Consumption patterns and preferences are evolving as Gen Z and Gen Alpha become the biggest consumer cohort. This forces personal accessories companies to embark on digital transformation to be able to speak these new consumers’ language and differentiate from their competitors.
Understanding demographic shifts is key to drive future growth
Millennials and Gen Z accounted for 45% of the world’s population in 2022, while, in 2030, 45% will be formed by Gen Z and Gen Alpha consumers. In response to this, the personal accessories industry has begun to shift its attention from millennials to the Gen Z and Gen Alpha cohorts.Generational differences have always existed, but nowadays habits and preferences are changing at a pace never seen before. Differences are not only about what (ie the product) consumers buy, but also where and how they shop, what they value throughout the shopping experience and, most importantly, what they expect from brands and their impact in the communities they serve.
Companies and brands in the personal accessories industry should monitor consumer habits and preferences closely in order to offer the products each segment is looking for.
Somehow contradictory, Gen Z’s preferences challenge brands targeting this cohort
Gen Z’s needs and behaviours differ from those of previous generations, bringing a new set of challenges for brands trying to gain their preference.
Gen Z do not know a world without the internet, and they care deeply about others, strive for diversity, and are highly vocal about issues like climate change
However, contradictions are a characteristic of this cohort: sustainability is one of their key concerns, but at the same time they favour fast fashion brands.Gen Z’s desire for newness has encouraged direct-to-consumer luggage brands to venture into this segment. Monos, Béis, Baboon To The Moon, July and Roam are examples of brands aiming to reach these consumers through colourful designs, customisation, a commitment to sustainable travel, multifunctionality, segmentation by type of travel or activity, and active engagement on social media. Baboon To The Moon uses TikTok and collaboration with influencers intensively to promote its products. Roam allows consumers to choose the colour of the shell, zips and wheels of their suitcases online.
Digitalisation provides endless opportunities for personal accessories brands
Although growth has slowed as consumers around the globe return to stores, personal accessories sales through e-commerce were boosted by the pandemic and reached a share of 19% of total retail sales in 2022. Explosive growth is only one example of how the shift to digital has impacted the industry.
Personal accessories sales through e-commerce reached a 19% share of total retail sales in 2022
Source: Euromonitor International
Over the last decade, technology has emerged as one of the key drivers reshaping fashion, and will continue to be one of the most important factors inspiring innovation over the next five years. It has changed the way manufacturers and retailers deliver products and services, and has also changed how consumers live, work, shop and play.
Digitalisation is completely changing the nature of traditional processes and can help in achieving results much faster and at a lower cost. Improving processes across the supply chain to reduce shipping, inventory and supply chain costs, and in turn improve delivery times and customer satisfaction, is a key concern for companies across the industry.
From social media to digital sales, to data analysis, to personalisation, to livestreaming sales events, digitalisation brings opportunities to know, understand and communicate with consumers better. In a world where an increasing number of people value their digital persona as much as their physical one, the metaverse seems to be the next frontier for fashion brands to interact and engage with consumers, and many of them have already ventured into this “universe”, such as Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton.
Read our World Market for Personal Accessories report and Top Trends for Personal Accessories: A Challenging Macro Environment article to learn about other trends shaping the industry.