Consumers are harder to define, understand and please than ever before. Digital technology is altering not only how, where and when consumers shop, but is transforming their expectations of, and interactions with, all suppliers — from retailers and manufacturers to governments and utilities. This upheaval has come so fast that many organizations are struggling to adapt their business models to keep up with the evolving demands of consumers and the escalating potential of technology. And one thing is clear: the future will be no less turbulent. To get a clear picture of the new consumer and offer solutions to how organizations can keep pace with their shifting needs, in 2011, Ernst & Young conducted an extensive international survey.
The survey took the pulse of almost 25,000 people of all ages and backgrounds, in 34 countries, across mature and emerging markets. It asked each individual detailed questions about their purchasing activities, preferences and perceptions across 10 different products and services, from food and beverages, to consumer electronics and public services. Consumers were either asked to indicate their opinions on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest possible score, or to give a percentage rating. The findings provide further evidence of the changing nature of commerce and valuable intelligence into contemporary and future trends.