Shoppers want to hang their values alongside their stockings this holiday season — and likely beyond. Mass-produced holiday-scented candles, a trio of beauty samplers or an apologetically lush robe aren’t ringing in the cheer as thoroughly as a sustainable alternative, or similar.
With SAP’s latest survey reaching 1,000 U.S. shoppers during the holidays, more than half, or 54 percent, of Americans consider themselves to be “socially conscious shoppers” and “nearly two-thirds prefer to purchase gifts from brands that support specific social causes.” SAP is a global enterprise software provider that aims to better businesses across industry.
The breakdown of the value ranking is 30 percent of shoppers are leaning into environmental sustainability, 25 percent value education the most and 23 percent prioritize diversity and inclusion. With great — social and ethical — responsibility comes a great price. And according to the survey, price of products is still the top purchasing motive, with brand values taking the second spot and “previous positive or negative experience” as the third motivator.
But while the price of products still reigns as the top influence of a purchase, those surveyed said they are “willing to pay more for values.”
“We live in an experience economy in which consumers care not just about products but also about a company’s purpose, value and global impact,” said Alex Atzberger, president of SAP’s customer experience organization. Equally so, 63 percent prefer to purchase holiday gifts from brands that align with the mentioned causes, and the reverse is also true, with 60 percent of individuals saying they will “avoid buying from brands that support causes they disagree with during holiday shopping.”
As recently as Dolce & Gabbana proved in their culturally deaf message to China, brands without values or morals will get diced from relevance quicker than a message can be sent from one of the numerous third-party communication platforms. While the holiday season allows for certain nuances in consumer shopping behavior, with increased activity during Cyber Monday or Black Friday, the trend toward values-driven shopping is unlikely to change with the seasons.