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How consumers are changing the retail industry

As an industry, retail is, by definition, completely driven by its consumers. Without listening or adapting to their needs and desires, the industry simply wouldn’t survive.

Younger consumers are increasingly seeking experiences over products. Events, shows and exhibitions are a big part of communicating with an audience of consumers, and to be aware of what they expect and enjoy will help you to connect with them directly.

Here are the predicted consumer trends for 2019, as told by Pernille Kok-Jensen, the Trend Director at Dutch qualitative research agency Mare.

  1. Availability and speed:
    Online retail is becoming so much more than a convenience, it’s become an expectation. This move means that companies should be even more conscious about data protection and use information wisely so as not to lose their customers trust.
  2. A sense of humour:
    Consumers are becoming wiser and growing more suspicious of “brand influencers”. Too often they have been sold products through Instagrammers, bloggers and vloggers, so now consumers are looking for a twist. Brands that joke about themselves are winning the hearts of fans – when Diesel set up a temporary shop with authentic clothing items printed with the misspelled label: “Deisel”, it showed that they took the many typos as a compliment and this gained them new respect from customers.
  3. Do good for society:
    There is a huge trend with millennials in particular where they are driven by making a positive change in the world and for society. Think body-positivity, sustainable products, a vegan lifestyle and being aware of where all items come from.
  4. Process over result:
    Consumers are more impressed with a fast, smooth and innovative process that is user-centred. They may go into the city for a new pair of jeans, but spot something so useful and convenient that they come back with something completely different. This makes a “behind the scenes” glimpse all the more important, showing the thought process behind a project.
  5. Accessible to everyone:
    What may have previously been labelled as “just for girls” or “just for young people” is now a thing of the past. There is no status-quo with consumers anymore which means people can act, dress, shop and buy whatever way they want. “Normal” is no longer the driving force behind sales, companies are celebrating the “real”.

A large proportion of Millennials crave experiences that stimulate their senses. Make your experience provision vivid, rich and immediate.

If you’d like help planning a customer-centred exhibition or event, get in touch with our experts on 01472 718718 and we’ll be happy to help.