2023 Global Evolution of Commerce Report: US Edition

Businesses may think they’re meeting their customers’ needs in difficult times, but the fact is, their priorities are at odds with what consumers want. In fact, businesses’ lowest priorities are actually consumers’ most important needs. Although brands are trying to improve the customer experience, the tactics they’re choosing may in fact be making it harder, not easier, to resonate. Customers’ priorities are changing. Are you keeping up? Download the Evolution of Commerce report to learn more about what businesses and consumers are prioritizing.

Stay on target

The biggest challenge brands face is knowing that they’re focusing on the right areas and our research would suggest they are missing the mark. While most business owners (78%) say they have the necessary resources to serve and retain customers, they may not be investing where consumers need them to1.

Consumers want practicality from their brands meaning a focus on affordability, clear and detailed product information, trusted reviews from other customers, guarantees about authenticity and protection from counterfeits. But brands seem keener on wider purpose and innovation, sustainability and social awareness. They also want to be seen as cutting edge and innovation can’t stand still but, in this uncertain climate, brands must refocus to match their consumers’ changing needs.


For this report, PayPal commissioned Forrester to conduct two surveys among enterprise businesses (507 respondents) and consumers (5,036 respondents) in five global markets: Australia, France, Germany, United Kingdom and United States of America. We wanted to know how businesses and consumers react to the economy, their preparedness and priorities into 2023.

The Current State of Commerce

With the global economy tilting towards recession and cost-of-living crises, consumers are understandably cautious with their money. Businesses focusing on non-essentials will no doubt be concerned that 54% are looking to cut down their discretionary spending1. Nearly half (43%) are budgeting for spending in general meaning that every penny spent is scrutinized for value1. There’s no doubt that the pressures are intense - around a third of consumers believe they’re going to have to look for secondary income (34%) if their economy enters a recession1.

With these stresses in mind, consumers are looking to brands to act with compassion and empathy toward their struggles. Consumers would find cost-cutting measures like free shipping and returns (60%) or promotions (49%) particularly helpful1.

Interestingly, empathy works both ways. While they want help, consumers understand that brands are also under pressure. They’re willing to give companies more leeway, specifically around price increases, stock outages or longer delivery times.

Download the PDF for a full copy of the report to learn more about business and consumer priorities.

Evolution of Commerce Report (PDF)

Evolution of Commerce Report (PDF)

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