US shopper habits change

29 November 2010

NEW YORK: Group shopping, mobile commerce and co-creation are among the factors that will reshape popular habits in the US, according to a study from American Express.

The financial giant suggested evolving technology is combining with increased care on the part of customers about how products are sourced and made.

"We live on a digital planet. Everything we do is online, and it's dramatically changing consumer behaviour," Mary Hines, vp, marketing, American Express, told Forbes.

"We're seeing a more conscientious consumer. They're really pausing before they're making their spending decisions, focusing not only on quality but also on the impact of that spending decision."

The first primary shift outlined was communal buying, as websites like Groupon provide deals and discounts where netizens band together, adding a social element to electronic retail.

American Express predicted this activity would soon transfer to mobile, offering real-time and location-based promotions.

Such is in keeping with a second transition, as services including Facebook Places, Google Latitude and Foursquare allow brand owners to engage consumers on the move.

Looking forward, American Express anticipates the mobile web will deliver a highly personalised experience matching individual tastes.

Purchasing goods manufactured locally is another projected change, requiring major companies to tailor their assortment, reflecting regional preferences, and partner with smaller specialist stores.

Co-creation is an attendant area, as shoppers grow to expect a greater input in matters from design to ingredients.

Finally, corporate social responsibility should gain further ground, as issues like ethics and sustainability come under increased scrutiny.

Data sourced from Forbes; additional content by Warc staff