The metaverse, cryptocurrency and NFTs are poised to revolutionize commerce in some form or another, while personalized shopping experiences and incentives, such as free shipping and discounts, are key factors driving purchases, a new survey report from open SaaS ecommerce platform BigCommerce reveals. Fashion and apparel was by far the most popular category for online shoppers.
The firm’s new Global Consumer Report: Current and Future Shopping Trends survey, conducted by ProfitWell, gives retailers insight into current and emerging trends shaping the way consumers buy from brands. Key insights include:
- Over half of consumers shop online at least once a week (55 percent), with fashion and apparel as the most purchased items. As for discounts, they prefer free shipping above anything else.
- Consumers who use buy now, pay later (BNPL) do so because they say it helps to fit purchases into their budget.
- Consumers want personalized shopping experiences and advertisements, and are most willing to share their email, gender and name with brands.
- Honesty and transparency are the brand values consumers look for most, but providing fair wages and benefits to employees was a close second.
- The majority of consumers (84 percent) rated sustainability as important when making a purchasing decision.
- Almost half (46 percent) of consumers are willing to shop on the metaverse, and of those, 51 percent are interested in buying both virtual and physical goods.
“BigCommerce is powered by innovation that gives our merchants the competitive advantage to outperform their competition and thrive in the new era of ecommerce,” said Lisa Eggerton, chief marketing officer at BigCommerce, in a news release. “These findings show technological advances are reshaping the shopper’s journey and providing new and better ways for brands to engage with their customers. The future of commerce is here, and brands have a vibrant opportunity for remarkable growth.”
Consumers shop online at least once a week, fashion and apparel take top category
The report uncovered many consumers are shopping online multiple times per week, with 55 percent of respondents indicating they shop online at least once a week if not more. Of course, this shouldn’t be that surprising considering people are shopping on Google more than a billion times a day.
As for what consumers are buying online, the report shows that fashion and apparel was by far the most popular category (80 percent), with electronics coming second (56 percent) and entertainment and media in third (55 percent).
Consumers are increasingly using BNPL if offered
When consumers were asked which payment methods they’ve used when shopping online, 16 percent said they’ve used BNPL, and of those who have used it, the majority were in the US, UK and Australia.
Helping consumers fit purchases into their budget was revealed as a primary reason for choosing BNPL. In fact, of those who’ve used BNPL, 34% were more likely to complete a purchase if BNPL was an option, while 49 percent would find it easier to complete a purchase if BNPL was an option.
Personalized shopping experiences, transparency and honesty are key
Digging deeper into shopper motivations, the survey sought to understand how personalization impacts the decision to buy, as well as what information consumers are willing to share in order to get a personalized shopping experience. Thirty seven percent of respondents were willing to share data depending on what information was requested, while 30 percent said it depended on brand and 28 percent were not willing at all.
Of those willing to share personal information in exchange for a personalized advertising or shopping experience, consumers in Italy and France were the most willing. Conversely, shoppers in the US, UK and Australia are more focused on the brand they are sharing information with.
While consumers ranked honesty and transparency as the most important brand value, fair employee wages and benefits weren’t too far behind. However, while US, UK and Australia consumers strongly prefer fair employee wages and benefits, those in France and Italy have a more muted preference towards this option.
Trends transforming the future of commerce
When it comes to metaverse shopping, consumers were about evenly split between willing (46 percent) and not willing (52 percent). Yet, a small percentage (2 percent) had already shopped on the metaverse. Consumers in Australia (52 percent) were the most willing to shop on the metaverse, and those in France were the least willing (35 percent).
Unlike the metaverse, the majority of consumers say they don’t have a good understanding of NFTs, with 26 percent saying they don’t even know what NFTs are. And this stays relatively consistent regardless of country.
When asked which payment methods were used when shopping online, 5 percent of consumers said they have used cryptocurrency with the majority being in the US and Italy. And while most people weren’t yet using cryptocurrency, of those who do, a strong majority (66 percent) preferred it as a payment method.
“Our aim in sharing data from the Global Consumer Re port is to help brands across these regions better understand consumer buying behaviors. Brands must put consumers at the heart of everything they do or risk losing market share,” concluded Eggerton.
BigCommerce enlisted ProfitWell to conduct a consumer survey in March 2022. There were 4,224 participants total across the United States (1,698), United Kingdom (685), Italy (687), France (627) and Australia (527). Qualifications to participate were that they were at least 18 years old and must engage in online shopping at least once per year.
BigCommerce has also partnered with Google to contribute additional search trends and data to accompany our research on the trends shaping the way consumers shop.
All data referenced in this report is sourced from the BigCommerce consumer survey unless otherwise cited. Unless otherwise indicated, the report highlights aggregated data.