Top 10 Global Consumer Trends

January 18, 2017

5 minutes read

Which consumer trends will reign around the world in 2017? Consumers are more demanding of products, services and brands than ever. They want to shop faster and more secure. They want authenticity in what they buy and expect customization of most items.

I have summarized this report to highlight some of the most important shopping tendencies that will shape businesses and articulate the digital marketing scene this year.

  1. Aging of the population

As a record, in 2017, almost a quarter of everyone on the planet will be over the age of 50. These consumers are transforming what it means to be older in terms of lifestyle and are more demanding in their consumption needs. These demographic segments are prioritising wellness while challenging the typical behaviour of older people.

They are keen consumers of health and beauty products, fashion-forward options and are very receptive to tech. This huge consumer voice suggests that brands focus less on millennials and more on 50+ consumers.

The growing population over 50 represents…a fast-growing contingent of active, productive people who are working longer and taking the economy in new directions. “The Longevity Economy” AARP

The visibility of older role models in fashion campaigns continues in 2017, as creative directors recognise that teen Instagram stars may not impact a wider demographic.

  1. Mini Consumers

Today’s families are launching youngsters into consumption at an earlier stage. One factor behind the growing influence of children on consumption patterns is the fact that they are assuming adult roles at a younger age.

These mini consumers set trends, spend money or compel parents to spend it for them. They navigate the digital world, including e-commerce with ease. Even the youngest “digital natives” are shifting their entertainment to online life. That is why tech brands are playing a daring game, reaching out to this tech-hungry audience, with a nod to parental involvement.

  1. Extraordinary & Exotic

We have reached a point when mass-produced items have lost some of their shine. The internet is enabling consumers to purchase and discuss unique, customized and exotic products and services;

Extraordinary consumers fall into “atypical” consumer categories in terms of height, security, weight, physical ability, dominant hand, music taste and sound experience or food tolerance.

These subsets are now finding a voice and calling for more buying choices and solutions-based design. Extraordinary consumers are now more outspoken when their needs are underserved, in areas like travel, hotel accommodation, furniture design and medical care as well as fashion.

Fashion for real people

“Special sizes” for “real bodies”, both young and old, are emerging as a sales opportunity in the fashion world, which is starting to mirror the demographic picture, although largely restricted to online stores.

Despite growing waistlines, many consumers have encountered challenges when looking for apparel and footwear in larger-than-average sizes. Bloggers have been publically “outing” brands charging more for larger sizes, which appears to be a global problem.

  1. Faster Shopping

In 2017, consumers are impatient. The digital world has schooled more of them into becoming so-called “I want what I want when I want it”— consumers, impulsive and in pursuit of immediate gratification. They want services yesterday and real-time virtual dialogue with their brands. Brands are responding with more speed-up business models.

Our psyche has changed. It is all about immediacy. Sarah Rutson Vice President for Global Buying, Net-a-Porter


  1. Authenticity

Authenticity is a standout consumer value in 2017. It has been identified as the key word helping sell items on eBay in 2016, by researchers from Birmingham City University, when looking at the most “profitable” words used by sellers. Pursuit of the genuine, be it in food, pre-loved goods, beer or character, is essential, even if it is contrived.

Dishonest marketing strategies don’t sit well with consumers, and social media are a merciless forum for denouncing incidents of this kind. On Facebook, thousands of communities are dedicated to exposing cosmetics falsely labelled as “natural”. Photoshop-fail stories are shared and ridiculized among millions;

“Real people” with “real problems” are increasingly present in campaigns and ads. Food trends, are a useful indicator of the focus on authenticity, with many revolving around what constitutes “natural”. They are part of consumer eagerness to make more considered purchasing decisions, buying from “responsible” brands that sell them quality products with real value.

  1. Fluid Identity

Topics like gender fluidity, sexual identity, culture and consumption are a big part of the global conversation. 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 greater tolerance for non-traditional gender roles and identities.

An aspiration towards altruism and a smaller ego, or “we before me”, prevails, particularly among younger consumers.

  1. It’s all about customizing

In 2017, we will have come to accept the idea that an industrially-produced products can be customised or personalised, at least in part. While there is a lot more personalisation of “mass-produced” items, high-end personalisation is also thriving due to demand for “experiential luxury”, the shift from “having to being”.

  1. Post Purchase Consumer Journey

In 2017, shoppers will be paying more attention to their post-purchase experience, increasingly an important part of the value offer of a product or service.

Brand willingness to address post-purchase queries and complaints will influence whether a consumer recommends or criticises it to fellow consumers and considers a repeat purchase. To satisfy and retain customers. This is linked to an emerging definition of convenience going beyond fulfilling customer needs to actually predicting them—including the post transaction period.

  1. Privacy & Security

Goods and services—anything from smart home tech to insurance, organic food to travel upgrades and investment in education which help consumers feel more in control will hold a strong appeal. For consumers, personal safety extends to the need for protection from the elements and environmental threats.

  1. Wellness as a Status Symbol

The desire to be fit and healthier seems to be almost universal. Healthy living is becoming a status symbol, as more consumers opt to flaunt their passion for wellness through paying for boutique fitness sessions, “athleisure” clothing, food with health-giving properties and upscale health and wellness holidays.

Source : Euromonitor International

So what are some of the consumer trends that your business could take advantage of this year? Let us know in the comment section below. 🙂

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