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EY Study: 30,000 Consumers from 34 Countries Reveal New Global Trends

Date: 07/30/2014
Source: EY

  • Two-thirds of consumers are now digital consumers
  • "Digital hypertaskers ”considered the shoppers of the future, are the most sophisticated and challenging of digital shoppers
  • The only categories (of the ones analysed) to remain stable in-store are purchases relating to cars, telephone and mobile contracts, and consumer loans.

The vast majority of people (62%) are now digital consumers and adept at using technology to filter information and make purchasing decisions, as shown in EY’s report, Consumers on board: how to copilot the multichannel journey. The report is based on the results of a global survey of 30,000 consumers in 34 countries and in-depth interviews with business executives.
EY’s second international survey of the “new consumer” reveals how behavior is evolving and the size and nature of the task that lies ahead for businesses with such type of consumers. Compared to the previous survey in 2012:

  • Buying online is becoming more commonplace. The only categories to remain stable in-store are purchases relating to cars, telephone and mobile contracts, and consumer loans.
  • While price remains the top criterion in the buying decision, it has lost ground to factors such as quality, and product warranty.
  • Younger consumers, age 15 to 29, lead the way in product and service development. They are three times more likely to engage in co-creation activities, tapping into the insights of the consumers at the right points in the innovation process, than the 50+ age group. But some marketers risk ignoring this older, baby-boomer demographic, which is often labeled the richest generation.
  • Price and quality are the factors that most influence the buying decision; however, rising brand loyalty across all markets underlines the appeal of brands that have invested in building trust and delivering an engaging customer experience.
  • To create competitive advantage in the long term, companies must target “digital hypertaskers” the shoppers of the future and the most sophisticated and challenging of digital shoppers.

Elena Badea, Head of Marketing and Enablement, EY Romania says: “Our previous report two years ago painted a picture of consumers who wanted products and services to be designed, sold, delivered, serviced and purchased in a way that suits them. Today, they are even more knowledgeable and self-confident, doing more research before buying than ever before. Change on this scale demands attention. In the age of the smart consumer, it’s vital to realize that consumers want to be involved and can offer active cooperation in the development phase for new products in every category we looked at.”

Compared with the findings from 2012, this latest research additionally shows that although consumers consider social media to be a good source of information, there is a rise in the number of people that see social media as a new way of communicating dissatisfaction (moved from 5.7 to 6.0 on a scale from 1 to 10 where 1 = disagree and 10 = completely agree).

Social media has provided consumers with a platform for their views and their creativity. It has changed attitudes and opened doors. Companies must address consumer concerns about the security of their personal data by prioritizing cybersecurity and ensuring they monitor consumer sentiment on social media to prevent damaging comments from gaining traction.

Regional differences in both consumer behavior online and internet penetration also mean that best practices may vary from one market to another. Capturing and accurately interpreting data on local consumer preferences and behavior using advanced analytics is therefore essential.

“Whatever the sector or region, today, engineering an outstanding customer experience is as important as engineering great products. And in order to succeed, companies must build trust by meeting, or preferably surpassing, customer expectations.” said Elena Badea.

Next week, EY Romania will launch a study realised on the Romanian market on local consumer trends and how these compare with global trends.

Click on www.ey.com/consumers2014 to download the full report and to access a web-based tool that helps to create a personalized consumer profile. The study analyzed 10 industries: telecommunications, consumer loans, home insurance, FMCG, consumer electronics, automotive, clothing, raw materials, health care and health insurance.



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About EY Romania
EY is one of the world's leading professional services firms with approximately 175,000 employees in 728 offices across 150 countries, and revenues of approximately $25.8 billion in 2013. Our network is the most integrated at global level and its vast resources allow us to help our clients benefit from every opportunity. In Romania, EY has been a leader on the professional services market since its set up in 1992. Our over 450 employees in Romania and Moldova provide seamless assurance, tax, transactions, and advisory services to clients ranging from multinationals to local companies. Our offices are based in Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, Iasi and Chisinau. From 1 July 2013, Ernst & Young becomes EY, the logo has been modified in response to this change and the company's new tagline becomes "Building a better working world". The new visual identity reflects the new strategy of EY, Vision 2020. For more information, please visit www.ey.com.

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