March 16, 2021

Report: 56% of American Consumers Are Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Jungle Scout’s Consumer Trends Report explores changing consumer behaviors and preferences, highlighting financial strain in a pandemic economy and new ecommerce technology.

AUSTIN, Texas — March 16, 2021: Today, Jungle Scout, the leading all-in-one platform for selling on Amazon, released its new quarterly Consumer Trends Report, which explores how U.S. consumers have shifted their spending habits, particularly in a pandemic economy. 

Key insights in Jungle Scout’s Q1 Consumer Trends Report reveal:

  • Financial strain is causing consumers to reduce their spending.
      • More than half of American consumers (56%) say they are living “paycheck to paycheck,” and 48% have experienced unexpected financial setbacks in the last three months.
      • 73% say they are becoming more conscientious of where they spend their money and 70% are looking for less expensive products when shopping. 
  • Consumers are adopting more tech-forward ways of buying.
      • 45% use deal-finding browser extensions or plug-ins when shopping online. 
      • 48% of consumers have shopped online for groceries in the last three months and 32% have used restaurant curbside pick-up. 
      • 54% have purchased products they first learned about on social media.
  • Ecommerce continues to thrive, with loyalty to Amazon and Walmart on the rise.
    • 70% of consumers have an Amazon Prime membership, while 38% of consumers are currently Walmart+ members. 
    • 73% of consumers have shopped on Amazon recently, compared to 57% in Walmart stores and 40% at

“As American consumers have largely remained inside and socially distant during the past year, they’ve become increasingly comfortable with and dependent on online shopping,” said Greg Mercer, Founder and CEO of Jungle Scout. “But consumers have also leveraged online shopping and emerging technology to help ease the financial strain the pandemic has caused for so many of them, as well.”

Q1 2021 Trends: 

  • Consumer spending: 43% of consumers say overall spending is down, 31% say it’s the same, and 26% say it’s up; however, 37% say their online spending is up and 30% say their spending on Amazon is up.
  • Top retail stores and websites: Amazon continues to be the store frequented by most consumers, followed by Walmart in-store,, and Target in-store. 
  • In-demand products: Consumers continue to buy more groceries, cleaning supplies, and health and personal care items. They say they are buying fewer clothes and electronics.

About the Report

Jungle Scout’s Consumer Trends Report is a quarterly study of 1,000 U.S. consumers which explores how spending behaviors and preferences change over time and due to current events. The survey ran from January 26-29, 2021, and assessed consumer behaviors from Q4 (October-December 2020) and Q1 2021 (January-March 2021).