Power to the Consumer
In an era where everything is available at the touch of a button, consumers now consider hyper-availability as the normal baseline for their research and shopping. Naturally, we want top quality for the lowest price. The countries that will generate the most revenue in internet retailing in 2022, according to Euromonitor, are China, Japan, the USA, the UK and India. It is no coincidence that the search term ‘best’ is one of the top searched words on Google in these countries in 2018.
The ‘Everyone’s an Expert’ top global consumer trend expresses the switch in power between retailer and consumer. Whereas previously shoppers relied on a certain brand or information source to get what they wanted, now companies must constantly innovate, drive prices down and streamline and aestheticise their offerings to entice shoppers. Rather than be seduced by brands’ marketing, consumers look to each other for advice on what to buy and where, and how to get the best product for their money.
The Customer is Always Right
As the product of a more value-minded society, this trend originated on sites such as Amazon, where its strong product review culture has boosted the website’s popularity and reputation for being reliable and trustworthy. The breadth of information available to savvy consumers means that stores can no longer get away with arbitrarily high prices or lack of transparency—the Everyone’s an Expert consumer will always outsmart them. The share of internet retailing versus store-based retailing has grown in all major markets, in line with the growth in value of internet retailing.
Digital Consumer Compulsion: Stay Relevant or Get Left Behind
At the root of the Everyone’s an Expert trend is the almost compulsive need for digital consumers to absorb and share information. As internet retailing continues to increase globally, all industries will have to adapt to consumers’ new demands to stay relevant.
‘Passion’ industries such as travel, beauty, fashion and foodservice are particularly involved and receptive to this trend. Passion products are personal products, luxuries or experiences that have a particularly subjective element, rather than a non-passion commodity product such as toilet paper or dog food. Therefore, these specific industries must address the desires of their target audience and satisfy them with multi-platform marketing strategies that consistently remind the consumer of their importance and individuality. Now that Everyone’s an Expert, the one-size-fits-all approach to marketing no longer fits.
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