New data reveals how retailers can meet consumer expectations for the metaverse, sustainability, and more

New data reveals how retailers can meet consumer expectations for the metaverse, sustainability, and more

Productsup, the leading product-to-consumer (P2C) software company, has released The commerce shortfall report, which highlights how companies can meet global consumer demand for product information, hurting sales across all channels. The report reveals knowing more information about products is one of the top factors that would entice consumers (35 per cent) to shop with a different brand or retailer.

The report is based on a survey of nearly 5,700 consumers aged 16 and up across the US and Europe, asking about their preferences, expectations, and behaviour toward hybrid shopping experiences – focusing specifically on shopping sustainably and in the metaverse. Key findings from the report include:

Sustainability information is crucial in shopping decisions but hard to find

Globally and across all age groups, 88 per cent of consumers value sustainability, and 66 per cent of shoppers are more likely to purchase products if sustainability information is well-presented.

Consumers insist on prioritising products that will not end up in a landfill, and instead prefer ones that are reusable (71 per cent) or recyclable( 70 per cent). Despite this, 34 per cent of consumers say information on a product’s reusability and recyclability is difficult to find.

Companies can also leverage relevant sustainability information to build consumer trust. The data shows providing further explanation of what makes a product organic, free-range, or eco-friendly is the leading step to boost consumer trust in ethical brands and products (43 per cent). Conversely, supporting causes in line with sustainability labels (27 per cent), partnerships with global non-government organizations (26%), and positive press about ethical practices (22 per cent) were the least influential, as they could be seen as “causewashing”.

Metaverse products and experiences need to have real value

Considering sales for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are declining, The report reveals this may be because many consumers (60 per cent) still aren’t interested in buying virtual-only goods.

However, there are clear signs that this will change, with 39 per cent of shoppers currently excited to buy virtual products that will enhance their experience. This is especially true for younger generations as acceptance of virtual goods was twice as high for those aged 16-24 (50 per cent) compared to those aged 55+ (26 per cent).

To successfully drive sales in the metaverse, companies need to ensure their products and experiences match consumer preferences. Almost half of consumers (46 per cent) said experiencing life-like features virtually, such as seeing a digital painting in their home using augmented reality glasses, is the leading factor that would entice them to make a purchase in the metaverse. Faster return processes (45 per cent) and the ability to place an order in the metaverse for a physical product that is delivered in the real world (44 per cent) are other leading factors.

Most interested in making purchases in the metaverse are consumers based in Spain (63 per cent), Italy (55 per cent), and the USA (47 per cent), while the least interested are Denmark (31 per cent), the UK (32 per cent), and Norway (36 per cent).

“As the hype for shopping in the metaverse increases, there is expectation for bigger, better virtual experiences,” said Marcel Hollerbach, Chief Innovation Officer at Productsup. “Yet our research suggests that the same principles of commerce that apply now will also rule metaverse engagements. Businesses looking to enter the metaverse will need to ensure their tech stacks can handle an unprecedented influx of data flows to support faster speeds, more channels, and new innovations.”

Omnichannel is old news

Today’s shoppers want hybrid experiences – physical, digital, and virtual. Globally, respondents revealed they were more likely to make a purchase if their shopping experience includes a mobile app that provides more product information while shopping in-store (47 per cent), as well as virtual and augmented reality while shopping online (42 per cent).

“In today’s commerce world, brands and retailers need to deliver nuanced experiences tailored to consumers wherever they shop,” said Lisette Huyskamp, CMO at Productsup. “Consumers aren’t distracted by “green-washing,” and they expect the metaverse to be as good as real life. These expectations can’t be met unless product information is managed with a strong P2C strategy.”


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