2020 Consumers are Driving Change

Member News
Aug 28, 2020
There is an ongoing shift in consumers' behavior and habits, and it is triggering a new commerce paradigm. To help merchants understand the resulting impact on the market, we unveil research from the IBM Institute for Business Value.

Over the past decades, there were three factors that truly revolutionized the way people shop: the advent of Internet and eCommerce, and the democratization of smartphones.

Today, people increasingly buy goods and services without any physical contact with the product or the seller. Perhaps the last time this occurred was back in ancient history, when luxury goods were ordered from merchants who brought them from far away.

To better understand the change that is taking place, and its impact, recently the prestigious IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) conducted research focused on two major axes: the consumer, and the challenge posed on brands and retailers face.

The 2020 consumer's profile

"Always-on" -- that is how consumers are called today. Meaning they are always online, they have an unprecedented ability to access information, and know no limit whatsoever to fulfilling their demands. The COVID-19 outbreak has not only reinforced but validated this behavior.

Here is a quick briefing according to IBV:

  • 41% are value-driven: consumers select products/brands based on price and convenience; they are mainly from North America, Northern Europe, Japan, Korea, and China.
  • 40% are purpose-driven: consumers select products/brands aligned with their lifestyle and values; they are mainly from Europe and parts of Southeast Asia and Latin America.
  • 13% are brand-driven: consumers are highly engaged in shopping; they have high income, and are mainly from parts of India, portions of the Middle East, and areas in Latin America.
  • 6% are product-driven: consumers focus on functionality; they have minimum shopping engagement, and care less about brands or product attribute.
  • Millennials research the most before purchasing, followed by Gen Zers, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers.

The challenge posed to merchants

Perhaps the toughest fact that this research exposes is that shopping activity occurs whenever and wherever the "always-on" consumers feel like it, and any way they want. It follows that merchants now must meet the consumers' expectations in two ways simultaneously:

  1. Meet consumers in "micro-moments" -- People shop while doing something else, and do it in different points of time. Obviously, they are expecting an any-time shopping experience.
  2. Meet consumers in "micro-needs" -- Consumers are now searching for items aligned with their lifestyle and to their values. The list of needs is becoming more and more extensive and detailed, and includes items with specific attributes. Topping the list is a convenient and easy shopping experience.
Consumers are sending a clear message: simplify my life.

Therefore, for brands and retailers, the challenge is to be ever-available, to keep delivering on the fundamentals, and to offer accurate, relevant, contextualized content that turns the purchase into a "shopping trip" (IBV).

Addressing the changes alongside with BoaCompra

There is so much going on in the world, and at a breakneck pace and without warning, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, that merchants may find overwhelming to address the resulting impact on their business, including consumers' expectations.

By partnering with an expert such as BoaCompra, merchants have all the support they will need to deliver value, to optimize fulfillment, and to expand their business.

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