Digital and the new consumer: Emerging paths to purchase

This article looks at consumer attitudes to digital commerce and, by looking at millennials and forward-thinking "prosumers", how they are expected to develop in the near future.

Digital and the new consumer: Emerging paths to purchase

The year 2001 was pivotal for Havas Worldwide: It was the year we started tracking an emerging cohort we call Prosumers. These smart, proactive shoppers were among the most enthusiastic adopters

In the early days of e-commerce, there was a lot of discussion about which products consumers would or would not buy online. In particular, skeptics doubted that people would buy things that needed to be physically felt or checked for fit or color. More than a decade into full-on digital commerce, these distinctions have faded. In fact, more of our respondents have bought clothing, shoes, and/or accessories online (49 percent) than have bought books (44 percent) or movies, music, and/or video games (33 percent). And around half of women (51 percent) buy beauty and cosmetics products online. This doesn't necessarily mean that consumers are buying these products only online rather than in stores, nor that they are buying these products sight unseen. In many cases, people are going online to buy things that they have already seen in stores. That's great news for brands and retailers that design their online resources to integrate with their brick-and-mortar stores in a seamless whole. It's not such good news for those companies that have yet to establish a robust online presence. Nearly half of our respondents (61 percent of Prosumers and 42 percent of the mainstream) say they are frustrated when a retailer is not accessible online.

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