The latest Accenture report highlights how consumers across demographies and geographies are reimagining their buying behavior beyond price and quality and that brands must differentiate to meet new consumer demands and more.
According to the Accenture report, a majority of consumers across demographics and geographies are reimagining their values and basing purchasing decisions on factors beyond price and quality. With its 16th annual research report based on a survey of more than 25,000 consumers across 22 countries including more than 2000 consumers in India, Accenture’s ‘Life Reimagined: Mapping the motivations that matter for today’s consumers’ aims to understand how companies can capitalize on evolving consumer expectations to achieve new levels of growth and competitive agility.
71% of those surveyed in India are coming out of the pandemic having reimagined their behaviors and values as consumers, highlights the Accenture report. This is having a direct impact on what, how, and why they buy. An additional 22% of consumers in India seem to have evolving values and purchasing mindsets while the unprecedented experience of the pandemic has had no impact on the buyer values of only 7% of respondents.
“Driving innovation and growth in a post-pandemic economy will require the C-Suite to structure the entire organization around experience and ensure all aspects of operations including marketing, sales, innovation, R&D and customer service, understand new consumer motivations,” said, Vineet R. Ahuja, Managing director, and lead – consumer, sales and service, Accenture India. “It is extremely important to become a listening organization and invest continuously in data and analytics to understand changing consumer preferences”, he added.
The five factors extend beyond price and quality include – health and safety; service and personal care; ease and convenience; product origin; and trust and reputation, suggests the report. Perhaps even more notable is that these five factors, which have been historically important to the specific demographic groups of Gen Z and Millennials, have now hit a tipping point and are considered critical across the full breadth of consumer demographics.
Health and Safety are Paramount
Consumers are asking: Are you keeping my neighbors and me safe? What about your employees?
- Health and safety ranked high in importance for reimagined consumers, with 79% in India believing it is crucial that companies prioritize health considerations for consumers and employees in all operations.
- Seventy-eight percent of reimagined consumers in India believe that companies/brands are just as responsible as governments for the health of societies.
Customer Service and Personal care are Top-of-mind
Consumers are asking: Do you remember me? Are you making my experience with your brand as personal as it can be? Are you there for me when I need you?
- More than half of reimagined consumers in India say they would switch brands if a brand doesn’t create clear and easy options for contacting customer service or provide clear responses about service levels related to pandemic or economic/societal issues.
- Moreover, 68% of reimagined consumers in India say that many companies disappointed them by not providing enough support and understanding of their needs during challenging times.
Ease and Convenience must be Table Stakes
Consumers are asking: Are you meeting me where I am, in the digital world, the physical world, and through a blend of the two? And are you able to deliver what I need, when I need it, across all channels?
- A substantial 59% of reimagined consumers in India would switch retailers if they did not “offer new fast and flexible delivery options of goods such as click-and-collect and curbside pickup.”
- In the healthcare industry, reimagined consumers appreciate the convenience of virtual health appointments as well, with a significant number of consumers saying they would change providers if they did not offer online appointments instead of physical visits when appropriate.
Product Origin is Increasingly Important
Consumers are asking: What about the environment, and societal and corporate responsibility? Can you help me make sustainable choices? Can you help me support my local community?
- Reimagined consumers want to know what goes into a product, how it’s produced, and how far it’s been transported. 81% in India say they are attracted to brands that source services and materials in highly ethical ways.
- Additionally, 78% of reimagined consumers in India are attracted to doing business with brands that are environment-friendly.
Trust and Reputation Influence Buying Decisions
Consumers are asking: Can I trust you to do the right thing for me and not just for your business? Can I trust you to be who you say you are and stand for the things you say you stand for?
- Across a wide swath of industries, a majority of reimagined consumers said they would switch providers if they did not “take visible actions for a positive social impact — e.g., related to inclusion and diversity, environmental protection or protecting the health of the population.”