GfK’s Consumer Life and FutureBuy Report Reveal Shoppers’ Preferences

Apr 21, 2023

A customer thoughtfully assessing clothing items in a retail shop, representing the enduring value of in-person shopping experiences alongside e-commerce trends.

Thirty thousand shoppers in 25+ countries were polled.

Here are a few stats that might not surprise you: According to GfK’s Consumer Life trend study, In the past month, 72% of Americans have purchased something online using a PC, and 57% using a mobile phone. And many cross these channels interchangeably during the shopping journey. E-commerce is still as prevalent as ever, even as more and more top retailers and brands invest in the omnichannel experience.

In-person experiences are more important than ever as people re-enter physical stores: only 19% of Americans agree that virtual interactions with people and places can be as good as being there in person.

Personalized experiences are requested across all channels and throughout the entire shopping journey by consumers. In fact, 36% like the idea of technology that “knows” them and can recommend products and take actions based on their wants and needs. So what are their top priorities?

36% of shoppers say price is the most important factor in their purchasing decision

34% say they only buy products or services from a trusted brand 

GfK’s FutureBuy study looks more specifically across online and in-person shopping. Every year, shoppers in 25 countries share their buying habits, the channels and touchpoints they use, their interactions with retailers, and how they include technology in their purchase journey.

Among some of the interesting insights: 42% of shoppers like it when a website keeps track of their visits and then recommends things to them, and 36% agree that they like to buy products that are tailored to them. Guided selling tools are becoming more popular – 35% have taken a quiz or used some form of a guided selling tool to get matched with personalized products as part of the digital shopping experience.

Finally, 42% of Americans agree that they would be more loyal to a brand/retailer that lets them provide input to help tailor products/services to their need. And 34% of shoppers feel that they get targeted on social media with personalized and relevant products, and 31% have shopped by clicking on posts on social media. So while those ads in your Instagram feed might give you the feeling that your phone can read your mind, it doesn’t stop people from clicking to buy. The bottom line: It’s ever more important for brands to be wherever their customers are, whether it’s on their e-commerce sites, social media or in stores.