Wunderman Thompson (credit image/Pixabay/Gerd Altmann)Wunderman Thompson has unveiled its latest report about online shopping. The Future Shopper Report 2022 uncovers what consumers want from their digital shopping experience. Furthermore, it explores how and what retailers and brands must deliver to win online. Consumers in the 18 countries surveyed confirmed 50%+ of their spend is now online. The report presents the views of 31,000+ consumers across 18 international markets.

Online shopping continues to grow – with over half of all spending now online, consumers are more comfortable with technology, and demanding digital products and services. Is your business ready for a world where online is the main channel and your customers are digitally minded?

Wunderman Thompson expects online shopping to continue to rise.

  • 57% of spending is currently online.
  • 54% – the percentage consumers predict they will spend online in a post-COVID-19 world.
  • 60% of global shoppers said they will increase their usage of digital shopping channels in the future.
  • 72% of consumers said they are more comfortable using technology than before the COVID-19 outbreak – up from 60% last year.

Think Omni-channel

It is not just online, it’s omni-channel. Consumers are using more channels for inspiration, search and purchase than ever before. The report suggest they demand seamlessly integrated experiences across physical and digital. However, it challenges retailers to develop a balanced channel strategy. To allow consumers to interact and shop with the channel they want, whenever they want, wherever they are?

  • 60% of global shoppers prefer to shop with a retailer or brand that has both digital and physical stores.
  • 36% of global consumers are still frightened about shopping in-store, down from 41% in 2021.
  • Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands must work harder to stop attrition and improve experience.

Marketplaces are winning

Marketplaces are currently providing the best online experience to consumers and are the most used channels across the 3 key stages of the purchase process: Inspiration, search and purchase. The report suggests enterprises need a robust, scalable marketplace strategy. At the same time ensuring that channels are not cannibalising each other.

  • 34% of global shoppers get their inspiration from marketplaces – ahead of search engines in second position (31%).
  • 36% of global shoppers start their search on marketplaces – ahead of search engines in second position (30%).
  • 35% of all online shopping globally is via marketplaces. This is down from 42% last year, but still ahead of supermarkets and grocers at 17%.

However, it’s not all good news, as marketplaces are losing some ground, as the number of channels proliferate.

Poor experiences are unacceptable online. Whatever the channel, consumers are increasingly intolerant of poor experience – and expect lightning-fast delivery, easy returns and availability.

Social Commerce is rising

Another channel rising in importance is social commerce. Many consumers already claim to be buying through social platforms, and more intend to do so in the future. Retailers and brands will need a social commerce strategy which is fit for purpose in light of ongoing industry developments.

  • 65% of global shoppers said they have already bought through social media platforms – up from 44% in 2021.
  • 56% of global consumers said they do not want to leave a social media platform to complete a transaction.
  • 53% of consumers intend to spend more through social media platforms in the future.
  • 46% of global consumers said they have already used livestream commerce to purchase products online.

Sustainability is vital, but not at the expense of service

Sustainability is a key factor in online purchase decision-making. Consumers like to have sustainable options and want brands and retailers to have a purpose beyond pure business. But consumers want it all… sustainability without compromising great service.

  • 65% of global consumers said ethics and morals play an important role in their online purchase decision-making.
  • 61% of global shoppers said they like to shop with brands and retailers who have a purpose which goes beyond just selling products and services.
  • 43% of consumers claim to have opted for environmentally friendly delivery options (for example Amazon Day Delivery).

Enterprise Times: What this means for business.

This is an interesting report that effectively confirms the current trends in online shopping. The report aims to help businesses understand consumer shopping habits and how the market is developing. An interesting point raised in the report is the expectation that consumers crave retail innovations. It notes that innovation is a key requirement for consumers. They want and expect innovative retail experiences – be that cashless payment, new store formats or voice. The report challenges brands and retailers to have a clear view of the innovations customers require online and in-stores.

Brands and retailers are also urged to redefine what a consumer actually is. Enterprises are no longer marketing and selling just to humans, but to their avatars in gaming and the metaverse. Ultimately to consumers that may not even be alive! Are enterprises prepared for the future, multi-dimensional consumer? Inevitably this will impact on the way brands, retailers and manufacturers sell and market products and services.


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