Gallup: Consumer spending steady in January
February 07, 2013

Recent improvements in a variety of economic segments, including employment, home valuations and corporate productivity, have helped propel consumer spending and increase competition among merchants. Retailers should consider adopting integrated payment systems to capture the most revenues possible given the increased consumer spending prevalent throughout the past several months.

Additionally, loyalty and gift card programs are becoming a much more demanded component of merchant services, as today's shoppers are constantly looking to form connections with the businesses they frequent. Merchants can create a streamlined customer experience model through the use of mobile payments and digital loyalty programs, and create cohesion among the strategies through integrated payment systems.

Gallup poll shows stability
Gallup recently released the results of its latest consumer spending report, which indicated that merchant revenues remained steady in January compared to December 2012's final totals. This is good news for the retail sector, as consumer spending most often dips in the first month of the year, after the highest volumes are experienced during the holiday shopping season.

According to the report, consumers spent an average of $80 per day in January, which was the highest for any month other than November of December in nearly five years. The $91 average recorded in October 2008 was the former high prior to January, indicating that the economy might still be moving toward a full recovery.

Further, Gallup explained that this total is especially indicative of successful performances because most monthly averages, barring November and December, have been between $60 and $70. Consumers from a wide variety of demographics, including those making less than $90,000 a year, continued to average higher spending in January than other periods since the recession.

The research firm explained that these figures are highly encouraging when looking at the road ahead. January had a variety of complexities, such as political uncertainty, that could have dropped consumer optimism and spending. However, this economic segment remained resilient, and will likely continue to grow in the coming months. 

Capturing the most customers
Higher consumer spending will likely lead to more competition among merchants, and only the most unique and comprehensive strategies will be successful in today's consumer landscape. Merchants can ensure that all potential transactions are captured at the point of sale by adopting systems that can accept credit card payments through a variety of platforms.

Further, streamlining loyalty programs with payment processing strategies will lead to the strongest customer experiences. 

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