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Return Path Reveals Key Trends in Consumer Purchasing Behavior for Summertime Retail

New report analyzes purchase data for major consumer brands across popular summertime retail categories.

NEW YORK, July 26, 2016 — Consumer purchase data is among the strongest leading indicators of economic trends, as consumer spending accounts for more than 70 percent of US GDP. Released today, Return Path’s Brands of Summer explores purchase trends for prominent consumer brands in key categories of the seasonal retail market.

For each of these brands, the report analyzes the purchase activity of a sample cohort of consumers with at least two years of purchase history. Data points include average orders per month, average monthly orders per buyer, and average monthly spend per buyer. In addition, the report shows trending data on monthly buyer counts and monthly spend for each brand.

According to the report:

  • Consumers may lack the commitment to put cash behind their fitness goals. Beachbody, a brand best known for its popular P90X fitness series, saw a 25 percent year-over-year increase in the number of buyers from 2014 to 2015. However, during the same time period, average monthly spend declined by 14 percent. This may signal a large number of consumers cashing in on free trials, but dropping the program once payment is required.
  • Spending trends up for leisure travel brands. Year-over-year purchase numbers remain strong for leisure brands Sandals Resorts and Carnival Cruise Line. In fact, the report shows a 45 percent increase in same-cohort total spend for Carnival.
  • The shift to subscription-based music streaming accelerates. Despite fierce competition in the streaming music industry, category leader Spotify continues to grow. The report shows upward trends in both buyer count and monthly spend that bode well for the brand’s rumored IPO.

The Brands of Summer report showcases the capabilities of Return Path’s Consumer Insight business. This data-as-a-service solution parses purchase data from more than 1 million opted-in consumers’ email receipts, representing purchases from more than 500 companies spanning dozens of industries. By capturing high volumes of detailed online purchase receipts, Return Path’s Consumer Insight data enables deep analysis into shopper preferences and purchase patterns including SKU-level data, itemized pricing, sizing, color, and quantity purchased.

“This report is an excellent example of the powerful insights business professionals can get using our anonymized, item-level data. And it’s just the tip of the iceberg,” said Eric Weinberg, Return Path’s Executive Vice President of Field Operations. “By providing this rich, highly detailed information on consumer buying habits, Return Path can help analysts, market researchers, and retailers understand their audience, recognize market trends, and make more confident business decisions.

The complete Brands of Summer report can be found here.


Return Path collects and curates item-level receipt data from the inboxes of more than one million opted-in US consumers. Our proprietary parsing algorithm scrubs emails of personally identifiable information (PII), seeks out eReceipts, and extracts purchase information. Then, we normalize product titles and categories. The end product is a robust, structured, clean data

set ready for analysis. Data used in this analysis reflects both online and offline transactions. Each sample cohort consists of consumers for whom we have at least two years of purchase data and who made a purchase from respective retailers anytime between January 2014 and December 2015.

About Return Path

Return Path analyzes the world’s largest collection of email data to show businesses how to stay connected to their audiences, strengthen their customer engagement, and protect their brands from fraud. Our data solutions help analysts understand consumer behavior and market trends. We help mailbox providers and security providers around the world deliver great user experiences and build trust in email by ensuring that wanted messages reach the inbox while spam and abuse don’t. To find out more about Return Path Email Optimization, Email Fraud Protection, and Consumer Insight solutions, visit us at or request a demo.