Once a year, the ibi research institute at the University of Regensburg, as the organiser and initiator of the Digital Commerce Research Network (DCRN), conducts a study on the future of commerce. Current market developments and trends are analysed in depth to support retailers in their decision-making. atriga is a partner of the DCRN. This year’s survey focuses on consumer behaviour between consumption and sustainability. We spoke to the head of the study, Nils Deichner from ibi research, about the results.
Mr Deichner, what are the most surprising findings for you from the current DCRN study?
What surprised me most was that consumer behaviour in the different generations, i.e. from baby boomers to Generation Z, does not differ as much as might be assumed. On the other hand, it is not surprising that baby boomers, i.e. those born between 1950 and 1964, are not as strongly represented in social media. Instead, they have the lowest return rates of all generations, while Generation Z has the highest.
What we also noticed in particular are the contradictions within the baby boomer group. Consumer behaviour varies greatly here; this generation does not present a homogeneous picture, in contrast to Generations X and Y. Generation Z, i.e. those born between 1995 and 2009, is again out of line here.
So how do the new low-cost suppliers from China such as Temu & SHEIN and the desire for sustainability fit together at all?
There are two camps when it comes to sustainability, whereby a willingness to change one’s own behaviour in the interests of sustainable action has developed across all generations. On the other hand, Generation X, i.e. those born between 1965 and 1979, and Generation Y, born between 1980 and 1994, are very keen to order from Temu or SHEIN. Sustainable behaviour often fails simply because of money, as products are more expensive on average and so sustainable consumption becomes an issue of doing without, because you have to be able to afford it.