- Productsup’s report points to the fact that customers are mainly keen on digital CX that offers transparency, accessibility, and availability.
- End-users tend to avoid products that’ll end up in a landfill; instead, they prefer ones that are reusable (71%) or recyclable (70%).
While the metaverse and Augmented Reality (AR)/ Virtual Reality (VR) technology have made headlines because of their supposed potential to be used as tools for future online marketplaces, several e-commerce companies have seen a decline in revenue in recent years, forcing some enterprises to go back to square one when it comes to good digital CX.
Productsup, a leading Product-to-Consumer (P2C) software company, has released a new report where it surveyed consumers’ tastes and expectations regarding their digital hybrid shopping experiences, focusing on sustainability and the metaverse. The survey found that companies looking to boost their sales in the digital marketplace were facing an uphill battle – as per the report, 60% of the shoppers have zero interest in buying virtual goods whatsoever.
Considering that revenue from the metaverse is anticipated to reach USD800 billion in 2024, it does not come as a surprise that many forward-thinking organizations want to cater to customers who are not quite interested in online-only spending. In sum, Productsup’s report points to the fact that customers are mainly keen on digital CX that offers transparency, accessibility, and availability.
Sustainability and DEI initiatives have been at the forefront of consumers’ minds in recent times – in their bid to take a call on whether to purchase a company’s product; they’re more likely to inquire about the why and how the product is made. End-users tend to avoid products that’ll end up in a landfill; instead, they prefer ones that are reusable (71%) or recyclable (70%). Consumers say information on a product’s reusability (34%) and recyclability (30%) can be difficult to find.
For example, it may not be sufficient to include a “fair trade” or “biodegradable” label on your paper coffee cups — 43% of the consumers wanted not just a detailed explanation as to how the product is biodegradable, but nearly 40% of them also want proof of the information that the product aligns with its “sustainable” label. “Consumers aren’t distracted by ‘greenwashing,’” said Lisette Huyskamp, chief marketing officer at Productsup. “[Their] expectations can’t be met unless product information is managed with a strong P2C [product-to-consumer] strategy.”
Though consumers across generations want to know more about the product, it depends on each generation as to how best they can present the said information. Gen Z welcomes the advent of the metaverse and digital-only shopping with more readiness than their older counterparts. Similarly, Gen Z will likely prefer information presented via online comparisons (40%) or QR codes (37%). On the other hand, those at the end of the generational spectrum – aged 55 years or more – are inclined towards information that’s easy to find and contained within the product description.
Lastly, customers tend not to want an “either/or” shopping experience; i.e., they want access to product information and deals accessible in both the metaverse and the store. Ultimately, the same number of consumers indicated they’re more likely to buy a product if a deal is offered exclusively in a store vs online (55% vs 54%, respectively). This means that corporations must offer coupons and sales in physical and digital venues.
A technological blend of physical and digital shopping is most welcomed: Nearly 47% of the consumers will want to purchase if they have all the information related to the product via a store’s mobile app while they’re shopping in person, for example. The use of AR technology, such as smart mirrors and mobile filters, could also be used to motivate consumers at the store (41%) or on the company’s website (42%).
To sum it up, the report results suggest that while many end-users look forward to the expected increases in speed, convenience, and information offered by the metaverse and other digital marketplaces, there are not yet ready to do away with the tried-and-true methods of decades past. “In today’s commerce world, brands and retailers need to deliver nuanced experiences tailored to consumers wherever they shop,” said Huyskamp.
Productsup surveyed nearly 5,700 consumers aged 16 years and up across the U.S. and Europe, asking about their preferences, expectations, and behavior toward hybrid shopping experiences.