Retail Eyes Shifting Consumer Preferences
January 14, 2022
NRF 2022: Retail's 'Big Show', the IBM Institute for Business Value, in
association with the National Retail Federation, the world's largest retail
trade association, released their second global study, "Consumers want it all,"
which reveals rising consumer preferences for sustainability and shopping
journeys splintered across multiple digital, physical, and mobile touchpoints.
Top reasons respondents choose to visit a store include touching and feeling products before buying them (50%), picking and choosing their own products (47%) and getting products right away (43%), though what in-store shoppers are looking for varies by product category.
27% of respondents report hybrid shopping is their method of choice, and Gen Z consumers surveyed are most likely to be a 'hybrid shopper' compared to other age groups.
The study also shows that sustainability has become increasingly important to
surveyed consumers' purchase decisions and brand preferences since 2020.
62% of respondents are willing to change their purchasing habits to reduce environmental impact, up from 57% two years ago.
Half of respondents say they're willing to pay a premium for sustainability – an average premium of 70%. This is roughly double the premium from 2020.
However, there's a gap between intention and action – only 31% of respondents say that sustainable products made up most or all of their last purchase.
"While many surveyed consumers still place high value on the traditional
in-store shopping experience, they also now expect the flexibility to build
their own shopping journey – according to the behaviors prevalent to their age
range, available tools and the product category they are looking to purchase,"
said Mark Mathews, Vice President of Research Development and Industry Analysis
at the National Retail Federation. "This 'hybrid' approach is a fundamental
shift in consumer behavior."