The 7th edition of Commerce & Technology’s Future Shopper report from Wunderman Thompson is out.
Wunderman Thompson has launched The 7th edition of Commerce & Technology’s Future Shopper report. Covering 18 international markets (including India) and 31,000 consumers, the report offers an unparalleled view into the habits of online shoppers and online shopping behaviour. In the afterglow of a post-pandemic world, the future of retail is steadfastly being shaped by digital, as shoppers envision a future where nearly two-thirds (64%) 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, and brands should look to review their online sales models, with more than half (58%) of global shoppers saying they like to buy from branded marketplaces.
According to Wunderman Thompson Commerce and Technology’s Future Shopper Report 2023, India ranks highest as the percentage of consumers who would be interested in the ability to buy from beyond the grave. With the arrival of AI and the huge amounts of data now collected on individuals ‘post-consumerism’ is a concept that refers to carrying on purchasing from beyond the grave via uploading ‘personalities’ to the cloud or being brought back to life virtually via an avatar.
India also tops the list, albeit with a slightly lower percentage than last year, when it comes to digital items being bought. It is worth noting that in the case of India, the cost of mobile internet data is among the lowest globally, with Indian consumers benefiting from free trials and massively slashed prices. This has contributed to the widespread adoption of mobile internet services in the country and massive mobile phone penetration across all strata of society and every part of the country. India is also one of the youngest nations in the world with a median age being around 28 years, and is expected to have one of the youngest populations in the world till 2030.
‘Compressed commerce’, refers to customers often wanting to get through from inspiration to purchase, as quickly as possible, and those businesses, retailers and marketplaces that can do this best, often find themselves winning against their online competition. Indian B2B buyers are those that want “compressed commerce” the most (80%), while Japanese B2B buyers are the least interested(38%).
Brands and retailers that have purpose and ethics at their core, and articulate these values authentically are more likely to appeal to a growing consumer base. Thailand (77%) and India (72%) rank highest as the percentage of consumers who have changed shopping habits due to concerns around global warming and the environment.
While the uptake of voice commerce has been slow, data proves that it has yet to become a significant commerce channel. However, it is notable that the spread of adoption of voice commerce to buy a product has gone up with China leading the way with 72% of shoppers owning such a device, closely followed by India with the current consumers being in the age group of 25-34 year olds.
Omni-channel strategies are vital to the success of brands and retailers – redefining the future of how organisations engage with their customers and elevating the experience by maximizing the strengths of each brand. 77% of Indian shoppers would prefer to shop with a brand / retailer that has both a physical and online store.
When it comes to online spending, Indian consumers are reticent about making large online purchases, while German consumers are willing to spend $749 online.
Indian shoppers will not shop with brands / retailers / marketplaces failing to match their expectations in future and will not stand for an experience that is ‘boring’ or ‘engaging enough’ and ranks as the country with the highest returns after the UAE. Indian consumers also expect their deliveries to arrive in less than 2 hours, ranking them as the most impatient online shoppers vis-à-vis their global counterparts.
Most important, don’t discount marketplace growth yet! Consumers' trust in these vast online ecosystems extends well beyond shopping, with 42% open to using dating apps, and 51% comfortable purchasing energy, water, and utilities, provided by marketplaces. In fact, India ranks the highest as the top 5 countries who would be open to marketplace dating services.
Hugh Fletcher, global head of consultancy and innovation at Wunderman Thompson Commerce and Technology, 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?”