We know price is king, but what other brand and product attributes are attracting consumers in 2023?
The current market landscape offers an abundance of brands with a range of products or solutions for any one thing. Brands have a multitude of channels at their disposal to market themselves, with an ability to convey highly personalised messaging, call-out their niche innovations or offer discounts, loyalty schemes and free delivery. Brands need to cut through this saturated market in a period when consumers are being careful with their finances.
So, aside from cheap prices, what do shoppers genuinely want from brands? And how can brands leverage these purchase drivers to appeal to consumers?
The Value of Convenience
When it comes to making purchases, price is undoubtedly and unsurprisingly king for well over half of UK consumers. Despite this, the lives of everyday working Brits are busy and if a brand can offer convenience across a customer’s purchase journey, it’s a sure way to win consumer favour. Whether the product is in stock ranks closely behind price when it comes to the top purchase influencers for brands, keeping those shopping feeds up to date will be paramount. Consumers do not want to waste time. An easy online purchase process, quick delivery as well as an easy in-person purchase process are key factors for around half of UK consumers, so user experience and efficient delivery services need to be priority investment channels.
Amazon are a key example of winning big by providing customers convenience at every stage of their purchase journey. From offering a large range of low-price products to providing same or next day delivery at little to no cost, Amazon’s consumer-centric strategies keep their brand front-of-mind at the start of almost every buyer’s journey. Their customer-first approach to ecommerce has without a doubt played a large role in their reported net sales of over 149.2 billion USD in the final quarter of 2022.
Despite all the chatter about the Metaverse, only 11% of Brits cite a brand’s presence in virtual settings as a deciding factor. As inflation drives the price of products up and disposable income is squeezed, consumers are more likely to spend their money with a sense of security. The recent decline of NFTs, with sales dropping 83% from 2022-2023, shows how consumers are preferring to stick to reliable purchases. Brits want to spend without risk and avenues like the Metaverse or NFTs are not currently filling consumers with reassurance.
The Appeal of ‘Green’ Brands
We know price is the top purchase consideration, but not all brands have an ability to simply lower their prices to compete, especially if a commitment to sustainability tops their agenda. But environmentally friendly brand actions can be key in acquiring new customers.
Awareness of over consumption and its detrimental impact on the environment has resulted in ‘being eco-friendly’ as the leading brand action for almost half of UK consumers. This mentality has driven the desire for brand transparency with a third of consumers wanting clarity across manufacturing conditions/methods and supply chains. As personal finances are stretched, trends of conscious consumerism and prioritising quality over quantity have emerged. Brits want to know that their money is being well spent on a quality product from a brand that operates ethically and sustainably. To drive awareness of these practices, brands do not need to shout across their socials as only 12% of shoppers cite public statements across socials and advertising as purchase drivers but, brands need to be sure to follow ethical and sustainable practices and convey them in their content.
Patagonia put protecting the planet at the centre of their ethos with their prioritisation of purpose over profit. Their use of recycled and ethically sourced materials means that their price point is not cheap, but this does not deter customers. Their genuine commitment to eco-friendly practices and quality clothing appeals to those looking to avoid fast-fashion and make long-term investment purchases.
A Shift towards Social Responsibility and Locality
The emergence of conscious consumerism and desire for brand transparency showcases how a brand’s commitment to social responsibility is a top consumer consideration. Consumers want to invest in a quality product from a brand that cares about social causes and employee welfare. These prove to be crucial brand actions as over a third of Brits want to purchase from a brand that makes charitable donations and for 31%, transparency surrounding employee welfare is important.
Patagonia might also be industry leaders across social responsibility but as are Ben & Jerry’s, proving that global brands can still hit the mark when it comes to social causes. To raise awareness of issues such LGBTQ+ rights, climate justice or voting rights, Ben & Jerry’s partner with non-profits to build support with its customers. Their foundation also regularly donates to businesses that facilitate social change. Consumers are often willing to pay more for a product, and the purchase tends means more, if they are supporting a business who take social responsibility seriously.
This also extends to the rising trend of locality as consumers look to prioritise purchases made in the UK versus those made globally.
Across all purchase groups, consumers are preferring to shop local. Food is the number one area where shoppers are prioritising locality with over 50% seeking out UK food products. Brits are keen to consider where their purchases are coming from, seeing food as a key sector where they can shop consciously. Technology, entertainment, and travel are purchase areas where we do see a higher number of consumers preferring products made outside of the UK but even across these areas, local remains the priority.
We all know price is the most important purchase factor, but it is not the only consideration for consumers. Brands can still win by giving customers what they want: convenience and a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. Almost half of Brits want to shop from brands that are eco-friendly and a third want transparency about supply chain and production methods. This does not mean that brands need to start making frequent public announcements of their sustainable production methods or their prioritisation of UK products but, if a brand’s approach can be conscious and environmentally aware, it will be a key driver in attracting new customers this year.
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