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The metaverse, cryptocurrency and NFTs set to revolutionise retail

BigCommerce has released its Global Consumer Report: Current and Future Shopping Trends, a consumer survey designed to give retailers insight into current and emerging trends shaping the way consumers buy from brands.

According to the researchers, the metaverse, cryptocurrency and NFTs are poised to revolutionise commerce in some form or another, while personalised shopping experiences and incentives, such as free shipping and discounts, are key factors driving purchases. Fashion and apparel was by far the most popular category for online shoppers.

Key insights from the survey revealed:

  • More than half of consumers shop online at least once a week (55%), with fashion and apparel as the most purchased items. As for discounts, they prefer free shipping above anything else.
  • Consumers who use buy now, pay later (BNPL) do so because they say it helps to fit purchases into their budget.
  • Consumers want personalised shopping experiences and advertisements, and are most willing to share their email, gender and name with brands.
  • Honesty and transparency are the brand values consumers look for most, but providing fair wages and benefits to employees was a close second.
  • The majority of consumers (84%) rated sustainability as important when making a purchasing decision.
  • Almost half (46%) of consumers are willing to shop on the metaverse, and of those, 51% are interested in buying both virtual and physical goods.

Lisa Eggerton, Chief Marketing Officer at BigCommerce, says, “BigCommerce is powered by innovation that gives our merchants the competitive advantage to outperform their competition and thrive in the new era of ecommerce. These findings show technological advances are reshaping the shoppers journey and providing new and better ways for brands to engage with their customers. The future of commerce is here, and brands have a vibrant opportunity for remarkable growth.”

The report uncovered many consumers are shopping online multiple times per week, with 55% of respondents indicating they shop online at least once a week if not more. Of course this shouldn't be that surprising considering people are shopping on Google more than a billion times a day.

As for what consumers are buying online, the report shows that fashion and apparel was by far the most popular category (80%), with electronics coming second (56%) and entertainment and media in third (55%).

When consumers were asked which payment methods they've used when shopping online, 16% said they've used BNPL. Helping consumers fit purchases into their budget was revealed as a primary reason for choosing BNPL. In fact, of those who've used BNPL, 34% were more likely to complete a purchase if BNPL was an option, while 49% would find it easier to complete a purchase if BNPL was an option.

Digging deeper into shopper motivations, the survey sought to understand how personalisation impacts the decision to buy, as well as what information consumers are willing to share in order to get a personalised shopping experience. 37% of respondents were willing to share data depending on what information was requested, while 30% said it depended on brand and 28% were not willing at all.

The survey also revealed that metaverse, cryptocurrency and NFTs are all poised to revolutionise commerce in some form or another. When it comes to metaverse shopping, consumers were about evenly split between willing (46%) and not willing (52%). Yet, a small percentage (2%) had already shopped on the metaverse.

Unlike the metaverse, the majority of consumers say they don't have a good understanding of NFTs, with 26% saying they don't even know what NFTs are. When asked which payment methods were used when shopping online, 5% of consumers said they have used cryptocurrency. While most people weren't yet using cryptocurrency, of those who do, a strong majority (66%) preferred it as a payment method.

Eggerton concludes, “Our aim in sharing data from the Global Consumer Report is to help brands across these regions better understand consumer buying behaviours. Brands must put consumers at the heart of everything they do or risk losing market share."

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