Fast moving trends are quickly changing consumer values and priorities, and is quite essential to understand how customer’s perception evolves to finely tune your marketing strategy. It’s not something you can keep hidden in a marketing manager toolkit, but a key feature of your company knowledge base, especially in a fast changing world where the customer journey keeps jumping back and forth from offline to online and vice versa.
Euromonitor just released its 2019 analysis on consumer trends, providing insights on specific behaviours, motivations and industry responses to fully understand their immediate and long term impact on marketing. Three main trends are worth the reading:
1 – Digital disruption: consumers seek seamless experiences that fit their lifestyle
As high-speed internet expands across the world, and e-commerce purchases keep increasing steadily, user experience has been switching to a seamless and frictionless journey to the product. Mass production quickly moved to mass customization, and we expect full customization in our relationship with brands: looking for tailor made products and services that fit our lifestyles. We demand immediacy and we develop a digitally together approach that merges our lonely lives in a crowded cyberspace where we share pictures, chat on social media, play multiplayer videogames and so on. A clear example could be Douyu in China or Twitch, interpreting the rise of e-sports in which spectators share experiences in live gaming streaming videos and actually build a new community-based dimension. A mega-trend that could be easily exploited to implement AI-based marketing leverages to gather data, customize ads and promote products, services and in-game purchases.
2 – Consciousness and value-based perception are gaining traction in marketing strategies
Customers are becoming more conscious, seeking ways to make positive decisions about what they buy and how they can improve their impact in the world. A more conscious approach towards other human beings, animal welfare and “cruelty free” products, and the environment in general. It’s a general trend that has a great impact, cross industry and cross market, that could be a key feature in a smart marketing strategy. Even fast food companies like KFC are switching to a more aware approach, enlisting more vegan and vegetarian products in their catalogues or redefining their corporate environment and sustainability policies.
UK-based internet retailing company ASOS ships a wide range of apparel and footwear, beauty and personal care to over 200 countries globally, stocking 800 third-party brands, as well as its own private label offerings. In 2018, the company revealed plans to ban any product from the site that has been made using feathers and down, mohair, silk, cashmere or bone, teeth or shell. The ban, which came
into effect at the end of January 2019, comes after ASOS stated that it would join more than 140 international retailers in their promise to stop selling products that have been
manufactured using mohair. Consumers are developing more conscious shopping habits, decreasing demand for fashion products that have impact on animals or less sustainable supply chains.
3 – Power is switching from retailer to consumer: wiser and demanding customers are growing
Now everyone is an expert. We’ve seen dangerous consequences in anti-vax or flat earth communities, with worrying trends in some of the latest election processes worldwide. But in the consumer trends it’s a plain power transfer from retailer to customer. Customers are demanding and feel like being experts through a multichannel approach to information gathering before approaching brands and products. Whereas previously
shoppers relied on a certain brand or information source to get what they wanted, now companies must constantly innovate, drive prices down and streamline and aestheticise their offerings to entice shoppers.
Rather than be seduced by brands’ marketing, consumers look to each other for advice on what to buy and where, and how to get the best product for their money. One of the best examples is New York Time’s Wirecutter website. This review hub constantly publishes reviews and analytical articles on a broad selection fo products, from technological gadgets to home and furnishing products, from credit cards to airline lounges and so on. Affiliate reviews and links build up the website’s revenue, but the NYT badge and a bias-free policy with the reviewers and testers make it a reliable source for most of the information-craving customers in their decision process, at least in the US market.
Header Photo by A L L E F . V I N I C I U S Δ on Unsplash