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The global consumer: Changed for good

PwC’s June 2021 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey

During the pandemic, consumers had to pivot and adopt new habits. Business leaders wondered at the outset of the pandemic whether these changes, which accelerated trends already in motion, would be fleeting or permanent. Now, PwC’s June 2021 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey reveals that the changes are sticking―signifying a historic and dramatic shift in consumer behaviour. 

In just a six-month period, from the time our first Pulse survey was conducted in October 2020 to when our second Pulse survey was conducted in March 2021, consumers evolved to be even more digital and eco-friendly. They also reported being more price-conscious, healthy, data-conscious and local. We examine five most significant changes exposed by the latest survey.

The pandemic accelerated behavioural trends and made them sticky

The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the greatest health crises in modern history. As consumers pivoted and adopted new habits, business leaders wondered whether these changes, which accelerated trends already in motion, would be fleeting or permanent. Now, PwC’s June 2021 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey reveals that the changes are sticking―signifying a historic and dramatic shift in consumer behaviour.

Explore the data from the Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey

Filter the data by region and compare it to the global average or any other region

Explore the data behind our survey and customise your view by country and region
Questions and Answers Global Australia Brazil Canada China Egypt France Germany Hong Kong Indonesia Japan South Korea Malaysia Mexico Netherlands Philippines Russia Saudi Arabia Singapore South Africa Spain Thailand United Arab Emirates United States Vietnam
Channel choice In the last 12 months, how often have you bought products (e.g. clothes, books, electronics) using the following shopping channels?

Data shown:

  • Respondents answering 'weekly' or 'daily'

In physical stores 46% 51% 26% 48% 54% 58% 49% 45% 51% 46% 45% 37% 51% 40% 37% 41% 44% 60% 55% 38% 51% 50% 51% 58% 68%
Online via PC 34% 34% 30% 27% 39% 38% 38% 32% 22% 49% 23% 46% 36% 33% 37% 34% 19% 34% 46% 25% 31% 44% 44% 44% 49%
Online via tablet 38% 38% 31% 29% 48% 40% 37% 35% 32% 53% 31% 44% 43% 35% 40% 33% 27% 35% 51% 30% 30% 41% 42% 50% 48%
Online via mobile phone or smartphone 44% 47% 33% 41% 62% 49% 44% 40% 32% 55% 27% 58% 44% 38% 45% 42% 24% 46% 57% 36% 40% 52% 49% 51% 61%
Online via smart home voice assistants, e.g. Amazon Echo, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings 42% 45% 32% 41% 45% 40% 45% 43% 40% 62% 30% 41% 48% 29% 37% 35% 26% 38% 57% 37% 43% 48% 41% 60% 44%
In storeIn the current climate, which of the following attributes are important to you when shopping in physical stores?

Data shown:

  • Respondents ranking each answer in their top three

Ability to pay via contactless methods 23% 23% 18% 28% 22% 26% 21% 22% 26% 26% 14% 16% 30% 18% 23% 27% 32% 33% 21% 28% 22% 29% 29% 17% 22%
Availability of local products 26% 29% 26% 29% 21% 26% 34% 31% 16% 27% 21% 18% 25% 36% 21% 27% 19% 24% 31% 27% 35% 16% 21% 33% 21%
Increased health and safety measures (e.g. controlled numbers in physical store, hand sanitation facilities, store cleaning, protective screens) 35% 28% 42% 43% 36% 35% 32% 31% 44% 41% 25% 21% 43% 47% 31% 49% 17% 35% 35% 47% 44% 39% 48% 36% 38%
Exclusive or limited edition offerings, memberships or loyalty programs in store 22% 18% 25% 20% 27% 28% 16% 13% 21% 22% 25% 30% 26% 28% 16% 14% 32% 36% 28% 17% 21% 20% 23% 20% 22%
Knowledgeable and responsive sales associates 21% 18% 15% 15% 28% 28% 24% 19% 27% 21% 21% 24% 15% 16% 18% 21% 15% 20% 22% 22% 25% 30% 24% 22% 32%
Ability to quickly and conveniently navigate the store to find products I'm interested in 38% 39% 30% 37% 48% 36% 33% 36% 44% 38% 43% 36% 41% 36% 38% 44% 32% 28% 37% 45% 36% 30% 34% 38% 37%
Product range 35% 46% 41% 38% 25% 13% 36% 35% 28% 40% 38% 21% 43% 31% 31% 34% 59% 24% 41% 35% 28% 22% 35% 31% 42%
Ability to see and touch the products 44% 46% 34% 48% 50% 43% 38% 45% 51% 32% 60% 54% 47% 31% 50% 52% 29% 35% 50% 38% 45% 43% 33% 45% 38%
Click and collect service 18% 23% 15% 12% 16% 20% 27% 18% 19% 12% 9% 17% 14% 21% 23% 6% 27% 31% 19% 18% 16% 24% 18% 14% 15%
I don't feel comfortable going into stores 3% 3% 6% 4% 4% 2% 3% 5% 1% 4% 2% 3% 1% 3% 5% 4% 4% 4% 2% 2% 1% 3% 2% 5% 3%
OnlineIn the current climate, which of the following attributes are important to you when shopping online?

Data shown:

  • Respondents ranking each answer in their top three

Ability to quickly and conveniently navigate the website to find products I'm interested in 30% 32% 29% 27% 35% 23% 23% 34% 34% 22% 39% 25% 32% 33% 33% 40% 30% 17% 36% 31% 34% 20% 23% 31% 30%
Virtual experience of products and services through augmented reality (AR) technology 9% 9% 9% 7% 14% 10% 9% 8% 11% 9% 7% 9% 8% 9% 10% 4% 8% 12% 12% 9% 7% 8% 15% 10% 6%
Virtual consultation with sales associate 9% 8% 10% 5% 12% 9% 9% 8% 8% 11% 7% 8% 11% 10% 7% 5% 8% 13% 9% 7% 9% 14% 13% 11% 17%
Live chat functionality 10% 11% 9% 10% 13% 12% 11% 8% 12% 13% 5% 9% 13% 6% 12% 13% 7% 12% 10% 10% 7% 7% 16% 12% 11%
In-stock availability of items I want 35% 44% 22% 50% 25% 37% 42% 38% 36% 36% 42% 22% 36% 29% 38% 31% 43% 26% 37% 38% 32% 28% 24% 40% 28%
The ability to see an extended range of stock compared to in physical stores 26% 20% 29% 22% 38% 17% 23% 21% 27% 15% 43% 24% 20% 26% 28% 23% 32% 25% 15% 21% 26% 21% 24% 24% 27%
Easy to use mobile app/interface 23% 25% 20% 21% 21% 30% 19% 26% 25% 25% 16% 16% 28% 17% 21% 30% 24% 33% 39% 35% 15% 33% 26% 24% 25%
Availability of online customer reviews 26% 25% 20% 31% 30% 29% 22% 21% 29% 29% 32% 27% 32% 23% 18% 37% 26% 24% 29% 25% 26% 36% 28% 24% 32%
A good returns policy (e.g., free returns, return items to store when purchased online, etc.) 31% 34% 28% 38% 34% 27% 31% 35% 32% 34% 16% 20% 26% 34% 38% 27% 25% 30% 37% 37% 38% 31% 35% 32% 34%
Fast/reliable delivery (e.g., same day delivery, pick up online purchases in physical stores or designated pick up location, visibility of the product throughout the delivery process, etc.) 41% 44% 47% 44% 33% 34% 47% 34% 41% 47% 26% 41% 45% 51% 40% 55% 39% 37% 42% 48% 44% 40% 43% 38% 44%
Personalized offering 14% 10% 22% 12% 18% 21% 17% 16% 11% 10% 6% 19% 15% 17% 9% 5% 17% 29% 10% 10% 17% 6% 20% 13% 8%
Exclusive or limited edition offerings, memberships or loyalty programmes online 18% 14% 22% 13% 13% 18% 14% 13% 18% 18% 28% 30% 18% 19% 15% 14% 19% 23% 18% 15% 21% 18% 15% 15% 14%
Consumer mobility In the next six months how likely are you to...

Answers are:

  • Likely
  • Neither/nor
  • Not likely
separated by commas in each table cell.

Travel on a domestic flight 37%,20%,43% 42%,21%,37% 34%,14%,52% 22%,17%,62% 53%,21%,26% 58%,21%,21% 28%,24%,48% 22%,19%,59% 11%,28%,61% 54%,16%,31% 23%,26%,50% 35%,28%,37% 46%,25%,29% 47%,11%,42% 20%,19%,61% 35%,18%,47% 44%,22%,34% 68%,14%,17% 26%,21%,54% 42%,7%,42% 30%,18%,52% 45%,23%,33% 51%,20%,30% 43%,16%,41% 72%,14%,14%
Travel on an international flight 30%,18%,52% 24%,16%,60% 24%,11%,65% 21%,12%,67% 34%,23%,43% 56%, 20%,24% 31%,18%,51% 28%,23%,50% 16%,31%,53% 43%,16%,42% 12%,19%,69% 27%,21%,52% 38%,22%,40% 35%,12%,53% 32%,21%,47% 29%,17%,55% 26%,20%,54% 67%,18%,15% 30%,19%,52% 26%,13%,61% 26%,15%,59% 41%,22%,37% 66%,13%,21% 35%,13%,51% 44%,21%,35%
Stay in a hotel 43%,21%,37% 48%,23%,28% 34%,13%,53% 29%,18%,53% 57%,22%,21% 63%,17%,20% 41%,21%,38% 35%,25%,40% 19%,27%,54% 57%,14%,30% 32%,27%,41% 35%,28%,37% 55%,20%,26% 47%,14%,39% 40%,26%,34% 34%,17%,50% 32%,24%,44% 67%,14%,20% 43%,23%,35% 37%,17%,45% 40%,21%,39% 54,26%,20% 61%,15%,24% 52%,17%,31% 64%,185,18%
Stay in self-catering accommodation (e.g., Airbnb) 37%,23%,40% 38%,23%,39% 26%,17%,57% 21%,18%,61% 46%,30%,24% 54%,20%,27% 40%,23%,37% 32%,27%,42% 12%,27%,51% 49%,19%,33% 16%,22%,62% 40%,27%,33% 44%,26%,31% 46%,16%,38% 39%,28%,33% 38%,21%,42% 28%,23%,50% 51%,28%,21% 32%,17%,52% 52%,18%,30% 34%,20%,46% 49%,23%,28% 54%,21%,25% 37%,21%,42% 62%,23%,15%
Go to a sporting or mass event (e.g., concerts) 32%,20%,47% 42%,19%,39% 26%,12%,62% 21%,16%,63% 44%,27%,29% 51%,21%,28% 31%,22%,47% 25%,28%,47% 18%,30%,52% 44%,20%,37% 21%,23%,56% 30%,24%,47% 32%,18%,51% 31%,14%,54% 27%,23%,50% 24%,15%,61% 37%,27%,37% 56%,20%,24% 27%,21%,53% 24%,16%,60% 24%,16%,60% 38%,23%,38% 48%,26%,27% 39%,16%,44% 51%,19%,29%
Go back into my place of work 67%,20%,14% 71%,18%,11% 66%,13%,21% 52%,26%,22% 79%,13%,7% 74%,18%,8% 66%,19%,15% 58%,25%,17% 60%,28%,12% 87%,8%,5% 74%,13%,13% 55%,31%,13% 74%,18%,8% 72%,17%,11% 62%,22%,16% 56%,18%,27% 52%,29%,20% 79%,14%,7% 60%,27%,13% 68%,17%,15% 67%,20%,13% 73%,19%,8% 79%,13%,8% 69%,18%,14% 80%,14%,6%
Travel via public transport 50%,19%,31% 48%,19%,33% 41%,12%,47% 29%,12%,50% 74%,16%,10% 70%,9%,21% 42%,20%,38% 41%,25%,34% 68%,21%,11% 65%,20%,16% 57%,19%,24% 42%,27%,31% 41%,27%,33% 58%,10%,32% 40%,25%,35% 50%,16%,34% 62%,21%,17% 65%,16%,18% 73%,16%,12% 39%,13%,48% 52%,16%,32% 60%,19%,22% 55%,19%,26% 38%,17%,45% 72%,13%,15%
Go to a shopping mall 67%,18%,15% 79%,14%,7% 53%,13%,34% 57%,12%,22% 80%,15%,5% 78%,13%,8% 62%,24%,14% 51%,25%,24% 70%,15%,15% 67%,19%,15% 64%,23%,14% 51%,29%,20% 75%,15%,10% 71%,17%,13% 59%,22%,19% 63%,18%,18% 72%,20%,8% 82%,10%,9% 77%,15%,9% 81%,11%,9% 69%,14%,17% 75%,15%,10% 79%,12%,10% 58%,22%,20% 82%,11%,7%
Go to a gym 36%,19%,45% 36%,18%,47% 40%,12%,48% 26%,16%,58% 51%,25%,24% 61%,15%,24% 30%,21%,49% 28%,20%,53% 11%,32%,57% 55%,13%,33% 17%,17%,65% 31%,27%,41% 37%,22%,42% 48%,15%,37% 31%,23%,47% 28%,16%,57% 36%,24%,40% 60%,14%,26% 31%,26%,44% 37%,17%,46% 31%,16%,53% 46%,18%,36% 52%,21%,27% 38%,19%,43% 60%,20%,20%
Go to a restaurant 61%,20%,19% 73%,17%,11% 52%,15%,33% 53%,21%,26% 75%,16%,9% 73%,15%,12% 52%,21%,26% 49%,24%,27% 62%,27%,11% 74%,13%,13% 56%,24%,20% 54%,29%,17% 75%,15%,11% 67%,14%,20% 51%,25%,24% 53%,24%,23% 41%,29%,30% 78%,11%,11% 69%,22%,10% 64%,16%,20% 63%,18%,20% 73%,17%,10% 73%,14%,13% 67%,18%,16% 75%,14%,12%
Sustainability Please indicate to what extent you agree or disagree with the following statements around shopping sustainability

Answers are:

  • Agree
  • Disagree
separated by commas in each table cell.

When it comes to consuming single-use materials, my concerns over health and safety outweigh my sense of environmental responsibility 52%,15% 37%,21% 64%,10% 46%,17% 61%,8% 77%,8% 42%,18% 40%,17% 46%,16% 74%,8% 45%,18% 40%,23% 56%,10% 58%,12% 40%,26% 78%,6% 44%,17% 77%,4% 55%,11% 48%,16% 47%,17% 75%,8% 70%,11% 51%,15% 63%,16%
I intentionally buy items with eco-friendly packaging or less packaging 54%,15% 49%,16% 50%,16% 48%,17% 74%,4% 70%,11% 52%,13% 51%,14% 46%,17% 86%,1% 42%,20% 44%,22% 60%,11% 61%,14% 43%,21% 80%,4% 39%,20% 71%,6% 45%,20% 54%,17% 50%,15% 76%,2% 68%,7% 50%,19% 80%,5%
I choose products with a traceable and transparent origin 55%,13% 39%,22% 56%,13% 38%,21% 74%,4% 80%,7% 54%,13% 42%,14% 49%,11% 83%,3% 48%,16% 52%,17% 66%,10% 57%,14% 33%,25% 77%,5% 70%,9% 74%,7% 46%,12% 57%,16% 48%,12% 79%,3% 61%,11% 47%,18% 89%,5%
I am including more plant based foods as part of my diet due to sustainability principles 51%,20% 38%,29% 56%,18% 36%,33% 71%,5% 69%,9% 41%,25% 42%,22% 40%,21% 74%,9% 33%,25% 43%,21% 57%,16% 65%,13% 38%,34% 72%,6% 49%,18% 72%,11% 40%,21% 55%,21% 46%,24% 80%,3% 68%,11% 45%,28% 84%,4%
I buy from companies that are conscious and supportive of protecting the environment 54%,12% 47%,15% 60%,10% 46%,12% 71%,3% 78%,7% 46%,15% 47%,11% 31%,17% 84%,3% 33%,22% 48%,17% 61%,6% 70%,7% 38%,22% 78%,3% 41%,17% 72%,10% 52%,9% 62%,10% 48%,14% 78%,3% 74%,10% 51%,15% 85%,4%
I am buying more biodegradable/eco-friendly products 53%,15% 49%,18% 52%,15% 44%,19% 75%,3% 68%,12% 49%,18% 42%,17% 40%,21% 82%,2% 39%,18% 45%,19% 59%,9% 69%,9% 40%,26% 76%,4% 40%,20% 65%,9% 50%,18% 54%,16% 51%,18% 79%,4% 65%,7% 49%,18% 81%,5%
When shopping for products I check the labelling/packaging for sustainability certification(s) 52%,17% 42%,28% 54%,17% 41%,23% 72%,5% 76%,7% 47%,17% 43%,17% 42%,19% 84%,2% 32%,26% 45%,22% 58%,10% 61%,12% 34%,27% 82%,4% 42%,22% 74%,6% 46%,20% 53%,21% 45%,19% 77%,3% 67%,10% 46%,22% 81%,6%
Brand attributes Considering this list of brand attributes, which of the following influence your likelihood to remain loyal to a brand?

Data shown:

  • Respondents ranking each answer in their top three

Exceptional customer service 26% 28% 24% 32% 28% 23% 29% 19% 22% 25% 16% 27% 18% 33% 26% 26% 11% 24% 22% 30% 38% 34% 29% 32% 34%
Products that are widely available 31% 37% 23% 29% 18% 31% 29% 31% 30% 37% 34% 32% 33% 28% 25% 43% 44% 35% 31% 35% 28% 22% 28% 33% 23%
Exclusivity 18% 14% 21% 11% 14% 26% 16% 20% 23% 17% 25% 17% 17% 20% 19% 17% 19% 20% 20% 16% 17% 21% 20% 17% 14%
Reliability (the brand always delivers what I expect) 46% 46% 41% 50% 46% 29% 41% 44% 50% 41% 53% 47% 53% 39% 48% 58% 51% 32% 43% 48% 43% 41% 39% 45% 48%
Personalization 17% 14% 13% 14% 23% 18% 17% 15% 17% 13% 16% 25% 15% 21% 17% 14% 22% 15% 22% 16% 15% 24% 16% 16% 11%
Loyalty programs 26% 36% 22% 41% 24% 31% 38% 21% 22% 19% 15% 12% 29% 14% 18% 25% 36% 27% 40% 36% 22% 13% 30% 27% 21%
Seamless digital experience 12% 12% 13% 8% 12% 12% 12% 11% 12% 15% 8% 12% 16% 12% 11% 12% 19% 15% 14% 11% 15% 14% 16% 12% 16%
Enjoyable/fun experience (e.g. entertaining interaction with the brand) 20% 23% 20% 19% 31% 18% 13% 18% 19% 18% 23% 17% 20% 20% 26% 20% 9% 27% 20% 20% 20% 18% 20% 22% 24%
Commitment to giving back to society 15% 14% 17% 14% 15% 9% 12% 19% 19% 17% 13% 11% 18% 13% 15% 25% 12% 15% 14% 19% 17% 14% 19% 19% 16%
Ethical practices (e.g. Fairtrade, cruelty-free testing, workforce equity, best in practice production etc.) 24% 23% 29% 28% 25% 28% 23% 27% 16% 25% 17% 21% 24% 36% 23% 20% 21% 28% 26% 25% 28% 21% 26% 20% 27%
Engaging content (e.g. social media, influencers, advertising) 14% 11% 14% 7% 20% 24% 10% 11% 17% 15% 26% 10% 17% 15% 13% 12% 12% 18% 15% 13% 11% 19% 17% 13% 20%
Sustainable practices (e.g. commitment to net zero) 19% 15% 22% 19% 24% 16% 25% 22% 18% 22% 14% 17% 20% 20% 17% 13% 13% 18% 17% 15% 22% 17% 19% 15% 23%
Consumer evolution Thinking of the last 6 months, please indicate from the list of attributes below how if at all, you have evolved as a consumer.

Data shown:

  • (Respondents answering "I am more like this")

I am ‘digital’. 51% 42% 74% 40% 45% 72% 37% 44% 34% 68% 36% 40% 59% 71% 45% 64% 42% 68% 52% 69% 54% 61% 61% 48% 62%
I am ‘local’. 43% 48% 44% 42% 39% 51% 37% 32% 36% 69% 21% 22% 54% 46% 34% 58% 63% 53% 46% 57% 37% 52% 38% 47% 48%
I am healthy. 49% 40% 56% 39% 59% 68% 33% 34% 38% 83% 21% 53% 54% 57% 35% 60% 47% 79% 43% 62% 46% 54% 68% 47% 80%
I am eco-friendly. 50% 45% 49% 39% 61% 68% 49% 38% 39% 86% 29% 43% 63% 65% 39% 74% 41% 60% 47% 60% 40% 66% 67% 47% 74%
I am price oriented. 56% 55% 67% 52% 39% 53% 51% 44% 46% 71% 43% 42% 60% 74% 44% 72% 70% 58% 59% 73% 59% 64% 60% 55% 68%
I am focused on saving. 54% 60% 58% 57% 39% 60% 41% 40% 61% 64% 52% 34% 72% 61% 44% 71% 52% 65% 59% 70% 52% 69% 72% 59% 60%
I am optimistic about the economy. 36% 30% 44% 26% 58% 54% 18% 24% 17% 71% 12% 22% 41% 55% 29% 57% 29% 60% 33% 41% 23% 53% 61% 43% 47%
I am data conscious. 46% 30% 61% 32% 59% 57% 34% 32% 47% 76% 29% 38% 62% 62% 31% 63% 59% 55% 42% 59% 42% 67% 56% 41% 60%
Explore the data behind our survey and customise your view by country and region
Questions and Answers Global Australia Brazil Canada China Egypt France Germany Hong Kong Indonesia Japan South Korea Malaysia Mexico Netherlands Philippines Russia Saudi Arabia Singapore South Africa Spain Thailand United Arab Emirates United States Vietnam
Channel choice In the last 12 months, how often have you bought products (e.g. clothes, books, electronics) using the following shopping channels?

Data shown:

  • Respondents answering 'weekly' or 'daily' (Figures represent proportion of those who use said shopping channel.)

In physical stores 42% 56% 25% 43% 50% 41% 42% 37% 62% 36% 41% 37% 40% 37% 38% 42% 41% 56% 46% 37% 36% 38% 43% 50% 63%
Online via PC 30% 34% 31% 25% 41% 33% 29% 22% 29% 26% 13% 43% 30% 26% 29% 30% 25% 44% 36% 20% 28% 24% 30% 39% 44%
Online via tablet 33% 37% 30% 28% 40% 38% 36% 31% 36% 32% 22% 46% 30% 23% 33% 30% 25% 39% 47% 20% 28% 25% 29% 42% 40%
Online via mobile phone or smartphone 39% 46% 34% 34% 58% 42% 34% 31% 44% 44% 19% 56% 42% 30% 37% 36% 28% 42% 48% 27% 36% 37% 43% 49% 55%
Online via smart home voice assistants, e.g. Amazon Echo, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings 37% 47% 35% 36% 47% 37% 36% 40% 53% 39% 24% 45% 43% 26% 37% 32% 26% 37% 40% 26% 31% 31% 28% 51% 36%
In store versus onlineIn the current climate, which of the following attributes are important to you when shopping in physical stores? (These attributes were in respondents' top three)
Ability to pay via contactless methods 18% 16% 17% 15% 23% 19% 17% 19% 17% 16% 7% 18% 18% 23% 22% 17% 22% 22% 21% 18% 16% 23% 21% 15% 21%
Availability of local products 23% 30% 25% 23% 10% 20% 27% 30% 25% 31% 18% 18% 22% 25% 18% 23% 18% 27% 25% 31% 25% 19% 26% 23% 23%
Increased health and safety measures (e.g. controlled numbers in physical store, hand sanitation facilities, store cleaning, protective screens) 31% 28% 36% 40% 33% 35% 28% 28% 25% 31% 18% 20% 38% 44% 23% 50% 22% 32% 30% 41% 41% 38% 31% 36% 27%
Exclusive or limited edition offerings, memberships or loyalty programs in store 17% 17% 22% 13% 20% 22% 15% 12% 18% 16% 23% 28% 12% 24% 14% 7% 21% 23% 13% 16% 16% 20% 15% 13% 13%
Knowledgeable and responsive sales associates 18% 17% 18% 15% 20% 16% 16% 18% 16% 20% 17% 25% 15% 19% 18% 23% 13% 18% 18% 17% 24% 19% 17% 14% 27%
Ability to quickly and conveniently navigate the store to find products I'm interested in 31% 29% 31% 31% 33% 27% 25% 32% 29% 27% 43% 28% 30% 19% 36% 36% 33% 21% 28% 37% 22% 22% 31% 40% 31%
Product range 28% 36% 22% 28% 18% 14% 28% 34% 31% 26% 31% 18% 31% 22% 35% 18% 47% 20% 37% 35% 24% 19% 33% 25% 19%
Ability to see and touch the products 33% 34% 22% 37% 28% 28% 33% 35% 43% 27% 52% 35% 29% 18% 29% 36% 43% 20% 43% 29% 34% 37% 26% 29% 31%
Click and collect service N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
I don't feel comfortable going into stores 4% 3% 4% 4% 4% 8% 5% 5% 1% 5% 4% 4% 7% 2% 4% 3% 2% 5% 1% 3% 2% 3% 3% 5% 4%
In store versus onlineIn the current climate, which of the following attributes are important to you when shopping online? (These attributes were in the respondents' top three)
Ability to quickly and conveniently navigate the website to find products I'm interested in 36% 39% 35% 36% 38% 29% 26% 41% 43% 32% 43% 32% 35% 35% 38% 43% 38% 30% 36% 37% 35% 26% 29% 36% 37%
Virtual experience of products and services through augmented reality (AR) technology N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Virtual consultation with sales associate N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Live chat functionality N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
In-stock availability of items I want 38% 47% 36% 47% 28% 38% 44% 42% 35% 39% 49% 25% 37% 41% 39% 30% 40% 30% 36% 40% 35% 33% 27% 43% 31%
The ability to see an extended range of stock compared to in physical stores 30% 29% 25% 27% 40% 27% 30% 26% 36% 22% 46% 28% 29% 25% 33% 27% 33% 20% 28% 28% 32% 30% 28% 31% 31%
Easy to use mobile app/interface 28% 31% 27% 26% 25% 26% 24% 24% 29% 29% 19% 18% 35% 23% 19% 52% 29% 31% 40% 35% 22% 44% 33% 29% 34%
Availability of online customer reviews 29% 23% 23% 27% 28% 32% 28% 22% 30% 36% 28% 29% 33% 26% 21% 39% 37% 25% 34% 34% 28% 41% 32% 30% 49%
A good returns policy (e.g., free returns, return items to store when purchased online, etc.) 32% 32% 31% 37% 40% 34% 32% 38% 28% 31% 17% 25% 27% 40% 36% 31% 26% 30% 39% 37% 35% 29% 29% 31% 29%
Fast/reliable delivery (e.g., same day delivery, pick up online purchases in physical stores or designated pick up location, visibility of the product throughout the delivery process, etc.) 42% 46% 49% 42% 43% 29% 44% 41% 33% 43% 27% 41% 41% 51% 35% 44% 43% 36% 46% 48% 50% 43% 40% 43% 44%
Personalized offering 17% 16% 26% 13% 23% 27% 18% 18% 19% 17% 7% 23% 18% 25% 13% 11% 13% 30% 12% 16% 18% 7% 23% 16% 8%
Exclusive or limited edition offerings, memberships or loyalty programmes online 21% 17% 24% 16% 17% 27% 18% 18% 19% 25% 32% 35% 22% 22% 24% 14% 19% 31% 23% 15% 22% 20% 26% 17% 17%
Consumer mobility In the next six months how likely are you to...

Answers are:

  • Likely
  • Neither/nor
  • Not likely
separated by commas in each table cell.

Travel on a domestic flight 33%,19%,49% 35%,24%,42% 39%,11%,51% 18%,17%,66% 47%,20%,33% 50%,14%,36% 26%,20%,54% 18%,16%,66% 23%,23%,55% 50%,22%,27% 21%,23%,57% 31%,26%,44% 36%,20%,44% 35%,14%,51% 15%,18%,67% 38%,22%,40% 27%,25%,48% 68%,14%,18% 25%,15%,61% 39%,17%,44% 26%,16%,59% 47%,22%,31% 48%,19%,32% 36%,14%,50% 77%,11%,12%
Travel on an international flight 26%,17%,57% 26%,16%,59% 26%,13%,61% 17%,12%,71% 27%,23%,50% 49%,14%,37% 27%,19%,54% 22%,17%,61% 27%,18%,55% 38%,20%,42% 10%,15%,76% 24%,21%,55% 27%,17%,56% 25%,14%,61% 22%,18%,60% 30%,19%,51% 20%,15%,66% 58%,18%,24% 30%,16%,54% 23%,13%,64% 20%,15%,64% 28%,21%,51% 58%,17%,26% 32%,13%,55% 48%,24%,28%
Stay in a hotel 36%,21%,43% 41%,23%,36% 44%,11%,45% 24%,21%,55% 47%,21%,32% 48%,18%,34% 36%,24%,40% 24%,21%,55% 26%,25%,49% 50%,19%,31% 28%,25%,47% 33%,30%,38% 39%,22%,39% 37%,16%,47% 25%,24%,51% 33%,23%,44% 20%,22%,58% 63%,17%,20% 36%,23%,41% 33%,19%,48% 30%,20%,50% 54%,22%,24% 49%,23%,28% 40%,17%,43% 71%,14%,15%
Stay in self-catering accommodation (e.g., Airbnb) 32%,22%,46% 34%,22%,44% 40%,11%,49% 19%,18%,63% 40%,26%,34% 40%,23%,37% 33%,26%,42% 21%,24%,55% 22%,31%,47% 45%,24%,31% 8%,23%,69% 37%,30%,33% 30%,22%,48% 36%,13%,51% 25%,25%,50% 41%,26%,33% 17%,23%,60% 55%,20%,24% 28%,19%,54% 45%,19%,37% 26%,19%,56% 40%,25%,35% 46%,28%,26% 33%,16%,51% 76%,15%,9%
Go to a sporting or mass event (e.g., concerts) 27%,20%,53% 31%,22%,47% 29%,15%,56% 16%,15%,69% 36%,23%,40% 41%,22%,37% 29%,22%,49% 21%,17%,61% 25%,24%,51% 40%,25%,35% 15%,22%,62% 25%,26%,49% 27%,17%,56% 23%,14%,64% 17%,19%,64% 30%,18%,52% 23%,25%,52% 53%,19%,27% 23%,18%,59% 27%,15%,58% 20%,17%,64% 33%,22%,45% 38%,23%,39% 33%,14%,54% 59%,21%,20%
Go back into my place of work 67%,19%,14% 65%,19%,15% 67%,15%,18% 53%,20%,27% 74%,16%,10% 79%,8%,13% 67%,22%,11% 60%,28%,13% 67%,23%,11% 87%,8%,5% 73%,16%,11% 49%,36%,14% 75%,15%,10% 69%,15%,16% 60%,21%,19% 69%,19%,11% 53%,25%,23% 78%,13%,9% 75%,16%,9% 67%,15%,17% 66%,19%,16% 78%,15%,8% 78%,14%,8% 64%,24%,12% 91%,5%,4%
Travel via public transport 47%,19%,33% 48%,21%,30% 47%,13%,40% 29%,15%,55% 71%,15%,14% 61%,16%,23% 37%,23%,40% 36%,24%,40% 71%,22%,8% 57%,23%,20% 53%,24%,23% 32%,33%,35% 44%,21%,35% 56%,11%,33% 31%,23%,46% 56%,18%,25% 57%,21%,22% 56%,19%,25% 76%,14%,11% 41%,12%,47% 47%,17%,35% 61%,18%,21% 50%,21%,29% 34%,13%,53% 73%,14%,13%
Go to a shopping mall 65%,20%,15% 76%,16%,8% 65%,12%,23% 55%,21%,24% 76%,16%,8% 73%,14%,12% 66%,19%,15% 52%,23%,25% 61%,30%,9% 72%,19%,9% 55%,30%,15% 44%,37%,19% 72%,20%,9% 73%,13%,15% 57%27%,16% 69%,16%,15% 68%,21%,11% 74%,17%,9% 79%,14%,8% 81%,10%,9% 64%,17%,19% 79%,15%,6% 69%,21%,9% 50%,19%,31% 88%,6%,6%
Go to a gym N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Go to a restaurant N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Sustainability Please indicate to what extent you agree or disagree with the following statements around shopping sustainability

Answers are:

  • Agree
  • Disagree
separated by commas in each table cell.

When it comes to consuming single-use materials, my concerns over health and safety outweigh my sense of environmental responsibility 51%,15% 45%,18% 67%,9% 42%,20% 61%,13% 71%,9% 46%,18% 40%,18% 53%,15% 64%,8% 37%,15% 39%,20% 61%,11% 61%,13% 32%,25% 75%,6% 42%,15% 68%,8% 58%,13% 53%,17% 45%,16% 67%,9% 64%,7% 54%,13% 66%,16%
I intentionally buy items with eco-friendly packaging or less packaging 54%,14% 51%,17% 57%,12% 46%,18% 74%,5% 68%,9% 49%,16% 55%,12% 56%,7% 80%,4% 38%,17% 42%,19% 63%,7% 63%,10% 38%,22% 80%,2% 37%,23% 72%,8% 55%,11% 56%,15% 50%,17% 74%,6% 58%,11% 50%,18% 86%,2%
I choose products with a traceable and transparent origin 56%,12% 48%,16% 58%,11% 37%,21% 74%,4% 75%,7% 52%,14% 41%,14% 53%,11% 82%,5% 40%,17% 52%,16% 67%,5% 63%,7% 34%,24% 77%,4% 71%,7% 74%,9% 52%,14% 54%,12% 48%,14% 77%,4% 66%,7% 49%,15% 92%,2%
I am including more plant based foods as part of my diet due to sustainability principles 50%,19% 47%,28% 56%,17% 39%,32% 67%,5% 60%,11% 37%,28% 38%,27% 52%,13% 71%,6% 26%,26% 42%,19% 56%,10% 61%,14% 34%,30% 76%,6% 45%,17% 68%,8% 50%,17% 56%,20% 48%,22% 78%,3% 60%,11% 48%,25% 88%,6%
I buy from companies that are conscious and supportive of protecting the environment 55%,11% 52%,13% 63%,7% 49%,11% 72%,3% 72%,7% 46%,15% 47%,11% 51%,7% 79%,4% 29%,21% 43%,14% 69%,4% 71%,6% 35%,21% 80%,2% 42%,16% 65%,10% 57%,5% 62%,6% 51%,15% 77%,1% 66%,9% 54%,11% 83%,6%
I am buying more biodegradable/eco-friendly products 53%,14% 49%,19% 58%,13% 48%,17% 74%,5% 61%,10% 48%,17% 44%,17% 56%,7% 76%,6% 32%,19% 43%,14% 61%,7% 69%,7% 35%,26% 77%,3% 40%,20% 67%,10% 58%,11% 53%,13% 45%,17% 79%,2% 66%,7% 51%,16% 87%,3%
When shopping for products I check the labelling/packaging for sustainability certification(s) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Brand attributes Considering this list of brand attributes, which of the following influence your likelihood to remain loyal to a brand? - Top 3 Ranked
Exceptional customer service N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Products that are widely available N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Exclusivity N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Reliability (the brand always delivers what I expect) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Personalization N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Loyalty programs N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Seamless digital experience N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Enjoyable/fun experience (e.g. entertaining interaction with the brand) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Commitment to giving back to society N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Ethical practices (e.g. Fairtrade, cruelty-free testing, workforce equity, best in practice production etc.) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Engaging content (e.g. social media, influencers, advertising) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Sustainable practices (e.g. commitment to net zero) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Consumer attributes Thinking of the last 6 months, please indicate from the list of attributes below how if at all, you have evolved as a consumer.

Data shown:

  • (Respondents answering "I am more like this")

I am ‘digital’. N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
I am ‘local’. N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
I am healthy. N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
I am eco-friendly. N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
I am price oriented. N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
I am focused on saving. N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
I am optimistic about the economy. N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
I am data conscious. N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Consumers see themselves changing across many dimensions 

Our most recent Pulse survey shows that in just a six-month period, from October 2020 to March 2021, consumers evolved to be even more digital and eco-friendly. They also reported being more price-conscious, healthy, data-conscious and local.

The shift to digital has accelerated dramatically. Consumers are buying more groceries online, the Generation Z cohort has have developed apps to find surplus COVID-19 shots, businesses have discovered that remote work really can work―the list goes on.

  • More than 50% of the global consumers we surveyed say they’ve become more digital since the first Pulse survey was conducted. 

  • Shopping via smartphone keeps climbing steeply, gaining 2 percentage points on in-store shopping just since our March 2021 Pulse survey and more than doubling since 2018.

  • Compared to when our first survey was conducted, more people say they’re buying online at least daily.

Given that many people have been shut indoors for such a long time, it might seem surprising to hear anyone claiming they’ve become healthier in the past six months. But that’s what most consumers are saying. 

  • One-quarter of consumers are concerned about health and safety, up slightly from earlier this year. 

 

  • Respondents in Southeast Asia and the Middle East overwhelmingly state that they’ve become more healthy since the first Pulse survey was conducted, with some countries exceeding the global average by about 30 percentage points.
  • Those working from home say they have better health now (55%) than do those who work away from home (46%).

 

It should hearten environmental activists everywhere that 50% of all global consumers in our most recent Pulse survey say they’ve become more eco-friendly since the first Pulse survey was conducted. Other findings include: 

  • Continuing a trend from our first Pulse survey, consumers in Southeast Asia and the Middle East are leading the way. 

  • More at-home consumers say they’ve become more environmentally sensitive compared to those working away from home.

  • A sizeable proportion of shoppers don’t necessarily prioritise eco-anything: 44% of those demonstrating less interest in sustainable shopping—those who either disagree with sustainability statements or have no opinion—contend that sustainable products cost too much.

Even though there are signs of recovery in some economies, consumers’ money anxieties have not yet eased. More than half of the respondents in our most recent Pulse survey say they’ve become more focused on saving than they were when we conducted our first Pulse survey. Even more say they’re now more price-oriented.

  • Price is the dominant reason they’ve shopped online more or maintained their level of online shopping. Price outpaces quality and convenience by wide margins in every category except grocery, where it still prevails but with smaller margins.

  • Consumers are particularly likely to say they’re focused on saving and on prices if they live in countries that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic.

Everything seemed to ‘go local’ during the pandemic. Those who couldn’t travel far afield began exploring their own regions, ordering food from local restaurants, and finding creative ways to entertain and celebrate milestones in a socially distanced way. 

  • Of those polled in our most recent survey, 43% say they’ve become more local since we conducted our first Pulse survey. 

  • Since our first Pulse survey, there’s a definite pick-up in the percentages of consumers saying they’re ready―or getting ready―to travel again. There’s a sharp uptick in the number of those saying they’re likely to stay in a hotel between now and year’s end.

  • More consumers are also shopping locally. Since the first Pulse survey, there has been a 6 percentage point increase in the number of shoppers who say they’ve been doing more to support local independent businesses.

Contact us

Sabine Durand-Hayes

Sabine Durand-Hayes

Global Consumer Markets Leader, PwC France

Tel: +33 1 56 57 85 29

Myles Gooding

Myles Gooding

National Consumer Markets Leader & Global Consumer Markets Advisory Leader, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 687 8598

Harry Doornbosch

Harry Doornbosch

Global Consumer Markets Tax Leader, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0) 88 792 36 83

Melissa Palmer

Melissa Palmer

Global Consumer Markets Assurance Leader, PwC United States

Tel: +1 (617) 530 4473

Neil  Sutton

Neil Sutton

Global Consumer Markets Deals, PwC Hong Kong

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