According to Euromonitor International’s Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2018, this year the emerging forces shaping consumer behaviour see consumers continuing to question their values, priorities and purchasing decisions, and deepening their engagement in the brands and issues that matter to them.
The 10 trends identified by Euromonitor International include:
Clean Lifers – They have strong beliefs and ideals. They are less tolerant, more sceptical. They feel they can make a difference, and this influences their spending choices. This means more saying no – to alcohol, to unhealthy habits, to animal-based products and, increasingly, to unmeasured or uninformed spending. Their need to impress is less about ownership and more about experiences they want to share.
The Borrowers – Cash-strapped consumers want more flexibility and freedom in their lives and less baggage. Rather than aspiring to things, they favour minimalism and living for the moment. This means not being tied to possessions. The Borrowers want access rather than ownership, whether through sharing, swapping, renting or streaming.
Call Out Culture – While not new, hashtag activism is rapidly gaining momentum as internet usage explodes and more people have access to social media. The trend is fuelled by a high degree of social unrest, combined with unprecedented consumer power and the ability to call brands to account.
It’s in the DNA. I’m Special – DNA testing is appealing to consumers who are increasingly more health-obsessed and have self-centric sensibilities. Customers range from those with a genuine concern about their risk of developing certain inherited diseases to those who merely want to discover new relatives or make lifestyle improvements based on the health findings.
Adaptive Entrepreneurs – Consumers are increasingly seeking flexibility in their lifestyles and are prepared to take risks. Millennials especially have an entrepreneurial nature, shifting away from the traditional 9-to-5 career towards one that affords more freedom. Euromonitor’s survey shows that nearly 50% of respondents across all generations aspire to being self-employed. According to the survey, this priority shift is directly linked to changes in values. Consumers will gravitate to lifestyles they can build themselves, and the internet will be key to this.
View in my Roomers – These consumers will be connecting perception with reality and merging digital images with physical space. Consumers will be able to visualise products before they try or buy, both in-store and online. According to a survey conducted by LEK Consulting, 80% of respondents were keen to use AR technology to visualise products digitally in their homes.
Sleuthy Shoppers – Consumers’ crisis of trust is deepening and leading to greater emotional involvement and action. Sleuthy Shoppers are investigative consumers. Sceptical of mass-produced products and the motivations of the companies that create them, they are tired of empty rhetoric and soothing words of assurance – they are acting to find out more. If companies do not provide tangible proof of their practices, Sleuthy Shoppers will turn to independent online sources for information.
I-Designers – The shift in focus from possessions to experiences is changing purchasing patterns and driving buyers to connect with the product creation process. For some, merely to own is unrefined, but I-Designers – participating in creation, design and build – are seen as sophisticated connoisseurs. I-Designers want to exhibit their creativity.
Co-Living – Millennials are much less attached to fixed belongings such as vehicles, houses and clothing than previous generations. They are more flexible, mobile and adventurous. In real estate, this has translated into greater demand for rentals rather than mortgages for this demographic.
The Survivors – A decade after the credit crunch, the frugal mindset of consumers remains entrenched, despite improving global economies. Consumers have responded to austerity by making greater use of the growing number of resale shops, grocery discounters and value-based retailers. The latter keep costs very low by buying in bulk directly from factories and purchasing surplus stock. By catering to the poverty-stricken or price-sensitive, deep discounters are among the few retailers that have proved resilient to the rise of internet retailing and are a disruptive force in retail.
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