2018 will see consumer expenditure growing at its strongest rate since 2011, but shifting consumer attitudes and behaviours will continue to cause disruption for businesses.
Mobile technology and internet accessibility will play a key role in shaping these changes.
The Euromonitor International ‘Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2018: Emerging Forces Shaping Consumer Behaviour’ report has identified the following 10 consumer trends that will reign in 2018.
Consumers are adopting clean-living, more minimalist lifestyles, where moderation and integrity are key, the report notes. Clean Lifers have strong beliefs and ideals. They are less tolerant, more skeptical.
They feel they can make a difference, and this influences their spending choices.
This means more saying no: no to alcohol; no to unhealthy habits; no to animal-based products; and, increasingly, no to unmeasured or uninformed spending.
Also, clean lifers prefer to stay in and relax rather than hit a nightclub.
A night out to a club is expensive, short-lived, and not particularly healthy or safe.
Clean Lifers would rather spend their money on experiences, such as weekends away, festivals and restaurants, where they are able to chat with friends, or healthier social alternatives, such as hosting fitness class parties from yoga to high- intensity workouts.
2 The borrowers
A new generation of community-minded sharers, renters and subscribers is reshaping the economy, making conspicuous consumption a thing of the past.
Rejecting material goods in favour of experiences and a freer lifestyle, which has characterised the buying habits of millennials for the last few years, is a trend that continues to evolve and spread.
Sharing economy stalwarts such as Uber, Rent the Runway and Airbnb have entered the mainstream.
Meanwhile, new, innovative start-ups continue to emerge to satisfy The Borrowers.
Rather than aspiring to things, they favour minimalism and living for the moment.
The Borrowers want access rather than ownership, whether through sharing, swapping, renting or streaming.
Big companies are embracing the sharing economy by sponsoring or investing in start-ups.
3 Callout culture
Whether it is airing a grievance on Twitter, sharing a viral message or signing an e-petition, consumers are having their say.
“Hashtag activism”, while not new (the Twitter hashtag turned 10 in 2017), is rapidly gaining momentum as internet usage explodes and more people have access to social media.
In response, marketers are being forced into greater interaction with customers in the public spacee. They need to be prepared to face any social media backlash, however.
4 It’s in the DNA — I’m so special
People’s growing curiosity about their genetic make-up and a rising interest in personalised health and beauty are fuelling demand for home DNA kits.
A new wave of companies aims to provide “I’m So Special” consumers with genetic findings related to their general health, fitness and nutrition.
5 Adaptive entrepreneurs
Millennials especially have an entrepreneurial nature, shifting away from the “traditional” 9-to-5 career towards one that affords more freedom.
The shift in the priorities of Adaptive Entrepreneurs is directly linked to a change in values.
In 2018, these consumers want a lifestyle they can build themselves, and align with their personal interests and passions.
Risk-seeking entrepreneurs will not be attracted to the same brands or marketing techniques that dominated in the past. They will favour products enhancing their adaptable work and personal lives.”