More than three in four Americans say they are more careful spenders and savers than they were one year ago, according to new research.
The new survey of 2,000 Americans found that 88% say that the global coronavirus pandemic has made them watch their spending habits more carefully.
Not surprisingly, 90% would now consider themselves "value shoppers" (someone concerned with getting the best deal for their spend) and nine in ten of those who said they did not consider themselves to be a "value shopper" a year ago, would now think of themselves as one.
The study, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, surveyed 2,000 Americans and found that the pandemic and its economic impacts has made them more concerned with getting the best value for their money.
Millennials (those aged 24-39) was the age group that reports the most significant shift in attitudes, with 48% saying they are much more concerned with their saving and spending habits now than they were a year ago.
But even during potentially stressful financial times, respondents reported that some purchases cannot be put off.
There are five items that Americans would consider essential to purchase immediately, if needed. These items are: replacement appliances (43%), replacement tires (43%), home repairs (42%), new computers (31%) and new mattresses (28%).
Given the national "value" mind-set, it's not surprising then that when it comes to these essential items - or any purchase - the majority of Americans polled (85%) say they prefer to spend money on items that provide features and benefits relevant to their specific needs, rather than expensive items that have additional features they may never use.
When it comes to purchases over $100, over three in four Americans only want the specific benefits and features they need; no more, no less.
And while cost-conscious Americans are aware of price, they also want a product that will deliver a good value for their spend - among the top features that drive an essential purchase are reasonable price (69%), long lasting (63%) and has the exact features they need (51%).
"In today's economy, every penny counts even more than ever. Cooper is a brand known for value dating back to 1926 when Ira J. Cooper developed the 'Cooper Creed' to provide 'good merchandise, fair play, and a square deal,' and that's still our commitment today," said Mohit Jain, Vice President - Retail Sales, for Cooper Tire. "We don't want drivers to spend too much or too little on their tires. It's important to understand the features you do and don't need and finding a product that matches to get the best value possible."
Value-minded shoppers are spending more time making sure that they find a product that matches their needs. 59% of Americans say they are spending more time researching items they want to buy compared to a year ago.
From online research comparing products (65%) to reading online reviews (51%) to talking to friends/family (45%), Americans are using multiple sources of information to make sure they are getting the best deal.
Said Jain, "There can be a lot of information to sift through when making a purchase decision. When it comes to a purchase like tires, we've made it easy for buyers to find the product that has the right mix of features without feeling overwhelmed. We meet our customers right where they are with easy to understand, easy to find information with our tire finder tool."