Euromonitor International's report considers the top 10 global consumer trends that will reign around the world in 2018. The trends that could cause the most disruption for businesses include the increasing adoption of clean-living lifestyles, sharing, frugality, online activism, personalisation and the rise of the investigative consumer.
2018 will see consumers continuing to question their values and priorities, as well as business' ethics. The rise in the use of social media and internet access will continue to provide a platform for these consumers to voice their beliefs and shifting behaviours.
The full list of the top ten consumer trends are as follows:
1. Clean Lifers
Consumers are adopting clean-living, more minimalist lifestyles, where moderation and integrity are key. Clustering around educated 20–29-year-olds, a new generation of “straight edge” consumers has grown up knowing deep recession, terrorism and troubled politics, and has a wider world view than previous generations. They are keen to secure a more ordered existence for themselves.
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.
3. Call Out Culture
As internet usage explodes and more people have access to social media there has been a rise in the 'activist consumer'. Whether it is airing a grievance on Twitter, sharing a viral message or signing an e-petition, consumers are having their say.
4. It's in the DNA - I'm so Special
People’s growing curiosity about their genetic make-up—what makes them so special—and a rising interest in personalised health and beauty are fuelling demand for home DNA kits. Target consumers range from the “worried well” and those curious about their origins to hard-core fitness and nutrition fanatics.
5. 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.
6. View in my Roomers
In 2018, View in My Roomers will be connecting perception and reality, merging digital images with physical space. Consumers will be able to visualise products before they try or buy, both in-store and online. The arrival of even more sophisticated smartphones in 2017 gives View in My Roomers access to greater functionality, including augmented reality (AR) technology.
7. Sleuthy Shoppers
Sleuthy Shoppers are investigative consumers. Sceptical of mass-produced products and the motivations of the companies that create them, tired of empty rhetoric and soothing words of assurance, they are taking action to find out more.
A 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.
The Co-Living trend has blossomed amongst Millennials and the over-65s in the residential space. It is a form of housing where residents share living space and a set of interests and values. The trend stems from hyper-urban hubs that have embraced the sharing economy as a lifestyle choice. In its most basic form, co-living sees people share spaces and mutual facilities to save money and inspire collaborative ideas or provide comfortable, more acceptable living conditions.
10. The Survivors
10 years on from the credit crunch which heralded the start of the recession, the frugal mindset of consumers remains entrenched. Despite improving economies, rising incomes and falling unemployment, the gap between rich and poor is highly visible, and those caught between low pay / state benefits and high living costs are turning to charity shops, discounters and second-hand outlets to get by.
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