How to Be a Smarter Shopper Right Now

While shortages, price spikes, and delays can be frustrating, there are easy ways to find what you need for the right price

By Beth Braverman | September 09, 2021 | Consumer Reports

If you’re in the mood to spend, you’re not alone.

“In the first half of 2021, we saw a return of optimism and spending,” says Tamara Charm, who works for the global management consulting firm McKinsey as an agile consumer insights leader.

And yet the way we’re buying reflects the many long-term changes brought on by the pandemic. E-commerce sales (long on the upswing) jumped 32 percent in 2020, more than double the growth rate in 2019, according to the market research firm Mintel. Even as shoppers venture back into walk-in stores now that vaccines have eased restrictions, online sales remain strong. The experience of having almost everything delivered to one’s door has probably changed some shopping habits for good.

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