Global Consumer Insights Survey 2019

Introducing 'return on experience' – a consumer-centred metric

In PwC’s 10th annual Global Consumer Insights Survey (GCIS) we’ve captured the sentiments of over 21,000 online consumers in 27 territories. We found that consumers today are indeed the strongest link in the economic chain: they are in a position where they can demand a tailored, channel-agnostic, socially-conscious and social media-powered shopping experiences.

Download the survey


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Introducing return on experience

Consumers are not only on the lookout for products or services anymore, but also on the experiences that they go through when purchasing them. That’s why companies should measure their return on experience, or ROX, to help them understand the return on investments that they made into the parts of the organisation which directly impact customer experience (CX) with the brand.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is already having a massive impact on business and society, and it’s an area where business can make a real difference. Equipping people with the skills they’ll need and preparing future generations for the changing world of work is crucial, and it’s also a theme that resonated strongly with the CEOs that took part in our 22nd annual survey of business attitudes.

Introducing six imperatives for improving your ROX

Fuse customer experience and employee experience

Customer experience (CX) is inherently related to employee experience (EX). Using the ROX framework, you will be able to understand the relationships between the company culture, behaviours and business outcomes, and identify your EX’s impact on customer experience (CX).

Fuse CX and EX

Understand your customers based on their behaviours

PwC’s 2019 Global Consumer Insights Survey shows that shoppers exhibit the same behaviours and attitudes across different industries. If you understand the various behavioural types, you can engage more meaningfully with shoppers.

Understand your customers

Build communities with a purpose

Find the values your employees and consumers have in common, and use the right tools to communicate them with both internal and external audiences. This can help create more meaningful engagement and successful ROX.

Conmmunicate shared values

Navigate data protection concerns

People have become increasingly aware of what firms have been doing with their personal data, and our research shows that they’re ready to take their business elsewhere if they don’t trust that a company is treating their data with respect.

Treat data respectfully

Build on discrete moments along the customer journey

Maintaining customer loyalty isn’t easy to achieve in the age of ever-expanding digital options. Customer loyalty to the brand, and not only the products or services, should be earned and can only be built over time.

Find magic moments

Provide a winning experience

Fusing the CX and EX is a lot easier when both groups are highly motivated to be associated with a particular brand or organisation. Find the values your employees and consumers have in common, and use the right tools to communicate them with both internal and external audiences. This can help create more meaningful engagement and successful ROX.

Win the trip

Understanding your customers

PwC's Global Consumer Insights survey found shared behavioural and attitudinal attributes among consumers across different industries. Integrating these characteristics with demographical data can help in creating a rich, detailed consumer profile.

Cord Cutter

Cutting ties with traditional forms of shopping and entertainment
  • Shopping experience


Interested in shopping exclusively online across all product categories, mainly books, music, movies and video games.


  • Shopping activity


Influenced by digital forms of advertising. Such as interactive social media.


  • Smart devices


Seek technology (VR/AR) and customisation to enrich in-store shopping experience.


  • The virtual economy


Tend to be cashless consumers. Most are currently performing financial activities online and are more likely to trust an online financial adviser.


  • Shopping ethics

Early adopters. More likely to own smart home devices. Enthusiastic about future trends such as driverless cars.

Financial services consumer

Empowered and self-sufficient through digital access
  • Shopping experience


Most likely shop exclusively online. More comfortable accessing healthcare using non-traditional channels.


  • Shopping activity


Almost a third have carried out over four digital financial activities online.


  • Smart devices


Believe technology and virtual experience with products/services can enhance physical shopping experience.


  • The virtual economy


Tend to be cashless consumers; half have made mobile payments. Open to investing in digital currencies.


  • Shopping ethics


Tend to track energy usage. Half are planning on purchasing smart home energy meter.


Reluctant digitist

Prefers traditional methods over digital platforms
  • Shopping experience


Don't use technology to shop. Favour traditional shopping and human contact in retail.


  • Shopping activity


Over half don't shop exclusively online, prefer shopping for groceries in-store.


  • Smart devices


Not interested in smart technology: few own smart home devices and are not planning on purchasing them.


  • The virtual economy


Value conventional touch-points with knowledgeable sales associates.


  • Shopping ethics


Less inclined to show interest in sustainability.


Wellness connoisseur

Combining the path to purchase with the path to wellness
  • Shopping experience


Will do their shopping exclusively online. Willing to access healthcare from non-traditional providers.


  • Shopping activity


Likely to go grocery shopping in daily microtrips. Influenced by interactive forms of advertisements.


  • Smart devices


Pursue exclusive services and individualised offers in-store and technology to enhance their shopping experience.


  • Shopping ethics


Make shopping decisions guided by sustainability. Purchase brands that support sustainable practices.


Mobile consumer

Consuming aspects of life on the move
  • Shopping experience


A hybrid path to purchase; shopping online but paying in advance via mobile and placing personalised orders.


  • Shopping activity


Expect ordering and payment to be quick and easy; more likely to be influenced by advertising while on the move.


  • Smart devices


Consume on-the-go- using smart wearableables or smartphones as shopping channels.


  • The virtual economy


Expect convenient navigation in-store and quick and easy payment methods.


Digital-first mover

Bold early adopters of the latest digital trends
  • Shopping experience

Own and use smart devices as a way of life. 

  • Shopping activity

Undertake digital financial activities regularly.

  • Smart devices


Either own or plan to own the latest smart devices and usually shop using this technology.


  • The virtual economy


Mostly shop online for retail and entertainment products and services. More likely to invest in bitcoin currencies.


  • Shopping ethics


Usually take sustainability into consideration when making a purchase.



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Contact us

Chip Alexandru

Chip Alexandru

Retail and Consumer Consulting Leader, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41587922448

Mike Foley

Mike Foley

Retail and Consumer Territory Leader, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 82 44