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    New Shopping Survey Reveals Mindful Spending Trends in 2024

    Shoppers like AI-powered virtual shopping assistants (24%), smart size recommendations (23%) and eco-friendly packaging (34%); Night-owl shopping is a trend for 23% of Gen Xers

    BOSTON – February 7, 2024 –  Self-care extends to economic choices as consumers shift their shopping habits in 2024. Despite resilient 2023 spending, Salsify, the platform empowering brand manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to win on the digital shelf, reports a change in behavior as we enter the new year. According to their “2024 Consumer Research” report, 39% of shoppers are prioritizing budget-friendly options, 35% are focusing on essentials, 31% are intensifying price comparisons, 26% are approaching impulse buying cautiously, and 22% are deliberately postponing purchases. In the face of yet another year marked by economic uncertainty, brands can forge connections by not just offering discounts but by authentically engaging shoppers with exceptional product experiences and championing eco-conscious practices.

    "In 2024, the consumer mantra centers on mindful shopping, stressing the importance of every brand interaction being both engaging and consistently exceptional,” said Salsify Research Director Dom Scarlett. “Authenticity becomes a key focal point, recognizing that relatable connections, along with high-quality product images and content (76%), are as significant as pricing and discounts (76%) in influencing shoppers to make a purchase.”

    Additional insights from Salsify’s 2024 Consumer Shopping Research Report revealed the following trends:

    The Sweet Spot for Brands is in the Goldilocks Zone

    Despite a more careful approach to purchasing, nearly half of shoppers (49%) share Goldilocks' desire for the perfect mix of online and in-store shopping, navigating the middle ground between opposites. Embracing omnichannel shopping, 54% use smartphones for in-store research, and 23% have completed online purchases while in a brick-and-mortar store aisle. This “Goldilocks zone” merges online convenience with in-store immersion, emphasizing the essential need for brands to provide seamless experiences to capture willing shoppers wherever they may go. While 49% prefer this balance, 29% lean towards online shopping, surpassing the 22% favoring brick-and-mortar stores.

    Shoppers Expect Action-Packed Product Pages

    Product images and descriptions are “extremely” or “very” important to 78% of today’s online shoppers, and having one static image of your product and a few bullet points is no longer enough. Shoppers crave more diverse content, ranging from comparison charts to reviews and videos, with customer ratings (72%) and user-generated content (40%) influencing purchasing decisions significantly. Authenticity is king, as customers seek unfiltered, real-world images and opinions from others like them.

    Prior to making a purchase, shoppers require a holistic view of products, emphasizing make-it-or-break-it factors, including high-quality visuals, video product demonstrations, and 360-degree views. Failing to meet these content expectations results in 45% of shoppers returning items due to incorrect or inaccurate details

    Greenovation Clicks with New Era of Conscious Shoppers

    Transforming your brand with greener and ethically sound practices is more than a strategic move in an uncertain economy — it's a shopper magnet! Delving into what truly resonates among shoppers, eco-friendly packaging steals the spotlight at 34%, closely followed by fair labor practices at 27%, and ethical sourcing at 23%. Surprisingly, public stances on social or political causes and social responsibility programs take a backseat, both rated at a mere 12%.

    Shoppers Share Sentiment about AI in the Aisle

    Though artificial intelligence (AI) has seemingly unlimited potential and applications — for work, play, health, shopping, and everything in between — shoppers currently aren’t overwhelmingly interested.

    Any hesitancy, especially among older generations, may come down to misconceptions about what AI is and what it isn’t, as well as its limitations. However, as more ecommerce tools begin to incorporate AI technology, shoppers may warm up to their capabilities in the future. The top five AI-powered shopping features that show the most interest among shoppers this year are:

    • Virtual shopping assistants (24%)
    • Personalized brand or product recommendations (23%)
    • Smart size recommendations for fashion products (23%)
      Virtual try-on tool (21%)
    • Virtual showroom tours (20%)

    Brands Should Adapt to Unusual Shopping Behaviors

    Exploring unusual shopping behaviors, it's intriguing to note that 11% of Gen Zers, Millennials, and Gen Xers have made purchases under the influence of alcohol, while 8% of Gen Zers and 7% of Millennials did so with cannabis in the mix.

    Additionally, breaking free from the conventional shopping clock, late-night digital shoppers are also on the rise, with 21% making online purchases after midnight. Gen Xers lead this trend at 23%, surpassing Gen Zers and Millennials at 22%, while Boomers trail slightly at 15%.

    Salsify’s 2024 Consumer Shopping Research Report

    Salsify conducted a quantitative online research survey via SurveyMonkey in December 2023, among a general consumer pool of 2,700 online shoppers in the United States (1,397) and the United Kingdom (1,303). The margin of error is ≤ 3%. For more information on the methodology or to view the full results, download the report here.

    About Salsify

    Salsify helps thousands of brand manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in over 140 countries collaborate to win on the digital shelf. The company’s Product Experience Management (PXM) platform enables organizations to centralize all of their product content, connect to the commerce ecosystem, and automate business processes in order to deliver the best possible product experiences across every selling destination.

    Learn how the world’s largest brands, including Mars, L'Oreal, Coca-Cola, Bosch, and ASICS, as well as retailers and distributors, such as DoorDash, E.Leclerc, Carrefour, Metro, and Intermarché, use Salsify every day to drive efficiency, power growth, and lead the digital shelf. For more information, please visit: www.salsify.com.