Accenture Uncovers 10 Dimensions Of Customer Behavior

After surveying 600 business executives and 10,000 consumers in 10 countries, Accenture has outlined 10 behavioral elements that affect consumer purchases. In the report titled: Energizing Global Growth: Understanding The Changing Consumer, Accenture provides insights into how businesses can benefit from changing consumer behavior.

In addition to the executive and consumer surveys, Accenture conducted an industry growth leaders analysis and a macroeconomic analysis in order to round out the report.  The leaders analysis assessed the world’s top 3,000 companies identified by market capitalization; the macroeconomic analysis was conducted in conjunction with Oxford Economics.

The research was designed around asking and answering four key questions:


  • Is consumer behavior really changing — and if so, what patterns or trends can we discern to help businesses grow?
  • Are business leaders aware of these changes, and if so, how are they responding?
  • What are the best examples of companies that are capturing the benefits of changing consumer behavior, and what can other companies learn from them?
  • What do changes in consumer behavior mean for the global economy as a whole, and can higher growth be stimulated by greater understanding of these changes?

The 10 Dimensions Of Customer Behavior

In order to better identify strategies that will motivate consumers to purchase, Accenture outlined the following 10 characteristics of today’s shoppers, split into three categories: Networked, Independent and Co-operative.

  • Networked shoppers are: Connected, Social and Co-productive;
  • Independent shoppers are: Individual, Experiential, Resourceful  and often choose to be Disconnected; and
  • Co-operative shoppers are: Communal, Conscientious and Minimalist.

With this knowledge in hand, companies can learn how to profit from changing consumer behavior by following three steps:

  1. Develop an analytical toolkit
  2. Instill an adaptive mindset
  3. Create an agile organization

The Challenges Of Change

Following the survey of global business executives, Accenture found that, while many companies acknowledge change, they are not effectively implementing strategies that react to that change.

Although 83% of executives surveyed said that “consumer behavior change presents opportunity for business growth,” 74% said their understanding of consumer behavior is “less than complete.” As many as 80% stated that their companies are not taking advantage of this opportunity for growth.

Further, 34% of the executives surveyed believe that technology advancements are the “most important shift for enabling business growth; and an additional 13% said that “changes to consumer preferences” are most important.

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