The Decision Tree: Italian Consumers’ Choices

During the latest wave of the European Opinion Tracker, the study conducted by BVA Doxa with the contribution of the international experts of the BVA Group, a focus was placed on the shopper decision tree: what are the main characteristics and elements that a consumer examines when buying a certain product? Particularly interesting is the comparison with France and the United Kingdom: convenience and quality often compete for the first two places in the ranking, but as the product category changes, the importance given to each criteria changes as well, also depending on the country considered.

The data were collected between 9 and 13 December 2020, on a representative sample (> 1000) of the Italian, French and English population. The three criteria highlighted for each product category are not the top 3, but 3 among the most mentioned by respondents. The percentages indicated refer to the sum of the percentages of the first and second place assigned to that criterion. For more information on the European Opinion Tracker:

For the purchase of food products, Italians pay a lot of attention to the quality of the product (54%) and to the origin of the product (35%), much more than citizens in France and the UK: in France less attention is paid to quality (-9% compared to Italy) and in the UK less attention is paid to the origin of the product (-14%). However, what is considered more in the UK than in Italy is the packaging, considered by 9% of Italians, but by 14% of the British.

In the last year, mainly due to the lockdown, entertainment platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sky, Disney +, have seen an increase in subscribers and in frequency of use. But what elements are most important when it comes to choosing the service to subscribe to? Convenient offers, such as the opportunity to take advantage of a discount, are important for 39% of Italians, but only for 26% of British people. However, Italian consumers also give great importance to the quality of the service (35%). Then, a new figure emerges compared to other product categories: 10% are attentive to social responsibility, that is, the company’s attention to issues that are important to society.

The quality of the product is also taken into consideration by Italians when it comes to buying clothing or accessories: 44%, in fact, consider it an important criterion (against 32% of the French). Italian consumers also consider the presence of convenient offers, such as the possibility of having discounts or buying promotional products, a criterion that evaluates 34% of the population. The French are more interested here: 40% (+ 6% compared to Italy) believe that offers are important, against 23% of the British (-11% compared to Italians, and -17% compared to the French). Finally, the brand is considered important for the purchase of clothing and accessories by 23% of Italians, with no significant distinctions between the three countries.

Product quality is again mentioned even in the case of the purchase of cosmetics and personal care products, and it is given practically equal importance to the purchase of clothing and accessories (45%). Here too, as in the previous category, the French show less attention (-12%). The brand, on the other hand, acquires greater importance than that assigned to it in the clothing category, and rises to 30%. The reason could be linked to another criterion that emerges in this category, the origin of the product, which is considered by 24% of Italians at the time of purchase (+ 10% compared to the British).

The house in the last year has acquired greater importance and therefore greater attention is also paid to the purchase of furniture and accessories for the home: the quality of the product is taken into consideration by 36% of Italians (and by 27% of the French), the affordable offers by 31% (and by 21% of the British), and then the design of the product, considered here more than in other categories by 21% of Italians.

In the domestic sphere, the criteria mentioned for the purchase of household appliances are interesting: here the affordable offers are important, mentioned by 33% of Italians, and even by 37% of French. The brand is almost on par with convenience, nominated by 32% of respondents (+ 10% compared to the British). New compared to the other categories is the importance given to the quality of the service, for example the functionality of the product or the quality of the assistance service, which for 19% of Italians makes the difference when buying household appliances.



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