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Georgia Spotlight: The Impact of States Reopening

As marketers try to get a sense of how reopening will impact their business, Cardlytics is leveraging our purchase insights to help brands gauge customer confidence and choose the right time to ramp up their marketing. With that in mind, we took a closer look at Georgia—one of the first states to open back up following COVID-19 closures—to see whether reopening caused a boost in consumer spend.

Georgians cautiously resume spending in key categories

Weeks after states began lifting restrictions, customers are still carefully weighing if and how they’re ready to spend outside of their homes. In Georgia, customers can now return to malls, local gyms, salons, and restaurants. Georgia’s overall weekly change in spend is now down only –6.5% YOY compared to the national average of –12.9%.

Interestingly, Georgians did not rush back immediately after the reopening on 4/24. Spend that week was relatively flat and remained in line with the lows of the prior weeks. In subsequent weeks, as consumers gained confidence, we’ve seen spend at brick & mortar locations begin to return. While still far from their normal sales levels, salons, restaurants, apparel, and shoe retailers have seen positive momentum in recent weeks.

Despite the ability of gyms to reopen, Georgians still appear hesitant to return. They have, however, increased their investment in home fitness. In-store spend at sporting and outdoor goods retailers has almost returned to normal levels — up +72 pts from the last week of March. 

Actionable tips:

While customers are slowly starting to pick up their old spending habits, many are still playing it safe—even in states that have reopened. Cardlytics uses powerful purchase insights to help marketers understand where and when customers are ready to resume spending.

For retailers with physical locations: prioritize customers who are ready to spend

At Cardlytics, we’re committed to helping marketers identify where and when spend at their stores is likely to return. By overlaying our Cardlytics Recovery Indicator on your unique customer sets, we can measure customer confidence and help you choose the right time to ramp up marketing. We also help clients acquire new customers by prioritizing people who have resumed normal spending and by focusing on regions of the country that are showing strong signs of recovery. Our campaigns are highly effective at driving incremental sales to your locations and providing valuable savings for consumers during these critical times.

For retailers with a strong online presence: re-engage newly acquired customers with relevant marketing

As states reopen, consumers have an opportunity to return to their previous shopping patterns. Retailers in categories with an influx of new customers must act quickly to defend gains in market share. Cardlytics uses our purchase insights to help identify early signs of churn and build lasting loyalty. Targeted cash-back offers in our ad platform keep customers new and existing customers engaged and drive repeat purchases.

For all retailers: promote products that support life at home

Home is the center of the ‘new economy’ as customers keep busy tackling projects around the house. They’re even keeping their workout routines strong at home. Make the most of this trend by promoting products that help them keep busy, stay active, and get some fresh air even while they’re sheltering in place.

Want more actionable insights?

With insight into 50% of US transactions, Cardlytics puts purchase insights into action every day for advertisers in banks’ digital channels. Whether marketers are experiencing ups or downs in consumer spend, we’re here to help our clients navigate the curve and drive measurable sales. Contact us for an analysis and campaign strategy customized for your brand.

These insights were recently featured in our State of Spend report, which follows important shifts in consumer spend and track early signs of recovery. Download our latest State of Spend report today and be sure to check back for the next issue.


Analysis in this report is based on data derived from the Cardlytics platform between February 27th and May 20th. While analysis is representative of purchase behavior, it does not include every customer or every financial institution on the CDLX platform.

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