When it comes to projecting where your business will stand in the next year, there are several outside factors that can influence your success. It’s not enough to estimate how your company will fare in the economy and the specific products you plan to stock. Increasing importance is placed on understanding what consumers are looking for from the stores they patronize to determine where the market will be. In the age of constant communication and Big Data, it’s easier to track these trends.
Oftentimes shifts in consumer preferences are gleaned by observing and noting popular habits and behaviors across different demographics, whether they be age, income or location. Consumer trends also relate to how people interact with brands in social spaces and use certain types of products. While the baby boomer generation was previously the benchmark for fledgling shopping movements, millennials have become the pulse of consumerism, according to Shopify. This group includes people born between the years 1982 and 2000 – the most educated and interconnected generation in history.
Check out these fresh consumer trends that will help your business in 2015.
“Seamless integration with the digital world is vital.”
Trendwatching.com recommended aligning your brand with a civic or charitable cause to win consumers over in 2015. The source explained how almost 75 percent of millennials lack faith in the government’s ability to tackle current issues and even more – 83 percent – think businesses should get more involved in civic-centered conversations. While it can be risky to take a stand, it’s a bold move that will define your brand. According to the same source, roughly one-third of millennials want companies to have a point of view on civic matters and align themselves with a cause.
This isn’t exactly a new trend this year, but it’s always growing more important to your customer base. From your company’s use of technology in store locations to the functionality of your website, seamless integration with the digital world is vital.
There are a few key ways to keep up with the increasingly urgent call for connectivity. For starters, you should be active on an array of social media platforms to prove your patrons with a space to discuss, keep up with and communicate with your brand. Consider how “shareable” your posts are and how often they initiate conversation between the brand and its customers. Secondly, you should have a mobile-friendly website to connect with consumers.
While segmenting consumers by demographic is still an effective way to identify trends, Forbes explained how personalization is the name of the game for 2015. People tend to focus on finding the right products and daily routines for their individual needs. This prevalence has caused shoppers’ focus to shift to smaller brands that are able to offer a more personal experience. That includes their interactions with your company online and in physical locations. Stores that craft attractive displays using diverse fixtures, such as Flexible Hand Forms with Flexible Bases, rather than generic stacks of merchandise can showcase your brand’s personality and creativity.
Consumers want a relationship with their favorite companies, but only if it’s a balanced one. According to Shopify, 66 percent of consumers think stores get more out their transactions. At the same time, 70 percent of brands admit caring more about increasing profits than customer satisfaction. This creates a window of opportunity for companies that want to set themselves apart by valuing balanced give-and-take with shoppers.