2023 Wrap-Up: 7 Top Consumer Behavior Trends

Bizrate Insights always keeps a finger on the pulse of consumer behavior trends, paying close attention to what matters most. We all know the best form of advertising comes from customer reviews, but companies often don’t place value on gathering feedback directly from their customers.

Consumer sentiment drives sales. And capturing data about your customers’ user experience at each stage of the buyer journey is powerful. Not only does it help you gauge how they like your products or services, but it also equips you with granular data about where you can improve processes in sales, support, and even future product development.

Bizrate Insights empowers ecommerce companies with our proprietary voice-of-customer (VoC) feedback surveys, arming them with comprehensive end-to-end data on performance. 

As 2023 ends, we’re sharing this enlightening review of the year’s consumer behavior trends, giving you a bigger-picture view of what digital customer experience trends say about buyer concerns and interests. 

So, let’s get right to it! Below, we look at seven of the most revealing trends impacting sentiment and sales.

Consumer Behavior Trend #1: Wishlists

We decided to kick off this annual wrap-up with consumer trends regarding wishlists and their impact on purchases.

What Is a Wishlist?

A wishlist is a tool that lets users bookmark items of interest. Customers can use a wishlist while searching for items they want to buy. Some may use a wishlist as a placeholder until they can afford an item, or they might save numerous products from different brands while learning which one is best.

Why Are Wishlists Important?

Wishlists help build long-term platform loyalty and reduce cart abandonment. They can act like an unobtrusive reminder about items someone has yet to purchase while also tying into other processes—like notifications, preferences, and even a little nudge at checkout—leading to upsells and general customer satisfaction.

Sneak Peek: How Different Demographics Feel About Wishlists

There is a clear generational trend—younger consumers care more about wishlists than older users. Across all age groups, there are still a lot of people who don’t use wishlists at all, but those who find them useful treat them like bookmarks to keep track of items for a few key purposes:

  • To monitor price
  • To share products with others
  • To keep an eye on the availability of out-of-stock items

People dislike having to register or sign in to an account to use a wishlist This underscores the value of making easy, quick sign-in processes available to users.

Check out our full wishlist consumer survey to learn more about consumer sentiments regarding wishlists, pros and cons, and specific features used.

Consumer Behavior Trend #2: Product Videos

Consumers are overwhelmingly interested in product videos, but they may not always convert to sales as we’d expect. 

While a vast majority stop to watch product videos while shopping, only a tiny percentage of these shoppers say a lack of video keeps them from purchasing.

What Role Do Product Videos Play in Ecommerce?

Product videos help influence purchases, but not as directly as we might think. They can help build confidence in a brand, entice visitors with a quality demonstration, and lengthen the time consumers spend on your page.

Sneak Peek: Do Videos Really Convert?

Videos can build trust, demystify features, and even help reduce returns. Learn what type of product sales are more heavily driven by videos and whether your niche needs to focus more on video.

Consumer Behavior Trend #3: Consistency in Online Shopping Habits During Holidays

Bizrate Insights has paid close attention to trends in online shopping over the holidays. From our surveys spanning from 2018–2022, the component that stands out is consistency.

Over the years, online shoppers have consistently said that convenience, cost-effectiveness, and saving time are their top priorities.

Sneak Peek: Get the Granular-Level Details on Holiday Shopping Sentiments

This extensive collection of several years of data regarding online shopping over the holidays shows that free shipping is a major driving force in sales. Convenience means everything from fast shipping times to flexible options like local pickups.

Consumer Behavior Trend #4: Online Returns

Online shopping is part of all our lives. But, every once in a while, things go wrong. Whether it’s a mishap in shipping or the seller sent you the wrong item, sometimes we just need a little comfort that there’s a game plan for those rare times when a purchase doesn’t go the way we planned. 

Most consumers care the most about accuracy: The number-one priority regarding returns is that the seller does a stellar job in making them unnecessary. 

Sneak Peek: What Do Return Policies Say About Buyers?

People care the most about quality products with an accurate representation online. And  everyone loves having plenty of options when shopping for items of interest. But when it comes to returns, most of us just want to know how things will be handled if a mistake is made—to know exactly what we’d be facing if we have to send something back.

Consumer Behavior Trend #5: Flexible Payment Options

You might notice a recurring theme with these trends. Once again, when it comes to payment options, convenience is king. It’s all about reducing friction. 

The less thought required to make the transaction, the happier the customer. Convenience includes making it super easy for users to store their payment preferences for future transactions.

Sneak Peek: How Much Do People Really Care About Flexibility with Payments?

Yes, people care about having options, but our survey suggests that a variety of payment options is more about making sure each person’s preference is covered. This means most people want to use their preferred payment method every time, but there are consumers interested in an increasing range of payment services.

Credit cards still top the list, with PayPal a close second. But lesser-known options like Klarna, Affirm, and AfterPay are slowly gaining traction with people who want “buy now, pay later” choices.

Check out our survey about a variety of payment options to get the details and learn how people feel about security, rewards, and loyalty programs.

Consumer Behavior Trend #6: Sustainable Packaging

There’s one aspect of ecommerce where people’s mindset has shifted away from convenience and immediacy: their focus on saving the planet.

Sentiment about sustainability is reflected in a noted preference for recycled materials and eco-friendly delivery options. 

Sneak Peek: What Does Our Survey Tell You About Consumer Attitudes Towards Sustainability?

An overwhelming number of consumers believe online companies need to reduce packaging waste. It’s one of many strong indicators that advertising and general website copy isn’t wasted when letting visitors know you take the environment seriously. 

Consumer Behavior Trend #7: Chat

Chat support matters. But, it means different things to different demographics. The metrics look great for chat: increased revenue, fewer service costs, and other key benefits. But chat reveals interesting divergent priorities among buyers.

Sneak Peek: What Do Demographic Differences Say About How Consumers Use Chat Support?

Most people say they rarely use chat support, but when they do, most say they didn’t find the response useful. This may be more of a sign that chat AI and CX training still have a way to go. But it’s an interesting contrast to the fact that people share more positive mentions on social media and become more loyal customers with companies that provide chat support. 

Find out more about demographic differences in how people use chat and more.

Closing Thoughts

Bizrate Insights recognizes the crucial role of direct feedback. Short-term trends are important so companies can tune in to recent customers. But, as time goes on, trends tell a greater story. 

We’ve found that people’s priorities regarding their ecommerce buying behavior always come around to key elements: trust, convenience, and value.

What Do Your Buyers Think?

Interested in uncovering valuable insights about your customers? Let Bizrate Insights help you learn about buyer behavior trends today!