Class Is In-Session: 2023 Back-to-School Infographic

6 minutes read

Class Is In-Session

Back-to-School continues to be one of the largest shopping events of the year, and once again, Cardlytics is here to inform on the latest consumer trends. Our analysis of over $122B in BTS spend over the last 3 years sheds light on YoY trends, category-level insights, and more. Now more than ever, brands should leverage these insights to create informed, strategic marketing plans and drive long-term customer loyalty.

Back to Basics

While spend is up 3.8% YoY, it is growing at a slower pace than previously observed. Not exactly a surprise given the COVID lockdown, but it seems that the spend bounce back we saw last year has slowed, especially considering the current economic pressures.
The same slow in overall spend can be observed across purchase volume as well, indicating consumers may be consolidating their Back-to-School errands with other shopping trips (e.g. grocery, home, etc.)


Brick and Mortar Shoppers Played Hooky This Season

Online spending is up for both B&M.coms and online only brands, indicating that the shift initially brought on by COVID is likely permanent. Brands should consider an omni-channel approach in order to engage the customer where they are spending.

Mass Merchandisers Pass with Flying Colors

Mass Merch continues to dominate as inflation drives customers to keep price top of mind. While all other subcategory spend is down in 2022, Mass Merchandisers are up 9.2% vs. 2021. In fact, Mass Merch is the only category to have YoY growth across all metrics – spend, trips, and customers – in the last 2 years. Branded retailers should ramp up engagement with existing customers to prevent churn. Get the data.

Cardlytics Helps You Make the Grade

As consumer spend begins to slow, and pressure mounts from competition, it’s never been more important to create value for the consumer, and drive brand loyalty. CDLX’ whole-wallet-view of customer spend can help identify your most relevant target audiences and unlock incremental sales – and we can prove it.

Request the data: 2023 Back to School Infographic

No items found.

Q1 2023 State of Spend

6 minutes read

COVID’s long-term impact on consumer spending

As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, some pandemic lifestyle changes like mask-wearing in the U.S. remain common. America’s spending habits, however, are starting to return to pre-pandemic trends. 

After two years of disruption, we took a look back at COVID’s long-term impact and made it the focus of our quarterly State of Spend report. We were curious: Which industries have returned to normal and continue to grow, and which still suffer? Which became disruptors? And is inflation affecting buying patterns?

Cardlytics powers digital advertising for banks and financial partners, and has insight into one of every two credit card swipes in the U.S. We share this Purchase Intelligence of where, when and how consumers are shopping to help marketers identify opportunities to reach people with relevant ads. Here are some of the most compelling findings from consumer spending from 2019 through 2022.

Inflation persists

When looking at overall spending and transactions last year, a 5% year-over-year (YoY) increase in total spending occurred from 2021 to 2022 but there was only a 1% increase in the number of transactions, a key indicator of inflation. What’s more, when comparing 2022 to before the pandemic in 2019, we saw a 24% increase in household spending but only a 4% increase in transactions. Consumers are making relatively fewer, more expensive purchases. Despite inflation, and in part fueled by inflation, consumer spending in the United States continues to rise. So, how are people using their discretionary funds? 

Office Supplies sales thrive with work-from-home policies

A deeper look shows how COVID has affected consumer spending specific categories — for better or worse. Office Supplies, for example, had steady growth throughout 2020 as people scrambled to equip home offices and stay productive during lockdowns. Then as 2021 set in with Delta and other COVID variants, sales of office essentials continued to grow strong. 

In 2022, as COVID subsided, and return-to-office policies were implemented — or people had their home offices fully set up — Office Supply sales dropped 32% versus 2021. Spend and transaction volumes of Office Supplies show that people are making more frequent, lower-dollar purchases, with transaction volumes up 15% versus 2019, but sales up only 2%.

Restaurant Delivery is no longer just pizza delivery

One standout category skyrocketed and was transformed by COVID: Restaurant Delivery. The category saw unprecedented growth and arguably a decade worth of technological innovation in a matter of months. 

Restaurant Delivery purchases jumped 97% YoY from 2019-2020, with an overall 184% growth in 2022 versus 2019. Although the category began to plateau in 2022 as restaurants reopened, deliveries didn’t decrease. With similar increases in both spend and transaction volume, both purchase amounts and frequency of Restaurant Delivery continue to grow.  

Travel dips but recovers; Entertainment stays steady

Several categories that have been faltering are showing strong signs of recovery. To no one’s surprise, the onset of COVID hammered Travel spending most of all. Yet in 2022, Travel and Entertainment enjoyed a recovery, with spending up 27% from the previous year. Airlines have nearly recovered to the state they were in 2019. Spending is up 4% from 2019 to 2022; however, transaction volume is down 10%. There is lower occupancy, but everything is costing more. 

Categories like Concerts, Theater, Sporting Events, and Tickets are holding relatively steady on pricing, as both the number of transactions and dollars spent show that this industry is beginning to thrive again. Entertainment spending also continues to rise quarter by quarter, as do offer activation rates and ad campaign spends. 

Canine company, DIY food, and outdoor adventure

Our pandemic purchases reflected our adoption of millions of dogs and other pets, with a 51% increase in Pet spending from 2019 to 2022. Also, as lockdowns went into effect in the spring of 2020 to slow the spread of the coronavirus and reduce stress, reports emerged of a global gardening boom, with plants, flowers, vegetables and herbs sprouting in backyards and on balconies. Our data backs up the narrative: there was a 34% increase in Home and Garden spending from 2019 to 2022. We also ventured outdoors for safe recreation and fresh air, with a 33% increase in spending on Sporting & Outdoor Goods during the same period. 

How do we know all this?

We have a “whole wallet” view into consumer purchase behavior, with insights into one out of every two credit card swipes in the U.S. Cardlytics offers a brand-safe, fraud-free advertising platform inside our financial institution partners’ digital channels. That means we can predict future shopping preferences using past purchase behavior. Our insights help brands reach people and positively influence their purchase decisions with relevant ads that reward them with cash back, frictionlessly.

No items found.

Welcome Karim Temsamani as CEO of Cardlytics

6 minutes read

Today is my first day at Cardlytics, and I am raring to get started!  

The outpouring of support and warm welcomes I have received to date from clients, partners, employees, and investors has been nothing short of amazing, and I look forward to connecting with everyone personally in the coming days.  

In terms of how I plan to spend my time in these initial few days and weeks, I plan to concentrate on two things. First and foremost, I plan to listen. Listen to our customers. Listen to our employees. And listen to the many other stakeholders that have worked tirelessly to make Cardlytics into the purchase intelligence leader it is today.  

Second, I plan to immerse myself into the finer details of the business. I’m excited to dive into not only the many legacy offerings of business, but also the exciting opportunities presented by some of our newest divisions like Bridg, Dosh, and Entertainment.  

At the end of the day, my leadership philosophy is pretty simple: 

  • Employees are the most valuable assets of an organization. Build a culture of inclusion and embrace cognitive diversity, which allows for different perspectives and experiences that can’t be replicated.  
  • Make decisions that are rooted in data.  It saves time, holds us accountable, and challenges us to continuously innovate.   
  • Take calculated risks and invest in change. Stay ahead of the curve on the things that we know will change, not those that will stay the same. 

I remain as excited as ever with the opportunity in front of us. And I know many of our partners share this same sentiment.  There’s so much potential to unlock continued growth for our business and our customers, and I am eager to hit the ground running for the next chapter of Cardlytics. 

No items found.

Getting to What’s Next

6 minutes read

The pandemic has been an ongoing challenge, but I like to see the positives in every situation. A silver lining, if you will. Over the past two years we’ve all been forced to take a step back and evaluate every facet of our lives. Now, through a different lens, we have started to ask ourselves, “What’s next?” What’s next for me, my family, my health, my finances and yes, even my career?

All dreams are pictured with the endgame in mind. We’re not always picturing the how, but we know what we mentally see when our goals are realized. For me, eight years ago I envisioned myself as the head of human resources, speaking on a stage to an audience of employees wearing jeans and my favorite pair of Jordan 1s.

James Hart speaking to Cardlytics employees

As your mind explores what’s next for you, ask yourself the following questions:  

  • What do I want to be known for?  
  • What is important to me?  
  • What do I want to accomplish?

Once you have answers to those questions, assess your reality. While planning is part of achieving the endgame, it’s important to remain in the present by focusing on your experiences, the roles needed to sustain your strengths and accessing the resources you will need to develop in key areas.  

Are there projects you could work on now that would build your network or help you learn a new skill? In 2016 and 2017, I worked as a national sales director. I wanted to eventually become a human resources business professional but get there by having well-rounded and authentic business experience.  

Write down the steps, align your resources, and create deadlines to hold yourself accountable. It will be a challenge, but small steps will build momentum.

The effort, time, and investment it takes to explore what’s next will be worth it. I brought the picture in my head to reality as I’m now living out my dream as the head of people speaking to 600+ employees at our monthly company meeting.

If you are in search of what’s next, check out career opportunities at CDLX and join us. Jordan 1s optional.

No items found.

New Year, New Focus: People

6 minutes read

Recently a coworker and I were discussing the many ways in which our jobs have drastically changed over the last year. As head of People for a global company with more than 600 employees, I have directly seen how the entire world has taken a collective step back to reassess the things that matter most, especially as it relates to the workplace. Employees are looking for fulfillment, something more than “just a job.”  

As I thought more specifically about how my job is different now than it was 12 months ago, I realized that last year, while we were doing a really good job at caring for our employees’ needs with great pay, insurance, and vacation policies it’s no longer enough.  This year, while we still offer great pay, insurance, and vacation, it’s less about just meeting needs, and more about anticipating the needs and wants of our employees. In short: how can Cardlytics help make life better, easier, and more fulfilling for our employees?  

This year, I now find myself waking up every morning thinking about how to make Cardlytics a great place where great people want to be. And while it’s only the second month of the year, I think we are off to a great start.  

Last year, we offered a gym membership discount.  This year, we realized gyms aren’t the only way to address wellness. If nothing else, the past two years have taught us that overall wellness is a priority. So, we are now reimbursing employees up to $1,000 for things like art classes, counseling, massages, financial wellness classes, and so much more. 

Last year, we launched tuition reimbursement for continuing education. This year, we’ve recognized that many people can’t think about continuing education because they are too saddled with existing student loan debt. So now we’re helping employees pay down their student loans with monthly contributions.  

As far as a vacation policy, we have always been quite flexible, allowing for unlimited time off, but in the second half of 2021 we learned that this wasn’t enough because even if you are on vacation your work is not. So, we began scheduling “company-wide days off" throughout the year for the entire organization to rest and recharge as a team. We even closed the office for an entire week between Christmas and the New Year.  No more worrying about missing a meeting or playing catch up on an important email. This has been such a success that we will continue this practice into the new year. 

While these are just a few of the ways we’re showing our employees that we value their time and contribution, it doesn’t stop there. I’m excited to continue this journey and discover more opportunities to support our employees in the years ahead.  

So, although the last year has been challenging to say the least - I wouldn’t want to do virtual school with my son again for any amount of money (kudos to the educators!) -  it’s reminded us to return our focus to our greatest asset: our people.  

Work will never be the same. And for Cardlytics, that is a wonderful thing.  

Want to come work with us? Check out our careers here

No items found.

Finding Your Space: Three Tips for Women in Data Science

6 minutes read

Coined by the Harvard Business Review as the ‘sexiest job of the 21st century, ‘data science’ still feels like a term invented only yesterday (and 'women in data science' seems even newer). And what does a data scientist do anyways? You could ask 100 professionals and get about 100 different answers.  

I thought being a data scientist meant that you needed a very specific set of skills – and a PhD – but that’s not really the case. I believed that by working as a data analyst I was missing the “science” part. Low confidence and impostor syndrome meant that I struggled to contribute to meetings. I thought others were more qualified than me and would let them take the lead on projects. This became worse when I joined a team where I was the only woman. With no one who looked or thought like me, I couldn’t feel more out of place and considered leaving the field. 

Careers in data are not a one size fits all and fixating on the long list of skills you don’t have won’t serve you well. Diversity is key to the success of an analytics team, and that doesn’t stop at gender or race. It includes diversity of thought, skills, and life experience.  

If you’re struggling to find your best fit, especially if you're a woman working in data science, then here are some tips to help put you on the right path.

Find support 

We tend to underestimate the importance of mentors, role models and advocates in our careers. All are important to find fulfillment and to progress. Mentors will bring a different perspective; they’ll help you see things for what they are and overcome challenges. Role models will show you what’s possible, what you could aspire to and potentially, how to get there. Advocates will help others see how great you are. 

I reached out to women working in the field and found a couple of amazing and inspiring mentors, like Victoria Pike, principal product manager at Sainsbury’s. She helped me understand that my differences are an asset and that I should shift my focus from my weaknesses to my strengths, and Lucy Whittemore, vice president of Retail Partnerships at Cardlytics’ UK office.  

Thanks to this group, I started finding my voice and rethinking my role. From that point, everything changed. I could finally be myself and do what I did best. 

Get to know yourself better 

Often, we go with the flow, jump from one role to another wondering where is this sexy data science career that was promised. Well, you won’t find the perfect role unless you know what that looks like for you.  

Think about your values, what you stand for and what your strengths are. How does that translate in your role and how can you make better use of your strengths? What would you ideally be doing on a daily basis? 

Find areas where you can make a difference 

For me, it’s bringing transparency to careers in data through podcasting, but also by supporting data professionals in their career development.  

What is it for you? 

In data, there is a space for everyone, and that space might not be what is written on your job description. Fortunately, data science is a constantly evolving field, offering the best opportunities to try things out so that we can craft our own path.  

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in data science, then check out the open positions at Cardlytics

Karen is an analytics consultant in the Cardlytics UK office.She hosts her own podcast, Women in Data, and is the co-chair of Cardlytics’ Women of Cardlytics, with the mission to create an inclusive community committed to uplifting women in technology and establishing forums to drive connection, education and collaboration within our workplace.  

No items found.

Lucky Number 10! Zolve Joins Cardlytics

6 minutes read

Cardlytics adds Zolve to growing neobank roster.

We like to say Cardlytics is “built by bankers for banks” and it’s true. Our founders were both bankers who saw the value in having a view of a customer’s total wallet. Since Cardlytics was founded 13 years ago, we’ve been driving results for major U.S. banks. And while banks will always be central to what we do, we are excited about scaling our offering. Enter: the neobanks.

Zolve: A solution for an underserved population 

Catering towards tech-savvy audiences, neobanks make managing finances easy from anywhere in the world. Zolve, in particular, aims to improve accessibility to high-quality banking products for immigrants in the U.S. Zolve’s founder, Rahgunadan G, noticed that many immigrants were forced to wait for months, and in many cases, years to access financial services upon arriving in the U.S. While neobanks may focus on a specific type of customer, the customers' needs remain universal: quality products, secure services and a rewarding experience.

“At Zolve, we are working to provide equitable access to global financial products on one single platform. A tangible rewards program helps create an engaging experience for our customers, and with this partnership, we now have offers across categories that our users find relevant and rewarding” says Raghunandan G, Zolve’s founder. 

A rewarding experience for all 

When it comes to capturing and maintaining consumer loyalty and personalized experiences, neobanks are well-positioned to grab top of wallet advantage through a rewards program.  Neobanks and fintechs have changed the financial landscape over the past decade, offering digital-only solutions to the traditional financial process, while also addressing the needs of their niche audiences. This rise in popularity coincides with a consumer base that prefers shopping and banking online. 

To learn more about how Cardlytics works with neobanks and fintechs, check out our case study.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.