Consumers demand for products and services is higher than ever before, but to characterize these consumers and their behavior is getting harder and harder every season. Consumers’ identities, their needs and requests are multidimensional and fluent. New technologies interfere with their everyday life more than ever, multiple options delight and tangle them at the same time, a global sense of insecurity seems to escalate. However, this has not prevented London-based Euromonitor, a global market research company, from identifying the ten most important consumer trends for 2017. By analyzing every imaginable source, newspapers, blogs, interviews, books, social media and many more, Euromonitor has condensed the most important tendencies, consumers will be influenced by in 2017: 

1.     Ageing

In 2017, almost a quarter of the population on the planet will be aged 50 or older. These consumers are active, productive people, who work longer and act younger than they are. They ask for health and beauty products, fashion and tech developments, they want the same lifestyle segments as younger ones – home, beauty, dating, food, health, life, money and travel. The visibility of older role models in fashion campaigns will continue in 2017, as creative directors such as Gucci’s Alessandro Michele recognize that "teen Instagram stars may not impact a wider demographic”, consumer trend consultant Daphne Kasriel-Alexander says. Michele has chosen Vanessa Redgrave – aged 79-for its current ad campaign. It is suggested that brands should focus less on millennials and more on customers over the age of 50.

2.     Consumers in training

Today’s family demands are launching youngsters into consumption at an earlier stage than ever before. Parents struggle with work/life balance, extended online time for all and youngsters staying at home, often till their 20s and beyond. This empowers children. The parent-child relationship, characterized by delayed parenthood and smaller families, is now more bilateral: parents seek their kids’ opinion regarding all kinds of former-adults-only decisions, including where to go for dinner, what kind of car to buy, even what to wear. One factor behind the growing influence of children on consumption patterns is the fact that they are assuming adult roles at a younger age: in school and at home they are exposed to more adult topics such as poverty, the environment, sexuality and identity

3.     Extraordinary

Mass produced items have lost their shine. More and more customers ask for unique customized and exotic products and services and the internet enables these extraordinary consumers to articulate their needs.  These people fall into atypical consumer categories in terms of height, security, weight, physical ability, music taste, sound experience or food tolerance. Now, they find a voice and call for more buying choices and solution-based design. Due to the internet, these needs become less niche and more mainstream. One size doesn’t fit all, regarding budget, region, internet retailing security concerns and religion.

4.     Faster Shopping

In 2017, consumers are impatient. “I want what I want when I want it” became their mantra. They want services yesterday and real-time virtual dialogue with their brands, ordering in advance is no longer enough, in fashion it’s all about “see now buy now”. Companies work hard on same day delivery – for news, food, health care, communication with local government as well as consumer products. 

5.     Get real – the allure of authenticity

Authenticity is a standout consumer value in 2017. Pursuit of the genuine, be it in food, pre-loved goods or beer, character is essential. With millions of more user-generated images shared among consumers due to mobile internet, a number of brands identify consumers’ own photographs and incorporate them into their marketing material to make it seem more authentic and relatable. Real time streams, webcams, video blogs, Twitter and Instagram are to show an unfiltered, authentic view. These self made tools, the unperfect, makes it more authentic and relatable.

Most important consumer trends
Photo: Euromonitor
Most important consumer trends

6.     Identity in flux

In 2017 we reached the post gender context. Marketers have reported gender neutrality as a selling point for millennials, who have been raised in a climate of growing economic opportunities for women and with a greater tolerance for non-traditional gender roles and identities. Also the fashion sector is to leave fix gender boundaries behind: Gucci has combined catwalks, Tom Ford and Bottega Veneta are already showing collections for both sexes, more and more (online) shops offer no gender fashion. Euromonitor sees an aspiration towards altruism and a smaller ego, particularly among younger consumers. Fashion label Vetements, for example, describes itself as a collective and presents a joint collection with other brands. On the other hand, the research company identifies that individual differences are celebrated more than ever.

7.     Personalize it

Thanks to new technologies such as 3D printings, industrially produced products can be more and more customized or personalized, at least in parts.  This fact is changing consumers` expectations, as customers demand that brands fulfill or even predict their special and individual needs. Brands can use this to strengthen the brand/client relationship.

8.     Post-purchase

In 2017, shoppers will pay more attention to their post-purchase experience, Euromonitor forecasts. Brands have to take this into account while offering products and services. The extended life of products, with the greater consumer openness to buy pre-loved items, is also a part of the post-purchase picture. Durability is a more common consumer goal. Online reviews are where consumers discuss their new purchases. They share how they found the style and comfort of a pair of jeans or rank hotels for cleanliness.

9.     Privacy and security

In our volatile world, consumers are anxious to stay safe and well. Their focus is on personal safety. More and more, people tend to stay at home and cocoon. Goods and services – anything from smart home tech to insurance, organic food to travel upgrades and investment in education which help consumers feel they can buy back control – will hold a strong appeal.

10.  Wellness as status symbol

The desire to be fit and healthy seems to be almost universal. Healthy living is becoming a status symbol. More consumers opt to flaunt their passion for wellness through paying for fitness sessions, athleisure clothing, food with health-enhancing properties and wellness holidays. Wearable devices now offer to track mental wellbeing as well as physical fitness. Consumers are aware that eating habits directly influence their quality of life. This fuels an unprecedented demand for healthier eating options with fitness-promoting attributes sought in supplements, beauty products and even pet food.  

Find the whole survey here.