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Sustainability is on the rise among consumers, study says

The study, carried out with 19,000 people in 28 countries, also indicates a growing preference among customers for hybrid purchases

A study was carried out by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV), in partnership with the largest retail trade association in the world, the National Retail Federation (NRF), interviewing 19,000 people in 28 countries, with the aim of understanding new habits and consumer behaviors.

Titled “Consumers Want It All,” the study reveals increasing preference for sustainability and hybrid shopping, which is fragmented across digital, physical and mobile touchpoints.

Hybrid purchases were adopted out of necessity, with the new routine established after the coronavirus pandemic, and continue to grow. In this way, retailers must be increasingly agile in ensuring an experience that integrates the physical and digital store.

The research also shows that sustainability has gained greater relevance among consumers for purchasing decisions and brand preferences. Data shows that 44% of respondents choose products based on brand values, including sustainability, while 62% are willing to change their shopping habits to reduce their environmental impact, and half of respondents said they are willing to pay more for a sustainable product.

“Increasingly, it is becoming essential for retail brands to demonstrate sustainable choices and options at every stage of the customer experience. At the same time, hybrid shopping has taken hold in most categories, and while stores continue to play the predominant role in supermarkets, hybrid shopping is also growing in these categories,” said Luq Niazi, Global Managing Director IBM Consumer Industries.

He added: “Despite the impact of COVID-19, our customer experience shows that many leading retail brands continue to rapidly transform operations, customer experience and supply chains with technologies such as AI, hybrid cloud and blockchain to help meet these multiple customer preferences”.

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