30th June 2019 Share article

Five trends sweeping the consumer sector

Five trends sweeping the consumer sector

New research by CIL Management Consultants has found rapid transformation within the consumer goods sector, identifying five key trends affecting the industry. 35,000 consumers were interviewed for the survey, that covered a wide range of sectors and geographies.

The research warned that retailers who are serious about success must evolve in order to fit quickly shifting consumer demands, as consumers are now in the driving seat.

Transient brand loyalty
Today’s consumers are increasingly adventurous, willing to forego recognised brands in order for an authentic and original experience. Brand loyalty alone does not guarantee a place in consumers minds. For instance, the research found that 83% of delivery aggregator users such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats engage with such services precisely because of the range of options available to them.

Convenience is king
Convenience plays a key role in consumer purchasing behaviours. In fact, 94% of gym goers said that location was the most important consideration when choosing a facility. When it comes to impulse and repeat buys, speed and convenience even trump price. Twenty-eight percent labelled it as a key factor above all others. Finding the right spot can be the critical factor in determining success for retail

Endorsements driving purchase
Peer and expert recommendations are holding more sway with consumers, resulting in user-generated review sites, such as TripAdvisor, becoming increasingly influential. Consumers now actively seek recommendations in real-life too, with 52% of drinkers saying they sought advice from the bar man. In order to stay front of mind, brands must actively seek out these referrals and as result social media influencers can now earn a small fortune to endorse brands

Narrowing tech gen gap
Over 41% of over-75s have a social media presence, and this is on the rise. The internet is no longer a young person’s game with 62% of the over-65s now booking their holidays online, demonstrating the huge potential of such a strategy. In order to stay relevant brands need to present a full omni-channel offering.

Tribal alignment
Consumers are becoming increasingly purpose-driven. While brand loyalty is on the decline, consumers do still feel a need to align themselves with certain causes, and brands that support these. Whether it’s healthy snacks, mindfulness apps or activity-based holidays and trips, CIL’s report suggests customers are more careful than ever about showing brand allegiance.

Liam McGuinness, Head of Consumer at CIL Management Consultants, commented, “Our research shows that it is the consumer that is in the driving seat when it comes to the evolution of brands and products. They are much more liberated, confident and empowered. This makes it challenging for businesses, but those which are listening and responding to consumers and are prepared to invest and evolve their proposition will succeed. Those that stand still will not.”

You can read an extended version of this at article at Consultancy.co.uk.

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Sector Lead
Liam McGuiness
Liam McGuinness +44 20 3829 2765
Liam leads CIL's consumer practice and heads our internal knowledge management and collaboration practice. He oversees a team of data scientists that work across client projects.
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