Consumers are now more demanding of products, services and brands than ever before and are using digital tools to articulate and fulfil their needs.
The 2017 consumer is harder to characterise and not least because identities are multidimensional and in flux, with shoppers more likely to have a hand in defining themselves and their needs.
This is according to global market research company Euromonitor International, which has released its Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2017.
The report identified the consumer trends that will reign around the world in 2017:
1. Ageing: A changing narrative
In 2017, almost a quarter of everyone on the planet will be over the age of 50, a record number. These consumers are transforming what it means to be older in terms of lifestyle and are more demanding in their consumption needs, creating what is increasingly referred to as the “Longevity economy”, the report said.
2. Consumers in training
Today’s family demands are launching youngsters into consumption at an earlier stage. Typical factors include parents struggling with work-life balance and a consequent greater consumer reach for paid-for convenience, extended online time for all and youngsters staying in the home, often into their 20s and beyond. This reality empowers children with greater agency – not just as family consumption influencers, but consumers in training.
3. Extraordinary consumers
The report said we have reached a point when mass-produced items have lost some of their shine. The Internet is enabling consumers to purchase and discuss the “long tail” – unique, customised and exotic products and services; these “extraordinary consumers” are grabbing some of the limelight and spelling out their needs.
4. Faster shopping
In 2017, consumers are impatient. The digital world has schooled more of them into becoming so-called “IWWIWWIWI” – “I want what I want when I want it” – consumers, impulsive and in pursuit of immediate gratification.
5. Get real: The allure of authenticity
Authenticity is a standout consumer value in 2017, heralded by everyone from changemakers and celebrities to supermarkets and chefs, the report added.
6. Identity in flux
The nature of identity itself is in flux. Diversity is not just theoretical; brands are being forced to rethink just who their audiences really are, within countries and in different countries, and how they interact with each other, the report said.
7. Personalise it
In 2017, we will have come to accept the idea that an industrially produced product can be customised or personalised, at least in part. While there is a lot more personalisation of “mass-produced” items, high-end personalisation is also thriving due to demand for “experiential luxury”, the shift from “having to being”, the Euromonitor International report said.
In 2017, shoppers will be paying more attention to their post-purchase experience, increasingly an important part of the value offer of a product or service, the report added.
9. Privacy and security
The report said, “In our volatile world, consumers are anxious to stay safe and well. The focus is on personal safety and that of loved ones. There is a greater leaning towards home and mobile cocooning.”
10. Wellness as status symbol
The desire to be fit and healthier seems to be almost universal. Healthy living is becoming a status symbol, as more consumers opt to flaunt their passion for wellness through paying for boutique fitness sessions, “athleisure” clothing, food with health-giving properties and upscale health and wellness holidays, the report added.
This year’s Top 10 Global Consumer Trends report by Euromonitor International lists the consumer attitudes and behaviours, as well as brand and retailer initiatives that will be emerging at the forefront of consumer life in 2017.
Courtesy: Gulf Marketing Review