ARMONK, N.Y., Jan. 13, 2022 /CNW/ -- At NRF 2022: Retail's 'Big
Show', the IBM (NYSE:IBM) Institute for Business Value, in
association with the National Retail Federation, the world's
largest retail trade association, released their second global
study*, "Consumers want it all," which reveals rising consumer
preferences for sustainability and shopping journeys splintered
across multiple digital, physical, and mobile touchpoints.
The new global study of over 19,000 surveyed consumers shows
hybrid shopping – mixing physical and digital channels in shopping
journeys – is on the rise as shopping habits consumers adopted out
of necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic are becoming routine.
Retailers must become more agile to meet customers where they are,
integrating digital and in-store experiences.
- 72% of respondents say they use the store as all or part of
their primary purchase method.
- Top reasons respondents choose to visit a store include
touching and feeling products before buying them (50%), picking and
choosing their own products (47%) and getting products right away
(43%), though what in-store shoppers are looking for varies by
- 27% of respondents report hybrid shopping is their method of
choice, and Gen Z consumers surveyed are most likely to be a
'hybrid shopper' compared to other age groups.
The study also shows that sustainability has become increasingly
important to surveyed consumers' purchase decisions and brand
preferences since 2020.
- Purpose-driven consumers, who choose products/brands based on
their values like sustainability, are now the largest segment of
consumers surveyed (44%).
- 62% of respondents are willing to change their purchasing
habits to reduce environmental impact, up from 57% two years
- Half of respondents say they're willing to pay a premium for
sustainability – an average premium of 70%. This is roughly double
the premium from 2020.
- However, there's a gap between intention and action – only 31%
of respondents say that sustainable products made up most or all of
their last purchase.
"While many surveyed consumers still place high value on the
traditional in-store shopping experience, they also now expect the
flexibility to build their own shopping journey – according to the
behaviors prevalent to their age range, available tools and the
product category they are looking to purchase," said Mark Mathews, Vice President of Research
Development and Industry Analysis at the National Retail
Federation. "This 'hybrid' approach is a fundamental shift in
"The survey shows over the last year, sustainability became
increasingly important to consumers, though there's still a gap
between their intentions and actions due to lack of information in
the buying process. Increasingly, it's becoming essential that
retail brands demonstrate sustainable choices and options in each
step of the customer experience. At the same time, hybrid
shopping has taken hold in most categories, particularly in home
goods and apparel; and while stores continue to play the
predominant role in grocery, hybrid shopping is growing in these
categories too," said Luq Niazi,
Global Managing Director IBM Consumer Industries.
He added, "Despite the impact of COVID-19, our experience with
clients shows many leading retail brands are continuing to rapidly
transform operations, customer experience and supply chains with
technologies like AI, hybrid cloud and blockchain to help serve
these multiple customer preferences."
On Sunday, January 16, the opening
day of NRF's 112th annual convention, IBM Chairman and
CEO Arvind Krishna plans to deliver
a keynote session on 'Reshaping retail with technology' at
4:00pm ET on the main stage.
Visitors can connect with IBM Industry professionals at
Booth # 3620 and follow social updates on #NRF2022.
* About the IBM/NRF study
The IBM IBV, in association
with the National Retail Federation, conducted a global survey of
more than 19,000 respondents across 28 countries in September 2021 to better understand the new
normal of customer behavior. The full study "Consumers want it all:
Hybrid shopping, sustainability, and purpose-driven brands" is
About the IBM Institute for Business Value
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