Wunderman (Credit image/Pexel/cottonbro studio)Wunderman Thompson Commerce and Technology’s have published its latest report, Future Shopper Report 2023. The report surveyed over 31,000 consumers globally on their current and future shopping habits. Online shopping continues its dominance by accounting for 58% of all spend; although the report suggests it may have reached a point of maturity. There was a modest 1% increase in overall online spend compared to last year.

However, 64% of respondents expect the majority of their shopping will be online in the next 10 years. Online spend through direct-to-consumer (D2C) channels will double, from 7% in 2022 to 14% in 2023.

Despite the omnipresence of marketplaces such as Amazon, Alibaba, and Mercado Libre, their combined share of 35% in global online purchases remains unchanged from the previous year. However, they still top the list when it comes to where shoppers purchase. In second place we see supermarkets and grocers at 15%, followed by branded websites at 14%.

The report notes don’t discount marketplace growth yet! Consumers’ trust in these vast online ecosystems extends well beyond shopping, with 42% open to using dating apps. 51% comfortable purchasing energy, water and utilities, provided by marketplaces.

Death knell for the high street?

60% of shoppers say they prefer to shop with brands and retailers that have both physical and digital stores. This makes a strong case for omnichannel strategies. Working from home (WFH) may be impacting purchase behaviours too. 66% of global consumers said that they spend more time researching their purchases due to WFH. 65% say they have discovered new brands and retailers due to WFH.

No matter what channel consumers choose, the cost-of-living crisis continues to sway decision-making. Price determines the loyalty of 56% of global shoppers. 53% willing to switch allegiances between retailers and brands for a better price.

Nevertheless, it isn’t all about price, as 23% of consumers expect products to be delivered in less than 2 hours. And given that 19% of everything ordered online is ultimately returned, free and easy returns are a key battleground. The stakes are high for retailers and brands to get it right. 51% of consumers are prepared to abandon those that fail to meet their expectations for a seamless omnichannel experience.

Clues to the future

Wunderman Thompson (Credit image/LinkedIn.Hugh Fletcher)
Hugh Fletcher Global Marketing Director at Wunderman Thompson

Hugh Fletcher, Global Head of Consultancy and Innovation at Wunderman Thompson Commerce and Technology’s, said, “After years of Covid-related uncertainty, we seem to be seeing the first signs of more settled and predictable consumer behaviour. But settled does not mean simple.

“And in today’s fragmented omni-channel retail landscape, a seamless shopping experience across every channel is not merely an advantage. But essential for brands and retailers.

“Whether you’re a brand, marketplace, social media platform, search engine or physical retailer, the winning formula for success can be achieved through balancing the right price, exceptional service, and a relevant experience across all channels and devices that not only grows but retains customers.

“The question that all brands and retailers must ask themselves is how prepared are they for the consumer of the future? The clues to their future demands are all held within the data, but are businesses making the right investments now to ensure that they can provide the right experiences across the channels that consumers will come to expect?”

In March 2023, Wunderman Thompson published its B2B Future Shopper Report 2023. The report focused on the changing behaviours of B2B buyers online and aimed to help enterprises understand the needs of B2B customers.

Research Methodology

The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 31,647 online shoppers who shop online at least once a month in the following markets: UK, US, France, Spain, China, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, India, Poland, UAE, Netherlands, Germany, South Africa and Thailand. Research took place between 6 April 2023 – 20 April 2023.

Enterprise Times: What this means for business

In the afterglow of a post-pandemic world, the future of retail is steadfastly being shaped by digital. Wunderman’s detailed report predicts a future where nearly two-thirds of their shopping will be online in the next 10 years. Brands are closing the gap on marketplaces with online spend, doubling through direct-to-consumer (D2C) channels, from 7% in 2022 to 14% in 2023.

Furthermore, brands should look to review their online sales models. More than half (58%) of global shoppers saying they like to buy from branded marketplaces. Wunderman reports tend to be thorough and detailed. This report presents a truly global view of online shopping behaviour. It should help retailers and brands understand the trends they need to act upon and strategically plan for in the future, to succeed online.


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