Global Vibes: Study Finds Changing Behavior, Demographic Patterns

Email marketers shouldn’t dwell too much on their parochial tech concerns. There are bigger issues, like the societal ones reflected in Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2019, a study by Euromonitor International.

One is that while the younger generations are becoming the brand focus, the older cohorts can’t be ignored.

Another is that you can email or text people to death, but they’re still going to turn to their peers for advice.

The report also debunks old shibboleths like the one that people need people.

Not everyone does: Many folks like living alone.

Some of the findings are predictable. For example, baby boomers are least likely among the generations to go or online dating weekly — not that anyone is doing so much.

Millennials and Generation Z are most likely to visit social media, and even GenXers and boomers do so on a weekly basis.

And they are spending more money online. The internet spend per capita remains low compared with that of in-store retail. But it’s growing steadily, whereas retail’s growth rate is declining.

Here are the ten main trends:

Age-Agnostic — Older people want to be treated as if they were younger. And brands should follow through: In Japan, people age 50 and over will make up half the population by 2025. In the U.S., they will be nearing 40%. And they have spending power.

Back to Basics — Less is more. Not everyone craves luxury in all things. People are moving away from sheer materialism and demanding authentic products and experiences.

Conscious Consumer — Brands have to show that they are ethical and have “higher welfare products” — this is no longer the domain of niche outfits. 

Digitally Together — People are working offsite and are creating and experiencing new things remotely.

Everyone’s an Expert — And they’re cranky. “Even wealthier consumers demand value for their money — and are just as vocal online about any bad experience.” However, it adds: “Lower-income consumers will participate less in this digital trend on a global level. This demographic is less likely to have internet access, nor the time to research each purchase extensively as per the 'expert' trend. Expert consumers are also more likely to be ages 15–40 years and accustomed to using the internet extensively in their everyday lives with a focus on real-life experiences.  

Finding My JOMO  Here’s another home truth that has been blown away -- that people want to be plugged in at all times. “To disconnect, consumers are choosing to temporarily move away more often from phones to focus on real-life experiences,” the study states.

I Can Look After Myself — As people become more self-sufficient, they take preventative measures against illness, unhappiness and discomfort without consulting a professional. 

I Want a Plastic-Free World — The push for a plastic-waste-free society has gained momentum, creating a virtuous cycle where businesses gain by improving sustainability.

I Want it Now! — Consumers seek instant gratification and frictionless experiences that mesh with their lifestyles, allowing them to dedicate more time to their professional or social lives.

Loner Living Older consumers, and some younger ones, enjoy independent lifestyles. They have broken the stigma of living alone.

What does all this mean for brands? That they have to provide “more authentic, life-like interactions online. From dating to education, we have grown to expect more authentic, lifelike interactions online. As our technological capabilities and comfort using them grow, so will the range of things we can do Digitally Together.”


Next story loading loading..