Our latest report – Digital finance: The consumer experience, 2023 – provides an assessment of the scale of the issue across low- and middle-income countries. In evaluating the pain points facing consumers, it provides a much-needed route map for regulators, consumer associations, and market actors to take action. Assessed across four ‘pillars’ of financial consumer protection, the total index score comes in at just 40 out of 100. These results make it clear that more work is needed to build consumer protection frameworks that sufficiently protect and empower consumers.
Achieving sustainable consumption is vital to addressing the global environmental crisis and meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The size of the sustainable consumption challenge – trillions of products produced in millions of locations and sold to billions of consumers – requires a tectonic shift in established approaches among consumers, retailers, and manufacturers.
E-commerce has grown significantly in recent years. E-commerce retail sales, estimated in 2020 at USD 4.25 trillion, make up a growing share of total retail sales and could rise to nearly a quarter by 2025. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend, which is expected to persist as consumers continue to alter their shopping behaviour.
The growth of e-commerce is reshaping the way we consume globally. This poses both risk and opportunity for sustainability. The online information environment, with its scale, avenues for cocreation and personalisation, and commercialisation, could push consumers towards more unnecessary and unsustainable purchases. But with the right interventions, e-commerce players can leverage these unique aspects to empower better informed, more sustainable consumption at scale.