Two-thirds (66%) of consumers in Ireland find it creepy when their smartphone delivers ads based on their conversations, according to Deloitte’s 2022 Global Marketing Trends Consumer Survey. The survey also found that 58% are more willing to shop with brands that commit to addressing social inequities.
Deloitte’s 2022 Global Marketing Trends Consumer Survey is a survey of 11,500 consumers globally, seeking to understand emerging trends in purchasing decisions and attitudes towards data usage. 500 consumers in Ireland were surveyed.
Online is the preferred purchasing channel by consumers in Ireland across most categories, including travel (of those who made a travel-related purchase over a six-month period, 81% purchased online versus 10% who purchased in-store or in-person); clothing and footwear (67% online vs. 30% in-person); banking (63% vs. 23%); electronics (57% vs. 39%); furniture (55% vs. 42%); and motor (48% vs. 46%). In-store or in-person remains the preferred channel for purchasing household appliances (66% in-store vs. 31% online) and beauty and personal care products (62% vs. 37%).
Social media platforms are the most popular alternative purchase channel, with almost a quarter (24%) of respondents having made a purchase through a social media channel in the previous month – this rises to 39% among 18-25s and 32% among 26-45s. Social media platforms are followed by streaming services (20% of all respondents made a purchase via a streaming service in the previous month); video games (15%); voice assistants (6%); and virtual reality headsets (4%).
Commenting on the report, David Conway, Partner Lead for Deloitte Digital said: “Following the rapid digitisation that has occurred over the last two years, consumers in Ireland are increasingly using alternative channels to interact with and purchase from brands. Marketing executives should embrace hybrid purchasing solutions, going to where their customers are instead of waiting for customers to come to them.”
Purchase decision & social responsibility
When choosing a brand to shop with, 68% of consumers in Ireland are more willing to shop with brands that take actions to support their communities, followed by brands that strongly align with their personal values (65%); brands that commit to addressing climate change (61%); brands that commit to addressing social inequities (58%); and brands that take a public stance on social issues (53%).
When making a purchase, price and quality are the two most important considerations for consumers across all categories. However, other factors emerge among individual categories:
- Banking products & services: For a quarter (25%), the most important purchasing consideration in this category is that the brand supports its community, followed by a safe purchase experience (most important consideration for 24%); that the brand commits to addressing social inequities (20%); and that it has high standards for protecting personal data (15%).
- Motor: A quarter (25%) want to see that the brand commits to addressing social inequities, while a further quarter (25%) believe it is most important that motor brands have high standards for protecting personal data.
- Travel: A quarter (25%) think it is most important that the brand supports its community.
- Clothing and footwear: 14% think it is most important that the brand commits to addressing social inequities, while 13% prioritise the use of environmentally-sustainable materials and production methods.
- Beauty and personal care: The most important consideration for 16% is the use of environmentally-sustainable materials and production methods – this rises to 36% among the 18-25 age group.
When it comes to advertising, younger consumers are more likely to notice diverse or inclusive advertising at time of purchase consideration, with recognition highest among the 18-25 age group in beauty and personal care (28%), travel (27%), furniture (21%), banking products and services (19%) and clothing and footwear (18%). Overall, travel is the category in which all respondents are most aware of diverse advertising (23%) and accessibly-designed products or services (30%).
Conway commented: “Although price and quality are undoubtedly the most important determining factors in purchase decision for consumers, when we look deeper, we see other important factors coming to the forefront that are nuanced to demographics and categories. Investing in understanding what their target demographics want and need – and taking action to respond to those wants and needs – will allow brands to become more competitive.
“Establishing KPIs to support this can help to ensure that brands continuously keep their purpose front and centre, and can also help to prevent brands from leaning into areas for which they are not ready.”
In terms of the purchasing experience itself, timely offers are the most highly-cited factor by consumers in Ireland in encouraging purchase decisions, followed by knowledgeable customer service. A no-hassle returns or cancellations policy is also highly cited as an encouraging factor in purchase decisions in the travel, clothing and footwear, household appliances and furniture categories.
“Timely offers are regularly fuelled by artificial intelligence, while knowledgeable customer service is – or should be – a human-centred endeavour supercharged by AI,” said Conway. “Bringing these together can unlock their full potential.”
Respondents were presented with a variety of ways in which brands and organisations access and use consumer data and asked to indicate how helpful or creepy they find them. With regard to active listening – when their smartphone targets them with ads for a product or service following a conversation about said product or service – two-thirds (66%) find this creepy, while 16% find it helpful.
44% find it creepy when they are targeted with ads following an internet search, while 29% find it helpful. 13% find it creepy when they receive a notification of items going on sale from a brand that they regularly shop with; 67% find this helpful.
78% of respondents expect a brand to seek their express permission for all uses of their personal data. 68% are alarmed by the extent to which brands are tracking and using their personal data, while 47% say they have accepted that their data is used everywhere in a digital world.
Conway said: “Brands need to build a human-first data experience, prioritising strong customer relationships – you can’t lead with deeper tracking methods before the consumer trusts you. Empowering the consumer with choice, embedding feedback mechanisms along the way and always being transparent about why specific personal information is needed, will go a long way to fostering trust.”