The Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2014
Market Research Company Euromonitor International recently shared their The Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2014, noting “, there is an overwhelming desire globally to indulge in luxury goods, download more apps and document experiences visually through social media. However, consumers are also struggling with work-life balance, maintaining an eco-friendly lifestyle and eating better. These trends are sure to change the way brands appear and interact with consumers and in turn, brands will need to work harder to maintain customer loyalty.”
1. A Narrowing Gap between Interest and Purchase
As consumers are looking for instant gratification with various products, brands are looking for ways to harness customer impulse buying.
Most recently, MasterCard announced ShopThis! With MasterPass which will allow consumers to buy products directly from Intel’s Virtual Shopping Experience which is a fully interactive 3-D virtual fitting room app. Consumers will be able to see how the clothes will look on them without changing, allowing for better decisions when purchasing online shopping.
In autumn 2013, Barclays Bank in the UK launched a mobile checkout “buy it” feature on its Pingit app letting customers scan items in a shop window and buy in one click. Barclays claims this service bridges the gap between advertising and sales. Augmented reality is another route to faster purchases. A new IKEA app lets shoppers try furniture for size in their own homes.
2. Eating Right
Interest in eating right goes beyond the obesity statistics – many are aware that healthy eating can improve quality of life and extend longevity. Also, many are discovering food sensitivities and are looking to purchase “free-from” products. According to Euromonitor International’s 2013 Global Consumer Trends Survey, online consumers are willing to pay more for food items with specific benefits, such as added nutrients.
At CPM we have noted an increase in store space being allocated to Free-from products over the past year and we expect this trend to continue, with widely available allergy testing the consumer is becoming more aware of what they should not be eating for example gluten and dairy free products.
3. Eco-Worriers and the Blooming of Social Conscience
Consumers are increasingly looking to connect with brands, business models and products that do not associate with negative environmental or social impacts. A new lifestyle platform called SHFT is aiming to convey a new, more sustainable approach to the way we live. SHFT have launched a new app called Food tripping and it will find great alternatives to fast food wherever you are. Food Tripping locates the closest eateries, juice joints, farmers’ markets, microbreweries, and more.
In Ireland the consumer has been focused on the quality and location of where the food has come from. There has been an uplift in sales for products made in Ireland and the Irish consumer wants to be able to trace back where their food is coming from. At CPM we have seen marketing campaigns such as Lidl and McDonalds who have been pushing sourcing locally campaigns.
Domestically, while many consumers remain price conscious they are now seeking more knowledge about food producers and what the term “Irishness” actually means. Buying authentic Irish food from local businesses they can trust is a consumer trend, with 68% of Irish consumers consciously purchasing local food to support the economy (1) and 69% rating “the use of Irish/local” as important when going out for a local meal.(2)
4. Home Base: The Importance of Home and Community
A “homemaker” is not just a person any more but also a state of mind as consumers are centering more of their entertainment in the home. Almost 60% of alcohol consumed in Ireland is now sold by the off-trade.(3) Consumers are also members of multi-generational households due to rising costs of childcare, housing and elder-care. Multi-generational living is important in terms of purchasing, as a mix of generations will influence buying behaviours for food, holidays and technology choices.
5. Frustrations with the Lack of a Work/Life Balance
An unfulfilled work/life balance will be a widespread source of consumer stress in 2014.
Many believe that mobile connectivity is blurring the work/leisure divide, creating more stress while others believe it may relieve pressure on working consumers. According to Euromonitor International’s 2013 Global Consumer Trends Survey, two-thirds of consumers say they are actively trying to simplify their current lives. While the majority of consumers make financial security concerns a priority, others are questioning personal and career satisfaction and goals, and opting for simpler living.
6. Luxury for More Consumers
In 2014, consumers are still looking to purchase luxury goods. Last year we witnessed the Irish Consumer was still willing to queue up hours before stores opening for the iPhone 5s. Given it’s an expensive handset it shows the demand for luxury items.
To tap into this luxury market we predict high street retailers will continue to partner with designers and celebrities to collaborate on collections. Successful partnerships to date have included; Paul Costello for Dunnes, Isabel Marant for H&M, Rihanna for River island & just announced Zooey Deschanel for Tommy Hilfiger.
7. People’s Choice
Digital technology has given people the power to react to what displeases them in minutes and enables them to become brand ambassadors, spreading the word about good buys when satisfied.
One of the most memorable social media moments in 2013 was in the UK with the British Gas consumer backlash on twitter with regards to increased fuel prices.
CPM loved the innovation of the Kellogg’s pop up tweet store in London where the currency to purchase their goods was tweets.
8. Post-Recession Coping Strategies the New Normal
While many cash-stretched consumers are still suffering from the remains of the recession, post-recession coping strategies are about how people behave after processing the shock of living in recession.
Euromonitor International’s 2013 Global Consumer Trends Survey found a significant number of consumers are planning to decrease their spending over the next year, but they are not willing to sacrifice consumption. Instead, they are looking at other routes to reducing spending such as shopping at discount stores or continuing to buy private label brands. Two-thirds of respondents also agree that finding bargains while shopping is something they enjoy.
9. There’s an App for That...
With global consumers relying more than ever on mobile technology, it is no surprise apps will continue to grow in popularity in 2014.
Consumers armed with their smartphones are taking comparison shopping into high street stores where they are “show rooming,” browsing in shops, using apps to check out competing shopping options and buying later online.
10. Visual Craving
Consumers are becoming a visual audience. Those who are digitally savvy can take their pick from popular software apps such as Vine and Instagram to showcase their life pictorially.
Starbucks have been extremely successful on Instagram. While heavy on product shots, Starbucks’ Instagram photos are artistic, and play into the emotional connections Starbucks has built with people through every customized cup of coffee. Starbucks fans can engage with the brand without even being in a location by responding to regular calls to action using the hashtag #starbucks.
1 Bord Bia: Feeling the pinch: the consumer outlook, March 2013
2 Bord Bia: Just ask 2013 campaign survey
3 Drinks Market performance report