Digital: Consumers increasingly value alternative experiences and products
The Index shows that a small but growing group of consumers is interested in exploring emerging technology and digital channels. Nearly one in 10 consumers have used digital currencies, experienced the metaverse, or purchased a virtual product.
Interestingly, this baseline level broadly reflects where e-commerce was five years ago. In 2017 it had a 10% share of retail, which has since doubled. That level of retail penetration was enough for some observers to predict the end of high street shopping. Is the consumer industry at a similar tipping point?
The pandemic experience made significant parts of daily life “digital first.” As they look to take more control of their finances, consumers are again turning to digital. For example, they are hedging between digital and physical experiences – substituting rather than sacrificing their lifestyles.
The adoption of newer forms of digital goods and services presents new opportunities for companies. Can they invest in digital in ways that differentiate their brand experience, drive innovation, capture more consumer data, test products digitally, or create digital product lines?
Trust will be critical. When it comes to using and protecting their data, consumers are extremely concerned about who they share their data with and want to understand how it will be used and protected. They are adding a safety-first element to their post-pandemic, always-on emergency mindset.