People sometimes indulge in the fantasy that big business drives social and consumer change, but in fact it is the other way around. The average consumer is intelligent, socially and culturally aware, and isn’t shy about demanding exactly what they want. If businesses don’t adapt to the rapidly changing values and behavior of these customers, they put their future in great peril.
So what are the emerging trends gaining traction among customers that businesses would be wise to keep an eye on? The demands and behaviors driving them to choose one shop, website or experience over the other? Currently the big trends revolve around three key themes: convenience, the environment, and personal control. It’s not always easy to strike a balance between these things, but any business that does will be ensuring future success.
Below are some of the most prevalent trends amongst today’s consumers, from mental wellness to meat boxes.
Short and sweet
We live in a fast paced world, and today’s consumers are time starved but knowledge hungry. Any business that is going to grab their attention will have to do so in a matter of seconds, and in the most impactful way possible. The strongest connections between consumer and business are those that are emotional or personally engaging. Every customer wants to feel seen; as though the company they are giving their time and money to understands their lives, desires and priorities. Catch their attention with multisensory, story-driven content that speaks to universal positive experiences, such as family, community or freedom.
We are in the middle of a technological revolution. Technology, from phones to television, is advancing at an astounding rate, affecting every aspect of modern life. People are therefore more accepting of artificial intelligence and robotics than they have ever been; these things are no longer a novelty, but an essential tool in their homes and workspaces.
Businesses should therefore adopt AI in a sensitive way. Consumers may be comfortable with new technology, but only if it helps them to achieve their desire for a simpler, more efficient lifestyle. Smart home appliances, voice activated virtual assistants that can help organize a schedule, or perform household chores, are sure to become ever more popular in coming years.
The world is a diverse place, but business has not always reflected that. Some consumers have seen their needs well served while others have been largely ignored, save for an occasional token gesture. But in 2020, there is no reason why a business should not be accessible for everyone.
Take the disabled community, for example. They are traditionally one of the most underserved groups in the world, yet they account for nearly one billion people. For years both disabled and non-disabled customers have been pushing for products and services to be more inclusive; accessible to everyone regardless of their circumstances. Any business that makes the effort to learn about, understand, and cater to the needs of disabled people – as well as other traditionally overlooked demographics – by developing new products and services or by adapting existing ones, will find itself at the forefront of a significant social movement.
Some people thrive in our sleepless world, but many others are overwhelmed by it. Anxiety is skyrocketing across all demographics, and consequentially today’s consumers have a greater understanding of it. While previously consumers suffering from anxiety may have turned to traditional stress relief in the form of alcohol or cigarettes, the modern consumer tends to be better educated, seeking out natural, less harmful treatments. Any product that can treat the side effects of anxiety, whether than be by easing stress or promoting healthy sleep, is in high demand. More and more businesses are therefore focusing on products and services that promote relaxation and mood enhancement.
As previously stated, the modern consumer is intelligent and considerate, in regards to the products they buy and the services they invest in, and food is no exception.
Meat is a tricky product. People want to be sure that the meat they buy has been raised ethically and is of high quality, which can be difficult to be certain of. This is why meat boxes are becoming such a big trend.
If you’re looking for the best meat boxes in 2020,look no further than those sold by The Dorset Meat Company. Every one of their special deliveries contains meat that has been lovingly raised (the animal not the meat per se) on a 100% natural grass diet, and which is therefore of very high quality, being filled with both great flavor and plenty of vitamins and minerals. Customers may construct a box online full of the meat they want, or choose from a range of pre-constructed meat boxes built around a certain theme (full English breakfast, for example), and have it shipped to their door on their chosen date.
Several things about this appeal to consumers. Firstly, it is an ethical, green service that promotes local businesses, with the meat in the meat boxes coming from a handful of small, family run farms in Dorset and Wiltshire, where the animals are raised with care. Secondly, it is personalized, as the customer can buy the exact products they desire and organize delivery around their schedule. Finally, the meat in the meat boxes is of unsurpassed quality. If consumers feel like they can get the best by choosing the ethical option, you have a recipe for success.
Personal, Yet Private
Customers expect the services and products they invest in to be tailored to them, but in order for this to happen they first need to share some personal information. A number of high profile data breaches in recent years has made people rightfully cautious about who has access to their details, so in order for a business to provide their customers with a personalized experience, they first need to prove that they can be trusted with delicate data.
Exploring new ways to reach and develop a relationship with consumers is a way to achieve this difficult feat, as well as by providing goods and/or services that are worth sharing personal information for.
Increasingly, homes are evolving beyond the traditional domestic sphere. We have greater flexibility in our lives than ever before. High-speed internet and other technological advancements mean that the home is becoming a hub for many life activities, such as shopping, playing and learning. An ever-growing number of people are also working or taking classes from home, thereby increasing the amount of time spent there by up to fifty hours a week.
Consumers’ purchasing needs and habits are changing accordingly. People eat out less, and spend more money on loungewear and home technology. New opportunities are thus opening up for businesses who can cater to these lifestyle changes.
Consumer concerns about the environment are ever-changing, as more information about the devastating impact and implications of climate change comes to light. People want to feel as though they are having a positive impact on the environment, even when it comes to their purchases.
Waste free shopping is one way forward, as well as products made from sustainable material. Businesses should work to provide their customers with a guilt-free shopping experience by adopting a green ethos which expresses a desire for a safe and healthy planet for the consumer and their loved ones