The latest survey by PwC – one of the world’s leading professional services firms – shows a ramp up in consumer preference to avail of digital technology prowess to feed their daily needs.
Consumers are increasingly using digital technology for more than just shopping.
There is a revolution occurring in how consumers access entertainment and media, for example. 38 per cent of global consumers stream entertainment at least daily, and among Gen Z consumers, cord-cutting for entertainment is at more than 50 per cent.
The findings are published today in PwC’s Global Consumer Insights Survey, which assesses behaviour, habits, and expectations of over 21,000 online consumers in 27 territories.
PwC’s research reveals rapidly-changing consumer behaviour in a host of areas other than entertainment and media.
When it comes to news, 25 per cent of consumers now go to social media first to hear about current events. Given how pervasive social media is today, this likely does not come as a surprise.
Social media-placed ads that allow consumers to interact with a brand is now ranked as the third most effective form of advertising, and among millennials whose birthday ranges from 1982 to 2000, this is the most popular form of advertising – beating out traditional television ads.
The study finds that consumers – bombarded with a multitude of choices – are constantly seeking tools to help simplify their purchasing decisions. In addition to using digital technology, they are looking to their trusted communities and other experts.
According to those surveyed, the top three attributes that can improve an in-store shopping experience are easy store navigation, knowledgeable sales associates, and easy payment options.
About 61per cent of consumers are influenced by social media for their purchases, either as inspiration or following positive reviews. Conversely, less than 20 per cent of consumers say they are likely to buy a product because of a celebrity or influencer.
Almost 50 per cent of those surveyed let family and friends’ opinions guide their choice of a vacation travel provider.
“The key to a great end-to-end customer experience is not just about the shopping and retail experience – it spans across industries,” said John Maxwell, Global Consumer Markets leader at PwC.
“Consumers are looking for a seamless and easy purchasing journey and companies can achieve this by using a blend of both physical and digital approaches. The result is a greater return on experience with the customer and more lasting results for businesses,” he noted.
Two-thirds of consumers are now more willing to access non-traditional health services online. Nearly 75 per cent own health-related apps, with exercise/health-monitoring being the most popular.
More than half (51 per cent) of consumers surveyed used a smartphone to pay bills and invoices online, and the same percentage transferred money online.
For the first time in the 10 years that PwC has conducted this survey, consumers surveyed are using smartphones over other mobile devices to shop online, with 24 per cent of consumers using a smartphone to shop online weekly.
In emerging countries, mobile payments in stores are increasing, with Vietnam seeing the biggest increase to 61 per cent in a period of one year, followed by the Middle East (45 per cent). Globally, there was an overall increase of 24 per cent over the past year.
In general, Asian countries are more likely to adopt this behaviour more quickly than Western countries.