To stay ahead of changing consumer preferences and values, companies must embrace megatrend analysis. To do this accurately, it is important to recognise the full picture and have a clear understanding of the social, economic, technological and environmental factors, which form an ever-shifting backdrop to consumer behaviour.
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There are five socio-economic drivers generating and shaping consumer megatrends. These long-term shifts explain the on-going changes we see in consumer behaviour, from the emphasis being placed on experience over possessions, to the interest in healthy and ethical living.
Global economic growth has seen a huge shift to emerging markets – by 2030, the Chinese economy will be 1.8 times larger than that of the USA. These economies have seen strong growth at a time when development in advanced economies has faced headwinds.
Technology plays a pivotal role in consumer decision-making and the ability of business to meet the needs of today's consumer. It has created massive upheavals in consumer expectations, lowered the barriers of entry for fast-moving companies, and inspired new digital-first business models.
Population trends, such as urbanisation, migration and ageing, are combining to reshape consumer lifestyles and purchasing decisions. In 2030, 61.0% of the world’s population will live in urban areas, 995 million will be aged 65 and over, and net migration will account for more than half of population growth to 2030 in Western Europe, Australasia and North America.
Competition for resources and increasing awareness of environmental challenges are having a transformative effect on consumer behaviour - sometimes at a rapid pace. This brings both challenges and opportunities for business.
With two thirds of the world’s households owning a smartphone, hyperconnectivity is giving individuals access to more information than ever before, educating consumers on evolving social, cultural and political landscapes.