Authenticity is now a key new driver for revenue and loyalty among global shoppers as the trend for more mindful consumption continues, research from Asendia reveals.
Original research of over 8,000 global shoppers in Asendia’s ‘How To Sell Direct In The Age Of The Conflicted Shopper’ Report showed more than two thirds (67%) of global shoppers would spend more money with retailers they perceived to be authentic, with 59% saying they would only shop exclusively with authentic retail brands.
The key values defining authenticity for global shoppers were: being straightforward on delivering promises (58%); transparency within supply chains (43%); standing up for sustainability (39%); clear brand values (39%); and transparency with supplier relationships (34%).
Authenticity – the new currency for conversion, spend and loyalty
Seventy three percent (73%) of global shoppers also said authenticity made them more loyal to brands, with a further 65% saying they would switch to a competitor if they felt a retailer wasn’t authentic. Shoppers in Hong Kong (73%), France and Spain (both 72%) proved the most likely to switch brand allegiances, while shoppers in Hong Kong (80%) and the United States (75%) were the consumers whose spend propensity was the most impacted by a brand’s authenticity.
In the context of economic global headwinds and the rising cost-of-living putting extra pressure on household budgets and discretionary spend, authenticity is also helping retailers fend off rising price-sensitivity among shoppers.
While a third of global shoppers plan to cut back on the volume of things they buy in 2023, almost half (48%) said a brand’s authenticity would make them less sensitive to inflationary price increases. However, this dipped to 43% of shoppers in the UK, where inflation remains close to a 40-year high.
Renaud Marlière, Global Chief of Business Development of Asendia, commented: “Of course, we see that shoppers are acting with caution due to the rising cost-of-living, but invariably they are also consuming consciously and mindfully. Shoppers now want to engage and buy from brands who act authentically. Increasingly, shoppers are holding the retailers and brands they shop with to account – and it is clear that authenticity is now having a significant impact on share of wallet, revenue and loyalty.”
“Brands and retailers need to take control of their own destiny when it comes to shaping the authentic shopping journeys consumers are now demanding. Shoppers increasingly expect accountability and transparency from retailers, whether through greater transparency around supply chain emissions, delivery promises or offering low- or carbon-neutral shipping options,” Renaud Marlière continued.
Channel matters – the impact of DTC on authenticity perception
Overwhelmingly, global shoppers feel brands that operated Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) were more authentic than those retailers who just operated via marketplaces. Over half (56%) of global shoppers felt that retailers that operated their own DTC channels were more authentic, rising to 68% of consumers in Hong Kong and 60% in both Spain and the U.S.