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Study: Inflation-weary consumers turning online for better value

Inflation is causing more consumers to buy online, according to the report.

Most consumers are prioritizing value over brand loyalty — and they are going online to find it.

Eighty-six percent of U.S. consumers say inflation has made them look for better value when shopping, according to a report by marketplace SaaS platform provider Mirakl. And 71% said they expect to move more of their spending online in the next 12 months to find better value.

The second edition of Mirakl’s Consumer Preferences in the Digital-First Economy report surveyed 9,600 global consumers regarding their preferences and habits when shopping both in-person and online.

New economic pressures are causing retailers’ most loyal customers to go elsewhere in search of better prices. Forty-three percent of the survey respondents globally stopped shopping with a specific retailer as a result of rising prices. Fewer than one in five respondents (17%) continue to shop with the brands they trust regardless of price, putting pressure on brands that rely on loyalty from high-value customers to take agile approaches to product and pricing strategy in order to ensure growth, the report stated.

Consumers are also increasing e-commerce spending due to lower prices and a better customer experience, according to the report. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of U.S. respondents expect to increase their e-commerce spending during the next 12 months as a result of finding better value online, according to Mirakl.

The report found that short-term out-of-stock challenges are also causing consumers to go online:

• More than half (53%) of U.S. consumers agree that the products they need have been out of stock more frequently in stores in the last six months.

• When a product they normally purchase in store is out of stock, half of shoppers try to find it online often or very often. If they find what they're looking for, nearly three-quarters (71%) shop for it online the next time they need it.

Other key findings of the report include:

  • Roughly half (51%) of global respondents are likely or very likely to do the majority of their shopping online in 2023.
  • U.S. consumers conducted 46% of their online shopping through marketplaces in 2022, up, 10% from 2021.
  • More than three-quarters (77%) of consumers globally continue to believe marketplaces are the most convenient way to shop online, a 10% increase year-over-year. Three in five (60%) wish more of their favorite retailers had online marketplaces.
  • As to the features they'd most like to see in future online marketplaces, global survey respondents cited loyalty and membership programs (41%); in-store pop-ups that show marketplace products in person (28%); purchasing integration with the latest social media apps (20%); and a handpicked selection from influencers they follow (19%).

"The data clearly shows that shoppers have a renewed focus on price and convenience, and only a small fraction of customers are unconditionally loyal to their favorite brands as prices skyrocket,” said Adrien Nussenbaum, co-founder and co-CEO of Mirakl.  “In this economic environment, consumers are relying more than ever on marketplaces to provide the experience that they expect, intensifying pressure for every retailer to develop a clear marketplace strategy.”

“There is a clear mandate for retailers to offer everything from expanded assortments and more affordable price points to better shipping options – without compromising on a strong brand experience,” added Nussenbaum.

Consumer Preferences in the Digital-First Economy, the newest iteration of The State of Online Marketplace Adoption by Mirakl, is available for download at:

Mirakl surveyed 9,600 global consumers on their shopping habits and preferences, with respondents from Australia, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The survey was conducted in October 2022 by Schlesinger Group, an independent research company.

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