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Study: Brand values second only to price in holiday purchasing decisions

BY Marianne Wilson

Americans are leaning towards socially conscious companies this holiday season.

That’s according to a new survey by SAP SE, which found that 54% of American consumers consider themselves to be socially conscious shoppers, and 63% of respondents prefer to purchase holiday gifts from brands that support specific social causes.

The study also revealed that brand values are second only to price when making purchasing decisions. The values of a matter more than a previous positive or negative experience with a brand, how user friendly a website is and if the brand has a physical store nearby, according to the survey.

Additional insights from the SAP survey include:
•Sixty-percent of individuals will avoid buying from brands that support causes they disagree with during holiday shopping.

•Consumers are willing to pay more for values. More than half of respondents said they would spend more for a holiday purchase from a brand that strongly supports a cause or represents specific values.

•Brand values are second only to price when making purchasing decisions. Brand values matter more than a previous positive or negative experience with a brand, how user friendly a website is and if the brand has a physical store nearby.

•Brands must be transparent in business practices. Sixty-seven percent of consumers said transparency in business practices is essential for brands to prove authenticity.

•Shoppers want their values to align with brands. The values most important to shoppers this holiday season are environmental sustainability, education and diversity and inclusion.

“We live in an experience economy in which consumers care not just about products but also about a company’s purpose, value and global impact”, said Alex Atzberger, president of SAP’s customer experience organization. “For retailers this can be decisive while competing during the holiday season, when shoppers are spending more than any other time of the year. Our survey findings indicate that when a company closely connects its purpose to the brand, chances are customers will relate to it on a more personal, human level — which supports customer loyalty and completes the customer experience.”

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