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Story | 07/21/2016 07:44:00

How can the top 10 consumer trends help us to predict changes?

Tuula Suomilammi

Euromonitor’s Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2016 report takes up interesting and sometimes contradictory global trends helping businesses and organisations decode their consumers. Changing consumer trends might have a big impact also on our own value chain and new opportunities may show up.

1. Agnostic shoppers

Today’s shoppers can compare prices and any products with ease so the importance of recognizable products has become less apparent. Shoppers’ search for novelty and value makes it hard for brands to capture their loyalty. Marketers try to get attention by designing brands with a purpose in the hope that consumers want to be a part of something bigger. Buying used goods continues to be trendy. That links together sustainability, style and affordability. Some brands are helping their customers get rid of the old product and simultaneously boost sales for the new products.

2. Buying time

Consumers are more and more willing to outsource aspects of their lives to get more free time. An increasing number of people consider free time as a luxury rather than purchasing power - also in Asian countries. New time-saving products become available and the expanding on-line purchasing saves time from queueing at the store. Real-time customer service is demanded and an increasing number of consumers expect answers to their queries through 24/7 Twitter support.

3. Challenging ageing

Even though conditions for and of seniors vary between and within countries we can see that post-middle-age consumers are more energetic, work more and are able to live a fuller lives as consumers. In tourism it can be noticed that the over 50s are willing to pay more for a better quality.

4. Change makers

Trying to change things for the better is becoming a more mainstream priority. Especially the younger generation is interested in social causes and expectations regarding corporate responsibility are growing. Consumers are generally less interested in the ownership of consumer goods and instead comfortable in renting or sharing them. Car-free is an option for more consumers open to greener alternatives.

5. Gender blurring

Retailers and manufacturers are creating gender-neutral labels. A British toy kit company says that there are different play patterns that appeal to different kids and gender lines are not necessarily what drives that. Alongside with toys, their design and display the gender fluidity can be seen in androgynous fashion and in media.

6. Greener food

Increasingly consumers are eating greener. Caring about food waste, avoiding unhealthy food, preferring local and seasonal food, getting interested in the food chain and the story behind the chosen food. Locally grown food includes urban gardening projects, buying directly from farm, shopping near home in small shops and visiting Farmers’ markets where organic food is available.

7. Mental wellbeing

The interest in mental wellbeing is part of a sustained broader rejection of consumption as merely the acquisition of more products. The strive for mental wellness is also a response to pressured lives. It offers a pause for people in need of calm and focus and incorporates matters like digital detoxing, decluttering, colouring books or books on mindfulness.

8. Over-connected consumers

While internet usage continues to grow store-based retailing is still popular. Smartphones accompany consumers everywhere and the addiction appears to be a global challenge. Constantly checking our devices damages our ability to focus on complex tasks. On the other hand, increased number of US physical book shops and a dip in E-book sales are part of the trend where “old-fashioned” items have re-emerged as luxury goods.

9. Shopping for control

The world events, financial stress and other instability are catalysing a sense of fear in consumers. This is driving a need for a greater control. Insecurity is influencing many buying decisions. Smart homes or “smart luggage” are examples of products that answer to consumers need for higher security. Unfortunately with this development we can also notice that it is possible to hack them.

10. Spending singles

With fewer commitments and more to spend, premium singles are a captive audience for authenticity-led services and products. The tourism and travel industries are changing from charging single supplements to a new offering with a matching lifestyle.

Euromonitor International is the world’s leading provider for global business intelligence.