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Majority of shoppers will switch to brands that match their values – and are happy to use VR and digital window shopping

UK shoppers are increasingly looking for the ethical choice (Image: Shutterstock)

Nearly 60% of UK consumers would switch to brands that represent the values that are important to them, according to a study by Adobe.

The research, published in Adobe’s ‘Getting eCommerce right in the 2020s’ report,reveals how Britain is now home to a nation of conscious consumers, with 38% actively seeking out brands that are sustainable or environmentally responsible.

Almost nine in 10 (87%) say their values and things they care about are playing a greater role in how and where they choose to shop with many retailers now looking to out-promote each other around their purpose and green credentials.

The report compiles data from almost 10,000 consumers from Europe, Asia and Africa, including 1,000 in the UK and reveals, among other things, the risks to retailers of not acting ethically in the eyes of their consumers. It also shows how consumer behaviours and expectations have shifted as online shopping has increased, with many demanding more personalized and innovative experiences.

The findings include data around the rise of the ethical shopper, notably that almost a fifth (18%) say that the top priority for them when choosing who to shop with is a retailer which aligns with their personal values and ethics.

The price of a product is the top consideration for most shoppers (53%), rising to 64% among the over 55s -who care less about whether retailers’ ethics align with their own. Meanwhile, a third (30%) want full transparency into the ethics of retailers’ supply chains, and 39% prioritise shopping with retailers that focus on strong employee welfare credentials.

High street shopping habits emerge online

The research also found “offline” behaviours, such as window shopping, are beginning to spread online as shoppers make multiple visits to ecommerce sites before purchasing.

Consumers are increasingly ‘digitally window shopping’, with 68% saying they are re-visiting e-commerce sites numerous times before making a purchase, more than they did a year ago. This trend of “micro interactions” typically means we browse sites three times before making a purchase, pausing most commonly over home furnishings (84%) or clothes (82%). Food items are the most commonly bought after visiting a website just once (47%)

At the same time, consumers don’t want to be overwhelmed with choice with 91% craving simplicity from their online shopping experience. One in five shoppers would like to see fewer products on the virtual shelf (22%), while a quarter want to see fewer payment options at the checkout (25%).

Just over a third of consumers also want greater personalisation with 36% keen to only see products and offers that are relevant to them, believing this gives them a more rewarding shopping experience. There is also a growing appetite for consumers sharing personal data with brands provided the receive something valuable in return, with 60% of people now interested in receiving targeted offers.

Despite going back to old habits when shopping, many are looking for a more experiential and bespoke offering, particularly when it comes to luxury, high value goods. The study also shows that 65% are more comfortable buying big ticket items online compared to a year ago, with 60% of shoppers now interested in using virtual reality (VR). Almost half (43%) would buy a product not yet produced and only seen on VR. A significant 62% of consumers would like to see more VR when shopping online to personalise their experience – versus 32% in 2020.

“The message from consumers is clear – their buying decisions are driven by value, speed, convenience and now, purpose,” says Peter Bell, Marketing Director for Adobe UKI. “The most successful ecommerce brands are those that have built trusted relationships with their customers by delivering a consistently personal experience across every channel.”

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