Top 10 global consumer trends for 2018 revealed

People’s growing curiosity about their genetic make-up and a rising interest in personalised health and beauty are fuelling a global market expected to soar by 2022, according to Euromonitor International.

The market-research company’s latest report on global consumer trends says a new wave of companies aims to give consumers genetic findings related to their general health, fitness and nutrition, with the market growth being global and competition in the largely unregulated Chinese market especially intense.

“The consumer market still faces hurdles, such as country-specific regulations,” Euromonitor International Head of Lifestyles and report author Alison Angus said. “Companies will need to be clear and upfront with consumers about the limitations of findings, or risk losing their trust.

“However, things are improving on the regulatory front and, with the market continuing to evolve, it’s likely that further innovative start-ups will invest in new technologies.”

Augmented reality (AR) is another technology expected to shape consumer experiences. With AR having a wide range of applications in various industries, the potential in the mainstream consumer space is vast, bringing the benefits of in-store shopping into the home. Euromonitor International forecasts that the value of global internet retailing sales will increase by a further three per cent in 2018.

“AR improves the consumer experience, providing a more lifelike view of the items and facilitates operational efficiencies for businesses by potentially reducing return rates,” Ms Angus said. “Online captures consumers’ interest with the convenience of the hassle-free, anytime, anywhere shopping they crave. The ability to see and touch products before buying is a bonus. This is in part why the in-store shopping experience remains appealing and, in 2017, 88 per cent of global sales in value terms were still made in-store.”

Other consumer trends highlighted in the report include:

  • Clean lifers: clustering around educated 20-29 year olds, this new generation is adopting clean-living, more minimalist lifestyles where moderation and integrity are key.
  • The borrowers: a new generation of community-minded sharers, renters and subscribers is reshaping the economy, making conspicuous consumption a thing of the past.
  • Call-out culture: whether it’s airing a grievance on Twitter, sharing a viral message or signing an e-petition, consumers are having their say. Not only are consumers utilising social media to highlight bad practices, they are voting with their wallets to force companies to take a stance on current issues.
  • Adaptive entrepreneurs: consumers are increasingly seeking flexibility in their lifestyles and are prepared to take risks. Risk-seeking entrepreneurs will not be attracted to the same brands or marketing techniques that dominated in the past.
  • Sleuthy shoppers: consumers’ crisis of trust is deepening and leading to greater emotional involvement and action. If companies don’t provide tangible proof of their practices, sleuthy shoppers will turn to independent online sources for information.
  • Co-living: people are sharing spaces and mutual facilities to save money and inspire collaborative ideas or provide comfortable, more acceptable living conditions.
  • The survivors: the gap between rich and poor remains highly visible and those caught between low pay/meagre state benefits and high living costs are still struggling to cope with austerity.
  • I-designers: a shift in focus from possessions to experiences is changing purchasing patterns and driving buyers to connect with the product-creation process. I-designers participate in creation, design and build, and seen as sophisticated connoisseurs.

“In 2018, consumer expenditure is expected to grow at its strongest rate since 2011,” Ms Angus said. “Overall, 2018 will see consumers continuing to question their values, priorities and purchasing decisions, deepening their engagement in the brands and issues that matter to them.”

Check Also

Wesfarmers and Woolies among Australia’s top 10 companies

Wesfarmers and Woolies have taken two of the top spots in IBISWorld’s 2018 list of …