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Purdue expert: Holiday shopping to be hit by inflation

Purdue expert: Holiday shopping to be hit by inflation, economic insecurity

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WISH) — A Purdue University professor is diving into retail trends for the upcoming holiday season and what can impact our shopping.

Rodney Runyan, a professor of retailing at Purdue, pointed out three significant things affecting our shopping choices: inflation, student loans, and economic uncertainty.

First, Runyan mentions inflation, which means gas and food are getting more expensive. This makes it harder for us to spend money on other things, so he thinks more people will choose to shop online, where they might find better deals.

Runyan also mentions how artificial intelligence could soon change the way we shop. Right now, it’s not a big part of shopping, but in the future, Runyan believes it will be.

“We are not very far away from having customers walk into a store, and opt into the experience there with their cellphone,” he said. “Their phone is scanned and an A.I. greets them, whether on their phone or at the door, and helps to guide them to where they think. That, or where that A.I. thinks the shopper wants to go, and the shopper will even ask.”

Besides these trends, Runyan says that we’re not sure what will happen with our money in the future. Many people will have to start paying back their student loans, possibly making it harder for them to buy holiday gifts.

Runyan says that some folks still like to shop in stores because they can see and touch the things they want to buy.

It’s fun to go holiday shopping with friends or family; however, worries about whether stores will have what we want and higher prices because of theft might make more people choose to shop online, Runyan says.