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New Study Shows Cultural Impact on Shopping Habits

It may be a small world but according to a new study by Nielsen shopping habits vary widely depending on your country of origin. Why is this important? Because to succeed in business these days, you need to move beyond borders, so keep these cultural variances in mind when promoting your company to folks on the other side of the world.

Deal Sensitivity

Everyone loves a bargain but in some countries the lack of a deal can be a deal breaker.

nielsen global shopping habits 1

The top, gray bar in each section represents the global average. Looking at the second section first, you can see that price is paramount for everyone but even more so in Latin America. They’re also the people who are adamant about shopping only when items are on sale in-store.  If you’re trying to woo shoppers with a free gift look to the folks in the Middle East and Africa. Europeans showed the least interest in discounts and promotions and they were also least likely to price compare on a mobile phone. The shoppers most likely to use their mobile phone to compare prices? Those in Asia and the Pacific.

Research Before Buying

More than half of all of the people who responded to this survey said they look for advice and collect information before making a purchase.

nielsen global shopping habits 2

Shoppers in Latin America were most likely to shop around before settling on a deal. They also had a slightly stronger bond with products they purchased in the past and enjoyed. Along with the the people of the Middle East and Africa, they were also most likely to trust products recommended by professionals. Here in the US, we have the opposite reaction. Only 35% said they trust recommendations by professionals and the Europeans were only slightly less distrustful.

The US and Europe also disregard the influence of others while shoppers in Asia and the Middle East are more easily swayed.

Environmentally Conscious

I wasn’t at all surprised to see that shoppers in North America aren’t rushing to buy environmentally friendly products.

nielsen global shopping habits 3The shoppers in Asia and the Middle East were both more likely to pay more for a product that helps save the environment. It’s funny, because folks in Latin America said they were the most concerned about saving energy and reducing their carbon footprint but less than half were willing to pay more to save the planet.

Once again, the Europeans were only slightly more environmentally conscious than we are here in the US with both cultures falling well below the global average.

Want to learn more about how people shop all over the world? Visit Nielsen and ask for the “New World, New Wealth” report. They’ll be happy to send it to you free of charge.