Survey highlights changes in consumer buying trends

Realizing how dramatically consumer purchasing trends are changing, Hubspot, a leading CRM platform, collaborated with Brandwatch, a leading social suite, and surveyed more than 1,000 consumers in the U.S. to get their insights across eight categories.

The respondents, which included Gen Zers, millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers, were asked to share their thoughts and recent actions across categories that included purchasing habits, social media, online communities, data privacy, workplace trends and the metaverse.

This week, I am taking a look at what those consumers said about their purchasing habits.

Simply stated, mobile optimization refers to techniques and processes that allow a retailer’s website to function and perform as well on a mobile device as it does on a desktop.

Clearly, as more and more shoppers access a retailer’s website from their smartphones, mobile optimization is no longer a luxury. It is a necessity.

As these statistics from the survey show, almost 60% of shoppers use a mobile phone to gather information from a search engine. That is just about double the number of consumers who reported accessing search engines from a desktop.

The report added that when it looked at mobile access to search engines by age, millennials are the most likely generation to use their mobile device more, at 74%.

When it came to using mobile devices for shopping, the study found that Gen Z is leading the trend, with 74% of those 18-24 choosing mobile first to begin the shopping process.

Based on responses from the survey respondents, businesses seeking the most effective way to inform potential customers about their products not only need to focus on using a mobile format but must also pay careful attention to the location of where they show their messaging.

The survey discovered that just under 40% of the respondents confirmed that they had found a new product on a social media site within the past 90 days.

In fact, this was the case for 57% of Gen Z respondents and 50% of millennials.

Knowing that word-of-mouth referrals have always played a role in influencing shoppers, the study wanted to know if today’s consumers trust the word of a personal referral more than a referral from an influencer that they follow.

When the results were in and tabulated, influencer recommendations were preferred by more than half (55%) of Gen Z.

Across the remainder of the groups, less than a third (30%) identified influencer recommendations as one of the most important factors in their buying decisions.

The survey also found that when it came to messaging, the vast majority of the respondents — 78% — said that truthful, relatable content was more important than the quality of the video and audio.

The study also confirmed that subscription boxes and related services have come into their own as a popular means for businesses to get their goods into consumers’ hands on a regular basis.

Hubspot defines a subscription business model as “a recurring revenue model in which customers pay a weekly, monthly or yearly fee in exchange for your products or services.”

This platform, Hubspot says, has benefits for both the vendor and the consumer. Consumers receive the convenience of automatically ordering a product or service they know they will have a future need for. A participating business, meanwhile, gets to retain a customer  and also locks down recurring revenue each month.

To access the full report and see the results for the other categories, click here.

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