Global digital commerce specialist Astound Commerce has released its 2022 Global Consumer Behaviour Report, which covers how brands must prepare for the upcoming holiday season. Astound deployed a survey of 1,000 global shoppers from the Americas (Canada, Mexico, and the United States), Europe (Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom) and the Middle East (the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) to understand how shopping behaviours have evolved and where they are headed. The survey also gauged consumer sentiment on the economy, loyalty, the metaverse, and more.
- Nearly 3 in 4 global consumers (and 75% of millennials) feel the economy is headed in the wrong direction. Most are no longer confident they can afford their monthly expenses. To combat rising prices, consumers have altered spending habits, shopping less frequently than in previous years—55% shop online at least weekly, down from 61% in 2021.
- Similarly, about 2 in 5 consumers will spend about the same in 2022 for holiday gifts as they did in 2021, while one-third will spend less. They plan to do a mix of online and in-store shopping. As for shopping in physical stores, very few consumers have safety concerns, contrary to the last two years.
- Consumers will be price conscious and buy items on sale, use coupons or discounts, comparison-shop, and will start their holiday gift shopping between two and six months ahead, likely due to ongoing supply chain issues and limited stock.
- Covid-19’s lasting impact on consumer behaviour is clear: consumers prefer omnichannel shopping. Approximately one-third of global shoppers adopted BOPIS (buy online, pickup in-store) and curbside pickup during the height of the pandemic and continue to use these shopping methods.
- 62 percent of consumers feel online brands are transparent about how they use their personal information (PI). However, a similar percentage of consumers also feel online brands can do more to protect their PI. More than half are willing to share their data if it provides a more personalised shopping experience but will abandon a site if they feel their PI isn’t secure.
- Consumers express growing interest in purchasing sustainable products, particularly in the apparel and furniture and housewares categories. 68% of global consumers are willing to pay more for a sustainable product, with 65% willing to pay up to 20% more.
- Most consumers have a basic understanding of the metaverse, while 45% don’t take the idea of the metaverse seriously. 51% of consumers are excited to explore, engage, and shop with brands in the metaverse.
- Fit and size issues continue to be 2 out of the top 3 contributing factors for online returns. Consumers indicate that by providing more detailed product information and/or images, along with product reviews on the product page, could mitigate their need to make a return. Middle Eastern and digital-native Gen Z respondents indicate virtual try-on/augmented reality (AR) and product visualisers would also be helpful in this regard.
Vanessa Cartwright, CEO North America, Astound Commerce said: “With consumers feeling the pinch from rising fuel prices, a declining stock market, and an unsettled economic outlook, getting the holiday season right is even more important. Retailers and brands need to look for opportunities to reduce friction in the shopping experience, use data (responsibly) to personalise the experience, and look for opportunities to build loyalty—with fewer shoppers spending less, holding on to the ones you have is critical!”