Resilience, adaptability drive top global consumer trends

Euromonitor International has identified the 10 emerging global consumer trends that gained traction this year and are expected to stay relevant in the year ahead.

The “Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2021” provides insight into changing consumer values, exploring how consumer behavior is shifting and causing disruption for businesses globally.

The Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau recently highlighted these trends in a series of social media posts for local enterprises to take note of and incorporate into their marketing and business plans as another new year approaches.

Resilience and adaptability are the driving forces behind the top consumer trends in 2021. The pandemic created, influenced or accelerated each of these 10 trends, forever altering consumer behavior, the report by Euromonitor, a leading provider of global business intelligence and market analysis, said.

These 10 significant trends are:
Build back better. Consumers are now demanding that companies care beyond revenue, and they no longer perceive businesses as profit-driven entities. Protecting the health and interest of society is the new expectation, following COVID-19, in order to build back better.

Craving convenience. Consumers are craving the convenience of the pre-pandemic world, longing for the ease taken for granted before daily habits were upended. Businesses are under pressure to rapidly adapt their operations to develop a resilient customer experience while maintaining convenience. Companies must preserve the swift and seamless shopping journey across all channels.

Outdoor oasis. Health threats, indoor meetings and mobility restrictions and the rise of remote working have resulted in consumers turning to an outdoor oasis for leisure and recreation. Some are even considering moving from densely populated areas to rural areas. In response, businesses incorporated advanced health measures and moved events outside, allowing consumers to reconnect out of the home more safely. Companies should pivot their product development strategy to encompass the tranquility of rural living in urban environments to better satisfy city-scapers.

Phygital reality. In the new normal, physical and digital worlds have collided. Digital tools allow consumers to stay connected while at home and reenter the outside world safely as economies reopen. Phygital reality is a hybrid of physical and virtual worlds where consumers can seamlessly live, work, shop and play both in person and online. Businesses can integrate virtual processes into their physical spaces to give consumers who prefer to stay home the comfort to venture out instead. Delivering virtually enabled at-home experiences remains imperative to drive e-commerce sales and gather data.

Playing with time. Consumers are now both able and forced to be more creative with their time in order to get everything done. Businesses should provide solutions that address the consumer desire to maximize time, offering increased flexibility, especially with products and services that can be accessed from or near the home.

Restless and rebellious. Consumers are fed up. Distrust in leadership has become the norm. Bias and misinformation are causing a crisis of confidence. Having suffered, put others first and gone without, these self-care aficionados are now rebelling, placing their own needs and wants first. Companies can cater to this trend via more precise marketing on social media and gaming, where they can give consumers a voice and pressure social giants to take on misinformation.

Safety obsessed. The fear of infection and increased health awareness drive demand for hygiene products and push consumers towards contactless solutions to avoid exposure. Companies should implement enhanced safety measures and innovation that target these concerns to reassure consumers.

Shaken and stirred. The global pandemic reconfigured daily lives, testing mental resilience, restricting experiences and provoking economic shocks. Consumers have a new understanding of themselves and their place in the world in pursuit of a more fulfilled, balanced and self-improved life. Businesses must provide products and services that support resiliency for mental wellbeing and help consumers weather adverse circumstances.

Thoughtful thrifters. Discretionary spending is declining due to the uncertain economic environment as consumers prioritize value-added and health-conscious products and services. Companies should pivot towards value-for-money propositions, offering affordable options without sacrificing quality. Premium attributes should be reinforced with a new empathetic story and have a strong tie-in with health and wellness, self-care or mental wellbeing.

Workplaces in new spaces. Out of office took a new meaning in 2020. Consumers are searching for new ways to define the beginning and end of their workdays, as they struggle to manage their time. Businesses must support work-life balance, productivity and communication needs. Understanding the benefits and challenges of working remotely allows companies to bring the best of the office into the home.

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