1WorldSync surveyed 1.500 shoppers to reveal the leading shopping trends in 2023. Here are the findings.
1WorldSync, a global product content orchestration platform, has unveiled its 2023 Consumer Product Content Benchmark Report. The report, which incorporates insights gathered from shoppers in the United States and Canada, highlights the increasing influence of digital channels in guiding consumer purchasing decisions in physical stores via smartphones.
Here are the key findings from the report:
Consumer Behavior in the Digital Age
In the digital age, consumers have become increasingly meticulous in their purchasing decisions.
They engage in extensive online and in-store research before committing to a purchase. According to the survey, 87% of shoppers utilize their smartphones to research products while in-store, with 72% focusing on price comparisons, 69% on customer reviews, and 52% on detailed product descriptions.
The Surge in Online Shopping
The trend of online shopping continues to surge.
Two-thirds (66%) of shoppers have purchased items online in the past year that they previously only bought in physical stores. This shift is most noticeable in clothing and accessories (50%), health and personal care (42%), and beauty and cosmetics (35%).
The percentage of online shoppers in new categories has declined from the peak of the pandemic in 2021 (82%), but it remains stable at 68%, indicating sustained consumer comfort with online shopping in traditional retail sectors.
The “Phygital” Shopping Era
Steve Sivitter, CEO of 1WorldSync, emphasized the intertwined nature of online and in-store shopping experiences, illustrating that the boundaries between these channels are fading. This fusion has given rise to a ‘phygital’ shopping era, where consumers seamlessly blend online and in-store shopping for informed decision-making.
“This interconnected ecosystem reflects the future of retail, demonstrating the complementary and indispensable relationship between online and brick-and-mortar platforms in enhancing customer experience and choice.”
The survey revealed that even the majority (61%) of in-store shopping journeys commence online, marking a 25% increase from 2022.
Reviews Provide Crucial Product Context
User-generated content (UGC) plays a pivotal role in the online shopping experience.
Two-thirds of online shoppers attest to the significant influence of customer reviews on their purchase decisions. Notably, 53% of shoppers under the age of 35 will not purchase a product with fewer than five reviews. Negative reviews, on the other hand, can deter nearly half (43%) of potential consumers with as few as 4-5 unfavorable reviews.
Moreover, 20% of consumers admit to writing reviews for products they haven’t purchased, underscoring the need for companies to verify feedback for reliability and legitimacy as part of their omnichannel strategy.
Influence of Influencers
Influencers may not wield as much purchase-driving power as once believed.
Despite their prevalent presence on social platforms, only 40% of consumers report taking action on an influencer’s recommendation in the last year. Alarmingly, 61% of those who did make a purchase found the recommendation did not accurately reflect the product. More surprisingly, those aged 18-35 (33%) are less likely to make a purchase based on an influencer’s recommendation than those aged 34-45 (39%).
Traditional personal networks and brand messaging continue to play a vital role in shaping purchasing decisions.
Emerging Technology Reshapes Shopping Habits
Advancements in technology are reshaping consumer behavior.
Augmented Reality (AR) tools are gaining ground, with 35% of consumers using them during mobile shopping and 57% relying on these tools to visualize product dimensions. In contrast, 78% of consumers have yet to adopt AI tools for product searches, indicating that this technology is still in its early stages of use during online shopping.
23% of consumers are shopping less with delivery services/courier apps this year compared to 2022, suggesting that consumers are more comfortable visiting physical stores and restaurants.
Despite growing popularity, 46% of shoppers have never shopped at budget or fast-fashion e-commerce sites like Temu or Shein due to concerns about product quality, reputation, and unfamiliarity.
48% of consumers will stop shopping from a brand after making two to three returns. More than half of the surveyed shoppers said that misleading or poor product content was the reason for their returns.
The average shopper anticipates that around 60% of their holiday shopping will be done online, reflecting the ongoing trend toward e-commerce.
While social media can amplify the perception that political affiliation affects brands, only a limited number of shoppers (17%) reported that they stopped purchasing a specific brand due to political affiliation in 2022.
About the Report
This survey was conducted online by 1WorldSync via Pollfish in August 2023 among a randomized, representative sample of 1,500 online shoppers in the U.S. & Canada over the age of 18. The margin of error is +/- 3% at the 95% confidence level. The results represent the population-weighted, percentage share of the sample selecting each option.
To access the complete 2023 Consumer Product Content Benchmark Report, visit 1WorldSync.com.