Cutting Through the Clutter in a World of Choice

Cutting Through the Clutter in a World of Choice

Fragmentation is everywhere, and we’re bombarded with choice. From thousands of consumer products to dozens of retail channels to the expanding and evolving list of traditional and non-traditional sources for information, cutting through the clutter is where we find and fulfill unmet needs.

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.

Nielsen reviewed seven purchasing criteria: packaging design, price, function, advertisement, brand, quality and place of production to uncover which product attributes were most likely to drive consumers to make their purchase decisions. The survey also asked which major sources respondents used when searching for product-related information. Nielsen evaluated health and beauty, food and beverage, mobile/personal electronics and non-FMCG categories. Additionally, the study gauged whether respondents were loyal to 17 various food, beverage and health/beauty categories to uncover areas of opportunity.

Health and beauty desires and differences

For health, beauty and personal care products, price, quality and function were the most important purchase criteria. The emphasis consumers placed on these attributes was distinctly different by region, but there was strong consistency within the regions.

Asia-Pacific respondents selected function most when buying cosmetics/skin care, personal care, health care/medicine categories, followed by quality and price. In North America and Europe, price was paramount. Latin American respondents put a strong emphasis on quality. In Middle East/Africa, brand was a key consideration for cosmetics and skin care, price was important for personal care purchasing intentions and quality was a majority factor for health care/medicine purchase decisions.

Food and beverages served up taste and quality

Not surprisingly, taste was an influential purchasing criteria when making food and beverage purchases. While quality and price were also key factors across all regions, quality took precedence over price among a greater percentage of respondents in Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Middle East/Africa markets, and price was the priority for more North Americans and Europeans.

In-store promotion tactics resonated strongly in Europe and North America. TV was the most often cited go-to vehicle for product information in Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Middle East/Africa. Friends and family were persuasive for about one-fifth of global respondents.

Cost, not brand name, resonated strongest for mobile phones

When purchasing a mobile phone, cost was more influential in decision making than brand name among 44 percent of North Americans (vs. 20% for brand), 42 percent of Europeans (vs. 26% for brand), and 35 percent of Latin Americans (vs. 31% for brand). In Middle East/Africa, price and brand were equally influential among one-third (32%) of respondents. Asia-Pacific respondents bucked the trend, as 38 percent of respondents selected function as the most important purchasing criteria, followed by price (35%) and then brand (29%).


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.