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Wunderman Thompson Commerce Study - The Future Shopper

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the future shopper commerce 2021

A new Wunderman Thompson report on The Future Shopper, covers more than 28,000 consumers across 17 different markets and has some interesting insight which we've picked through on your behalf.  

Access their full report here.

33% of all products and services bought online are digital and not physical


  • In this post lockdown world, consumers buying behaviour has changed and the shopper is now more technology-literate
  • Shoppers crave innovative, omni-channel experiences
  • Marketplaces lead when it comes to online shopping CX
  • The role of D2C and D2C service delivery is becoming more important
  • Instantly downloadable digital products are becoming more desirable and address "final mile' challenges 
  • Social Commerce is growing and is becoming a more important online sales channel
  • Environmental credentials are important to customers when making purchases online 
  • Digitally advanced methods of shopping online are in high demand

For many consumers previously scared or reluctant to order anything online, grocery ordering online has been many consumers’ first foray.


* based on % of global shoppers

  • 72% said online shopping came to their rescue in 2020
  • 73% said ecommerce will be more important to them this year although older shoppers are much more ambivalent
  • 60% are more comfortable using digital technology in the wake of the pandemic
  • 62% will increase their use of digital shopping channels in the future
  • 80% say that they want to get from product inspiration to purchase as quickly as possible
  • 64% say they prefer to shop with brands that have both online and offline presence
  • 64% say they are excited by the prospect of buying everyting through one retailer or marketplace
  • 66% want brands to be more digitally innovative
  • 44% have already bought from a social platform
  • 30% expect their online order to be delivered within 24 hours

42% of all online spending globally is on marketplaces

Where Amazon is well established within the local market, 3in5 shoppers use it for product search



  • 56% Amazon
  • 34% Search Engines
  • 34% Retailer Sites


  • 58% Amazon 
  • 46% Search Engines
  • 29% Retailer Sites


  • 44% Search Engines
  • 41% Amazon
  • 27% Brand Sites


  • 62% Amazon
  • 33% Search Engines
  • 32% Brand Sites


  • 58% Better Price
  • 51% Free Delivery
  • 36% Free Returns
  • 36% Fast and Convenient Delivery
  • 26% Loyalty Programme

Digitising products and services could be key to future success


  • 44% of global consumers say they have bought from a social platform

    • 22% penetration in Europe

    • 12% penetration in Japan

  • Latin American and Asian shoppers are more positive about using social commerce than Europeans.


Have never bought directly from a social platform

  • 74% of over-55s

  • 52% of 45 to 54-year-olds 

Have bought directly from a social platform

  • 55% of 25 to 34-year- olds

  • 50% of 35 to 44-year-olds

  • 49% of 16 to 24-year-olds who say they have

China is entering the ‘trillion’ era of livestream commerce.

70% of Chinese shoppers believe that TikTok is the best channel for social commerce


A brand’s ethical and environmental credentials is also something that influences younger shoppers considerably more than older generations.

Under 45s

  • 70% said a company’s ethics and morals play an active role in their purchasing decisions
  • 63% say they actively choose companies that are environmentally responsible

Over 45s

  • 58% said a company’s ethics and morals play an active role in their purchasing decisions
  • 50% say they actively choose companies that are environmentally responsible


  • The US, Asia and Latin America lead the way with gaming commerce
  • 59% of gamers spend money on gaming through the platforms they use 


  • Review your ecommerce strategy to ensure it's fit for the post Covid-19 
  • Review and re-think your consumer & customer 'How' 
  • Get your tech right 
  • Focus on delivering best in class service
  • Consider what you can digitise
  • Continually improve performance
  • Prepare for social commerce
  • Choose your platforms and channels wisely
  • Ensure your sustainability credentials are authentic and robust
  • Know what's new in commerce and tech

"To take advantage of the opportunities available, brands and retailers will need to focus on honing a balanced omni-channel strategy, one that treats all channels, online and offline, as complementary parts of larger whole rather than separate, siloed operations in their own right. It will take a willingness to embrace innovation and new technology at every stage of the customer journey, and the will to explore partnerships at the same time as driving your own offer."

Image: Wunderman Thompson Future Shopper Report

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