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What do Consumers Value most When making Purchases?

Full report: Changing Consumer Values & Behaviour: Building a Competitive Proposition in Retail

What do Consumers Value most When making Purchases?

This article is part one of our three-part mini-series, derived from our report 'Changing Consumer Values' in partnership with Alvarez & Marsal, which explores how consumer values are changing, what’s shaping them and how brands should react. Check out the other two parts of the series at the bottom of this page.


2 minute read


Understanding consumer values is critical to building a strong and competitive value proposition. It forms the basis of securing customer loyalty as shoppers consider purchasing items that offer the highest perceived benefit for the lowest cost or effort.

Our research reveals five consumer value archetypes, based on how consumers across the seven countries perceive and rank the importance of the attributes when purchasing retail products and services.


Fig 1: 37% of consumers feel quality is most important when purchasing goods

5 different consumer value types

Source: Retail Economics and Alvarez & Marsal


Quality-appreciators: Typically aged 55 or older, prioritise quality when buying products, with materials and brand being more important than low prices. They come mostly from the UAE and Switzerland, with higher incomes. They value easy access to product information, with 55.0% of them considering product sourcing, materials, and longevity.

Cost-conscious: Encompasses a broad age range, but generally younger consumers who seek value for money based on lower prices. They prioritise pricing transparency and access to product information, and are less likely to pay extra for sustainable products.

Convenience-first: Includes consumers of all ages who prioritise frictionless customer journeys, easy payments, and simple returns. They are willing to pay more for brands that align with their behaviour and values, and seek availability over promotions and deals.

Experience Seekers: Usually under 25 years old, value entertainment, education, environment, and escapism when shopping. They seek meaningful interactions with retail brands and value inspiring environments both in-store and online.

Sustainability Shifters: Mainly Millennials and Gen Xs who prioritise social causes and seek out sustainable products and brands. They are willing to pay more for sustainable products, with sustainable sourcing being the most critical ethical practice for over a quarter of them (26.2%).

View the full report here

This work forms part of a wider piece of research and is a downloadable in pdf format


Consumer values remain consistent across the countries analysed, with price and quality being the main priorities in all markets (except for Switzerland, where convenience is slightly more important than price). UAE and Switzerland have a higher proportion of 'Quality-appreciators' and fewer 'Cost-conscious' consumers, likely due to their higher average incomes.


Fig 2: The UK has the lowest percentage of sustainability shifters

countries values

Source: Retail Economics and Alvarez & Marsal


The UK, followed by France and Spain, ranked highest for consumers being function-driven, likely due to the UK's competitive, digitally-developed market. UK consumers prioritize low cost, high quality, and easy access to goods. In Spain, where inflation is at a 40 year high, almost 40% of consumers prioritize low costs. This shows the influence of 'condition-driven' factors, such as government policy and cultural influences, on consumer values.

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Download the full report here

Found this short article interesting?

This article is the first in a three part mini-series from our report 'Changing Consumer Values'

  • Part two can be found here
  • Part three can be found here
View Full Report Here

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