Retail: The three most important trends in 2019
The consumer goods industry is still in a phase of considerable upheaval, and the pace of change shows no signs of slowing in 2019.
Here are three trends that will dominate this year:
1. Think as little as possible
Comfort is important. But what we understand by it is changing more and more. Gone are the days when comfort always meant “quick and easy”. Today, our understanding of comfort has become much more multi-faceted and context-dependent. Sometimes it’s just about getting something without much effort (“Don’t make me think!”), and sometimes it’s more about precision (“Give me exactly what I need!”).
Let’s take Amazon Go as an example. This shop concept has redefined the consumer goods industry in the digital age. Amazon’s innovative technology and database not only make the shopping experience in the shop uncomplicated and simple, but also help the company to fine-tune its product ranges. In this way it is possible to determine exactly which products are most in demand at which locations without time-consuming effort. And there are more and more ways brands can help their consumers reduce the complexity of everyday life and thus bring consumer convenience to new places.
2. Relevance and participation is the new loyalty
Today’s digitally driven consumers are constantly evaluating and re-evaluating their purchasing decisions. Relevance is becoming the most important distinguishing feature of the brand and for consumers today it is easy to participate in all aspects of the brand and in this way evaluate its relevance.
Relevance and public participation are the drivers of consumer loyalty today. And brands fulfil the desire of consumers to participate by placing them at the centre of their company. Consumers not only want to be intensively involved in the products, services and experiences of a brand, but they expect it more and more.
Netflix, for example, even plans in the future to let its viewers choose their own actions for their favorite series (example – Black Mirror: Bandersnatch). From submitting ideas and crowdfunding innovations to testing new products and customer feedback, there are many clever ways to create an authentic and “adorable” brand experience.
These efforts blur the line between businesses and consumers, making customers feel that they increasingly have “ownership” of the brands they love. And there are opportunities to express this ownership at every point in the value chain, through new product ideas, new consumer engagement, etc. Consumers take control. In 2019 they will be at the helm.
3. Conscious consumption
Cultural change has made sustainability a central and personal issue. Consumers are increasingly convinced that they can really make a difference, and so they choose to buy conscientiously from companies that stand for more than their products and reflect their own values and beliefs.
Brands have a tremendous opportunity to reinvent themselves and respond by putting consumers right at the heart of their supply chain. Think about how new technologies are changing packaging. Whether it’s making compostable milk bottles from a naturally occurring biopolymer or developing innovative metal packaging that can be reused hundreds of times. Solutions are emerging that can help brands develop more sustainable and natural products.
This year, companies are really starting to look not only at manufacturing and sales, but also at how their product lifecycles are developing in the environmental service sector.
Source: Cover Picture: iStock/sapfirr