The vast majority (78%) of consumers have come to prefer online shopping for specific items over the course of the past 6 months, according to a Cheetah Digital report [download page] on the digital consumer trends that are set to outlast the pandemic.
Among the more than 5,000 consumers surveyed, several buying behavior changes over the past 6 months stand out as likely to stick. Jointly at the top of the list were buying more through digital channels (39%) and being more concerned about the environmental impact of the brands they consume (39%). Right behind was being more concerned about how and where brands source products and services (38%).
Consumers have also noticed behavior changes specific to their online shopping habits. Having done more online shopping over the past 6 months because of the pandemic, nearly 8 in 10 (78%) agreed that this has made them realize that for specific things, online shopping is better and easier.
Not only that, but a further 64% said that beyond Amazon, they had bought from online sites that they hadn’t previously considered or realized existed. In this discovery process, 64% said they expect to stick with these new brands on the other side of the pandemic. Consumers also appear to prefer desktop shopping, with 64% saying that they have gotten more comfortable using mobile, but still prefer shopping on the bigger screen.
It’s certainly clear that the consumers surveyed have become more conscientious over the past 6 months. Some 58% of respondents said that they had rejected a brand either because of its environmental, corporate or political values, and nearly 3 in 10 (27%) feel more concerned about a brand’s corporate values.
This includes some specific changes in opinions on Facebook. Three-quarters (74%) shared that they are concerned about polarization of political opinion on Facebook, and only slightly fewer were aware that brands have pulled their ads from Facebook due to concerns about the amount of hate speech (71%). Indeed, 6 in 10 (63%) prefer to buy from brands that do not advertise on Facebook.
That said, brands that respond to these consumer changes are looking at an increase in loyalty. The report found a big increase in the proportion of consumers who are loyal to a brand they feel it’s safe to buy from, as well as an increase in consumers who are loyal to a brand that is responsible with their data.
Other characteristics of brands that respondents suggested would increase their loyalty included great products and services, a rewards program that they like, customer service and support, and convenience of use.
Read more in the full report here.
About the Data: Results are based on a survey of 5,065 adults (18+) across Australia, France, Japan, Spain, the UK and the US.