7 Billion Shoppers; New Wealth, New World

7 Billion Shoppers; New Wealth, New World

With seven billion people living in the world, it may be surprising to learn that when it comes to core familial, educational, and religious values, we’re more similar than different. When it comes to how we shop, however, our preferences can differ quite a bit depending on where we live.

New findings from a Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Shopping Behavior, which included more than 29,000 online respondents in 58 countries, shine a light on how consumers around the world shop and what drives category purchasing intent.

Appreciate the Similarities; Embrace the Differences

When it came to shopping, some habits were universal, such as the importance of low prices, good quality and ample deals. But there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to meeting global consumer needs; understanding the habits and diverse needs of consumers around the world is critical for success in today’s shrinking world.

There are clear regional shopping and attitude differences that require special attention. For example, the survey found that more respondents in Asia-Pacific shopped impulsively and were attracted to designer brands than in any other region. Latin Americans were intensely brand-loyal and well-informed shoppers. North American and European shoppers were largely driven by price, and Middle East/Africa respondents were environmentally savvy and influenced by professionals.

Economic realities and the growing disposable wealth of consumers in growth markets were clear factors in the results, which came from survey respondents with Internet access. Respondents in growth markets were particularly voracious consumers, often exceeding the global average when it came to early adoption, affinity for aspirational brands, researching and deal sensitivity. Conversely, respondents in the developed regions of the world were often most skeptical, driven by price and least likely to be influenced by others.

Core values align, women’s roles differ

For the vast majority of global respondents (80%), spending quality time with families is the most important aspect of life. More than three-quarters of global respondents also believed that family planning was essential (77%) and that attaining a higher education was critical (78%). And while more than three-quarters of global respondents (76%) stated that women should have influence regarding important issues at home, there was less global alignment about whether the woman’s most important role is as a housewife and/or mother.

More than half of regional respondents in the Middle East/Africa (62%) and in Asia-Pacific (53%) agreed that the woman’s most important role is a housewife and/or mother. These responses were significantly higher than the global average of 43 percent. Less than one-third of respondents in North America (30%) and Europe (31%) agreed with that statement. Across all respondents, more men (46%) than women (39%) consider the most important role for women is as a housewife or mother. However, the majority of both genders agreed that women should have influence on important household decisions.


For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s New Wealth, New World report.

About the Global Survey Methodology

The findings are based on respondents with online access across 58 countries. While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides a perspective only on the habits of existing Internet users, not total populations. In developing markets where online penetration has not reached majority potential, audiences may be younger and more affluent than the general population of that country. Additionally, survey responses about purchasing habits are based on claimed behavior, rather than actual metered data.