We’re excited to share a new report that’s available on the Qualtrics website, Global Consumer Trends, 2021, which is based on a recently completed XM Institute research project.

The Global Study

Our team has been busy for the last couple of months with a mammoth piece of research that examines consumer behaviors and attitudes across 18 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, UK, and the U.S. The research also digs into several industries, including banking, retail, fast food restaurants, hospitals/medical clinics, internet service providers, mobile providers, parcel delivery services, public utilities, and supermarkets.

The research covers a wide range of topics, including:

  • Satisfaction with recent interactions
  • Loyalty towards companies
  • How consumers choose companies
  • Post-COVID online behaviors
  • Vaccination attitudes and intentions
  • NPS calibration across countries
  • Channel preferences
  • How consumers give feedback

Only a portion of this analysis will be in that initial report. In addition, XM Institute will be publishing a series of data snapshots that dig into different aspects of the research. If you don’t want to miss any of this upcoming content, make sure to subscribe to the Monthly XM Journal.


Interesting Findings

There are so many insights in this research that will come out across several publications that we can’t possibly do them justice in a single post. Having said that, we thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite nuggets. So here are some interesting findings…


We asked consumers to rate their most recent experiences with companies and found that:

  • India had the highest level of consumers who were extremely satisfied with their recent experiences with companies (50%), while less than 10% of South Korean, German, and Japanese consumers felt that way. 
  • Using a 5-star rating system, we found that 85% of Indian consumers gave their mobile phone provider a 4- or 5-star rating, compared with only 39% of those in Brazil. In banking, Indonesia is the highest at 88% and Japan is the lowest at 44%.


We asked consumers how likely they were to trust a company and found that:

  • Property insurers in Indonesia earned the highest level of trust (93%), while banks in Spain earned the lowest (53%).
  • The level of trust in public utilities ranges from a high of 89% in Indonesia to a low of 54% in Germany.


We asked consumers how likely they were to recommend a company that they like and a company that they dislike using the Net Promoter Score (NPS) question and found that:

  • When Japanese consumers like a company, their answers result in an NPS -47. When they dislike the company, it ends up at -88. Compare that with India, where the NPS ranges from +64 to -7.
  • The gap in NPS scores between how consumers rate companies that they like and those that they dislike is largest in Brazil (137 points) and Mexico (131 points).


We asked consumers which of four criteria they would use to choose a company to buy from and found that:

  • When choosing a company to buy from, 43% of consumers choose based on products, 23% choose based on how well they’ll be treated, 18% choose based on prices, and 16% choose based on societal impact. 
  • Japanese consumers are the most focused on price, Thai consumers are the most focused on experience and societal impact, and Canadians are the most focused on price.


We asked consumers about their shift in online activity during COVID and their plans for continuing those activities going forward and found that:

  • The top two activities started during COVID were online video with friends and family (24% of consumers), ordering groceries online (21% of consumers), and buying products online (21%). The largest new online activity was Filipinos buying products online (39%) and Mexicans having videos with friends and family (36%). 
  • Banking, buying, watching TV, and handling customer service are the online activities that are set to have the most positive momentum after the pandemic, with the largest increase expected for online banking in India. Religious services and family get-togethers have the most negative momentum, with the largest decline expected for attending online religious services in Germany.


We asked consumers about their plans for getting vaccinated when the vaccine becomes available to them and found that:

  • On average, 66% of people plan to get vaccinated when it becomes available to them. These positive vaccine plans range from a high of 82% for India down to a low of 47% for the Philippines. 
  • When we asked about the expectations that life would get back to normal after COVID is controlled, Indonesia, India, and Brazil were most optimistic, expecting life to be back to normal within the next nine months.  Japan, Singapore, and Spain were the least optimistic, expecting a return to normal to be at least 14 months away.


We asked consumers to select their preferred channel for completing eight common interactions and found that:

  • Candian consumers are the most likely to talk to someone on the phone, Spanish consumers are the most likely to meet with someone in person, Hong Kong, and Indian consumers are the most likely to use self-service on their computers, and Thai consumers are the most likely to use self-service on their mobile phones and use online chat.
  • Consumers who want to schedule their medical appointments using online self-service range from a high of 56% in Singapore to a low of 17% in Germany. Preference for self-service for technical support ranges from 44% in India to 16% in the Philippines.


The Methodology

The data comes from a global consumer study that Qualtrics XM Institute conducted in the first quarter of 2021. Using an online survey, we collected data from 17,809 consumers across 18 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, UK, and the U.S. We surveyed 1,000 consumers from each of the countries except for Hong Kong (556 respondents) and South Korea (952 respondents). To ensure that the data was reflective of the population within those countries, we set quotas for responses to match the gender, age, and income demographics of each country.


The bottom line: Get ready for an influx of global consumer insights

Moira Dorsey, XMP, is an XM Catalyst with Qualtrics XM Institute

Bruce Temkin, XMP, CCXP, is the Head of Qualtrics XM Institute