Wunderman Thompson Commerce has released its ‘Future Shopper Report 2021’, which highlights how consumers’ shopping preferences are shaping the future of commerce.
The study surveyed over 28,000 consumers across 17 countries on their current and future shopping habits and found that businesses need to respond to win the online battle, in order to sustain in the future.
According to the report, in a post-pandemic world, online shopping will account for 51% of retail sales globally. 72% of global shoppers believed that online shopping came to their rescue in 2020, whereas 73% said that e-commerce would be more important to them in 2021.
60% of global shoppers stated that they were more comfortable using digital technology in the wake of the pandemic, whereas 72% of Indians admitted to being more afraid of shopping in-store, as compared to their global counterparts.
Consumers across Asia reported that digital commerce was more important to them in the pandemic and are still in more demand from digital retailers.
The study also stated that 86% of Indian shoppers demanded excellence from brands and retailers online, with Amazon ranking highest in terms of the service and experience they provided.
Hugh Fletcher, global head of consultancy and innovation, Wunderman Thompson Commerce, said, “E-commerce can no longer be treated as the supplementary sales channel. Global shoppers have clearly stated that, in the future, it will be their primary channel for retail purchasing. For some organisations, and particularly marketplaces, they are reaping the rewards of investing in a strong online presence, while the news has been littered with stories of businesses who have not identified these changing demands going bust.
He added, “Amazon continues to be the leader of the retail pack in the West, alongside Mercado Libre in LATAM and a number of marketplaces in Apac, but they are facing increasing pressure from consumers to be more ethical and from competitors who are investing in their own direct-to-consumer offerings, digital marketplaces, innovations and social media platforms. Couple this with the fact that Covid-19 has weakened brand loyalty, and serious challenges remain in the sector – it’s no longer enough to just have an online offering that reaches customers on one or two channels and to expect long-term ROI.”
Consumers are now demanding integrated omni-channel offerings from retailers and brands. 64% of global shoppers prefer to shop with brands that have both an online and offline presence, while 59% of consumers expect brands to communicate seamlessly with them across all channels. 73% of them demand better products, services and experiences from retailers.
The study highlighted how 44% of global consumers have already bought from a social platform and 56% intend to increase spends for the same, going ahead.
“2021 and beyond will usher in an era of more diverse online offerings, with marketplaces, direct-to-consumer brand sites and social commerce all having a key role to play. Businesses must ensure that this more complex online landscape complements their overall retail offering which needs to span digital and physical,” Fletcher concluded.
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Rao is currently CEO of dentsuMB Group India