While price continues to be a major factor in purchase considerations, shoppers are increasingly paying close attention to the values of the brands they shop, according to new Harris Poll research commissioned by Google Cloud.
The study found that a staggering 82% of shoppers want a brand’s values to align with their own. What’s more, consumers are clearly willing to act on this sentiment with three-quarters of shoppers surveyed saying they had parted ways with a brand over a conflict in values.
“COVID-19 drove people to reflect on their priorities, elevating concepts like community service, equity, and sustainability,” said Giusy Bounfantino, VP of Consumer Packaged Goods at Google Cloud in a blog post sharing the findings. “A decade ago, values like these weren’t front-and-center operational priorities for many consumer goods companies. But today’s consumer not only wants savings and convenience, but also wants to feel good when a company that aligns with their values gets their money.”
Sustainability in particular is a value that many consumers consider when deciding which companies to spend money with. A majority (52%) of consumers said they are especially interested in supporting sustainable brands, with 66% seeking out eco-friendly companies and 55% saying they would pay more for more sustainable products.
But many shoppers remain skeptical: 72% say they think companies overstate their sustainability efforts. Their suspicions may be well-founded: Bounfantino pointed to another Harris Poll survey recently commissioned by Google Cloud that found 58% of executives across 16 countries admitting that their organizations have overstated their sustainability efforts.
There is one thing that will make even the most stalwart brand supporter turn somewhere else — out-of-stocks. The study found that if a preferred brand isn’t available, 98% of shoppers said they would either buy from a different brand or search other stores.