Sustainability and AR

How will augmented reality (AR) impact sustainability efforts? In a study by Alter Agents, commissioned by Snap Inc., researchers explored how various sectors can improve their profitability and sustainability efforts with AR. The study found that AR experiences increased purchase intent and a consumer willingness to pay more (69%). 

When considering sustainability, across all categories studied (entertainment, quick-service restaurants, apparel, automotive and personal care), consumers stated they would use AR 68% of the time to reduce carbon emissions. This could include virtual try before you buy, product customization, virtual event attendance and more. The research also identified four things brands can use to leverage AR for sustainable growth: technology, advocacy, education and transparency. 

The research was conducted in two phases, including expert and stakeholder interviews and a quant survey with 7,500 participants (France, India, Saudi Arabia, U.K. and U.S.), 2023. Learn more.  

Consumer spending in 2024

ConsumerSignals conducts a monthly consumer survey designed to provide a view into consumers’ finances and spending strategies. The findings dive into purchases – big and small – as well as well-being and spending intentions. 

In its May 2024 findings publication, ConsumerSignals looked again at consumer purchase intent around vehicles purchases, specifically electric vehicles. The number of global respondents who would prefer an EV for their next vehicle was 39%, down from 43% in April 2023. Interestingly, 77% of U.S.-based respondents stated they expect higher gas/fuel prices next month. 

When respondents were asked to report on concern over rising prices for everyday purchases, 80% of U.S. respondents said they are concerned about rising prices, as compared to 73% of global respondents. The global percentage is down from 75% a year ago, while the U.S. percentage is the same as in May 2023. The study also explored cost-saving behaviors. For example, 41% of U.S. respondents stated they are saving by reducing at-home food waste. This was also among the most popular ways global consumers said they working to navigate higher food prices, alongside only buying essentials. 

The study was conducted via an online consumer panel, with N=1,000 consumers per country each wave, among adults age 18+. Countries included Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Spain, U.K., U.S., Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and UAE. Study findings were published May 2024. Learn more. 

AI impacts consumer behavior, retail

AI is officially changing the path-to-purchase. According to an IBM 2024 consumer study, three in five U.S. consumers stated they want to use AI to save time and shop smarter. In its Consumer Trends Report 2024, HubSpot dug into consumer perspectives on AI and considered how it is changing consumer approaches to searching for new products and services. 

HubSpot reported that one in three consumers use AI chatbots like ChatGPT, and AI tools like Google AI shopping and Amazon’s generative AI tool are being used by consumers and brands to bring retail into the digital age.

The report cited several studies, including a March 2024 survey that included 500 U.S.-based technology enthusiasts. In this survey, 72% of respondents reported they already plan on using gen AI-powered search for shopping more frequently in the future. And of those who have used generative AI for online shopping, 79% rated their experiences either “somewhat” or “far” better than traditional search engine shopping experiences. 

The primary survey referenced in the report was conducted in January 2024. Learn more. 

Father’s Day celebrations, gifts

Will you be purchasing a gift for Father’s Day? According to the NRF’s Annual Father’s Day Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, half of consumers plan to purchase a gift for a father or stepfather and 75% of consumers plan to celebrate Father’s Day this June.

The total spend is expected to reach $22.4 billion – the second highest in the survey’s history – with the average consumer planning to spend $189.81 on gifts and celebrations. The top five gift categories include special outing, clothing, gift cards, electronics and personal care. Forty-two percent plan to do their shopping online. 

The survey of 8,580 consumers was conducted May 1-8, 2024. Learn more.