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate planning attorney by calling: (770) 487-8999.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia