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Consumers want it all

Hybrid shopping, sustainability, and purpose-driven brands
Consumers want it all

Consumers have been through the wringer — but they’re resilient. They’ve found creative ways to adapt to extreme circumstances, using technology to navigate uncertainty in new ways. And now they expect brands to do the same.

As retailers and brands look to the future, they must focus on aligning their offerings and capabilities with these new consumer expectations. But what changes will do the most to move the needle in the right direction?

To get a clearer picture of the demands that define the new normal regarding consumer behavior, the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV), in association with the National Retail Federation, conducted a global survey of more than 19,000 respondents across 28 countries in September 2021.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Consumers are using a mix of digital and in-person channels to build their own shopping experiences — and more than one-third of Gen Z primarily opt for this hybrid mode of shopping.
  • Stores are no longer the default shopping channel, but 72% of consumers still rely on stores as part of their primary buying method.
  • Purpose-driven consumers, who choose products and brands based on how well they align to their values, represent the largest segment (44%) of consumers.
  • 50% of consumers claim they’re willing to pay a premium for sustainability. But there is a gap between customers’ intentions and their actions, with fewer than one in three saying sustainable products made up more than half of their last purchase.

The study is also available for download on IBM’s site.

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