UKBA: A Quick Look at the Leading Consumer and Market Trends for 2017
So in this blog were going to be talking about some of the most recent developments in consumer and market trends to give you an idea of the things you should be on a lookout for. Most of these trends are self-explanatory and many witness them in their everyday lives, but for business owners, it’s important to understand how they impact their companies and general marketing strategies.
The Developing Consumer Trends
As consumers grow more demanding, it’s getting more and more difficult for businesses to keep up. However, understanding the developments in consumer trends and breaking them down into manageable chucks is a great way to overcome the demand and become a top tier competitor.
It’s also important to note that consumer trends and more importantly, consumer expectations, now have a reach that crosses multiple industries and sectors.
Meaning that even if an industry hasn’t been affected directly by an increase in expectation, it’s affected indirectly through increases in other industries and thus business in those industries should take the initiative to align their services with these expectations even if it’s not expected of them.
Technology is also playing an ever so more important role in business development and marketing, and in the second section of this blog, we’ll discuss how it’s directly impacting market trends and consumer tendencies as a result.
But before that, let’s look at some consumer trends seen over the past few years and particularly important for 2017!
- Unique Offers People have grown fond of unique and special services as a result of the internet. Mass produced goods have lost their spot on the market since people can now pick and choose unique items and get them delivered straight to their door. It is perhaps now more important than ever to offer unique services and goods which have something more to them besides practicality of use. Consumers now like to stand out with their purchases and let everyone know how their newly purchased item is unique and how it fits ‘them’.
- Authenticity and Customisation Keeping with the need for unique offers, consumers are also demanding a higher than ever degree of customisation and customer-specific service. On top of that, business also fair a lot better when providing ‘authentic’ goods and services since the online social arena can quickly dismantle any false claims and lead to the negative social proof, detrimental to any organisation.
- The Impatient Consumer Customers are also growing impatient and in order to stay competitive, business need to be able to provide services at a moment’s notice. Since it’s so easy to go to another company for that same service or item, it’s no wonder that consumer trends look like this. The sheer number of services and options available results in competitiveness in all areas, including the time it takes to deliver said goods and services.
- The Old and the Very Young As demographics shift due to a number of modern factors either prolonging life or allowing more new life to come about, the consumers influencing the market currently include both the ‘aging population’ as well as the tech-savvy young. Older segments of the population have increased their consumption compared to 10 or 20 years ago, while focusing a lot more on wellness and health. On the other hand, the very young are also having an interesting influence as today’s families launch their youngsters into consumption at a much earlier age. Children are adopting adult roles at a younger age and even the very young are becoming an integral part of consumerism, weather through the requirements for new educative technologies or simple everyday items.
The Developing Market Trends
As consumer trends change, so do market trends. Through new technological advancements and a shift in consumer mentality leading to higher levels of customer-centricity, these trends are at the forefront of both UK and global business for 2017.
- Customer service and Customer-centricity As expectations grow and as customer-centricity becomes a decisive factor for many consumers, the best companies are setting the bar and going out of their way to provide uncanny customer service to their loyal customers. This is by far one of the more important trends as customer-centricity doesn’t affect only the industries where it’s expected. Cross-industry transfer of consumer expectation is occurring where customers are accustomed to a higher level of service from sectors where that’s of pivotal concern, thus leading to a gap between the expectations and the delivered service in some industries. However, this could also be seen as an opportunity in those industries since better customer service and an internal customer-centric culture is always a positive thing.
- Experience VS Price In keeping with great customer service and experience, customers are more likely to prefer the company that goes out of its way to provide a great customer experience even if their services are not the cheapest. Unless a company wants to be recognised as a low-cost provider, where the consumer doesn’t expect good service, it needs to provide a level of care that makes customers feel valued while also making them loyal.
- Consumers expect Personalisation Technology is making it easy to track customer preferences and needs, and every business should be working towards understanding each customer’s needs if they want to create a loyal customer base.
- Customer Success We’re also seeing a great emphasis on ‘customer success’, where business are doing all their can to not only sell their services, but also ensure that the customer is successful in their endeavors through the service being provided. This is influencing services in nearly all industries, all the way from finance to fitness.
- Proactive Service Companies are becoming better at spotting issues and fixing them before the customer notices and complains. This is becoming a decisive factor for many customers as it seems that even the slightest issues can change the mind of a customer since so many choices are now available.
- Convenience is still Prized Convenience is still one of the main decisive factors for customers. Processes need to be simple and no matter what business you have, complicated paperwork or long waiting times are always frowned upon by customers. Now more than ever, customers expect streamlined processes that fit in with their busy lifestyles.