In Trends

2018 Love list forecasting future of retail

Experience has become a must for retailers to attract Millennial and Gen Z consumers to shop into their stores, from physical to digital.

Where to start? Which channel to use? What is the new trend going to be?

These are all questions retailers ask themselves everyday to foresee and fulfill their targeted customers’ demand.

SEE ALSO: China’s Millenials and Gen Z to drive luxury sales by 2021

In their annual research study examining Millennial and Gen Z consumer preferences across fashion, retail, luxury and beauty categories, Condé Nast and Goldman Sachs found that the top performing brands among next gen consumers all demonstrate similar qualities, including unique brand experience – both in-store and online – as well as inclusivity, authenticity and personalization at every touchpoint.

These results reinforce previous findings which identified that brands consumers trust, believe in and relate to have a significant amount of influence in purchase motivation. Among the brands observed, Nordstrom and Sephora came out on top, exemplifying what next gen consumers are looking for when making their purchasing decisions.

“This study clearly demonstrates brands that have unique identities and create personalized experiences have more influence and win among next gen consumers,” said Pamela Drucker Mann, chief revenue and marketing officer of Condé Nast. “Millennial and Gen Z consumers are looking for quality, authenticity and innovation, not mass appeal, and we can see that in the brands that popped.”

The study surveyed a national sample of 1,489 U.S. consumers ages 13-34 and an additional sample of 1,174 Condé Nast “It Girls,” defined as those who engage frequently with one or more Condé Nast brands, are influentials among their peer group, love to discover brands before others, and are first among friends to use new products and brands.

Though the study remains ongoing, several key themes have emerged:

  • Nordstrom tops the list of favorite retailers, ranking within top 10 across all categories that the study observed
  • Sephora tops list of favorite retailers in the color cosmetics, skincare and fragrance categories
  • It Girls prefer a mix of online and in-store shopping, and desire smart apps
  • It Girls value online convenience and in-store experiences
  • Consumers are more in control of their shopping experiences than ever before
  • Amazon has replaced Snapchat as the app used more today than it was a year ago
  • In terms of brand loyalty, It Girls are more brand agnostic than the average consumer

The Love List: 2018 Brand Affinity Index from Condé Nast in Partnership with Goldman Sachs

Question: What is your favorite brand, store, or website in each of the following categories?

RANK                 BRAND                      

  1.                    Victoria’s Secret
  2.                    Sephora
  3.                    Nike
  4.                    Ulta
  5.                    Nordstrom
  6.                    Kate Spade
  7.                    Michael Kors
  8.                    Adidas
  9.                    Gucci
  10.                    Coach
  11.                    Lululemon
  12.                    Target (Haircare)
  13.                    Chanel (Fragrance)
  14.                    Urban Decay
  15.                    Neutrogena
  16.                    Macy’s (Fragrance Retail)
  17.                    DSW (Shoe Retail)
  18.                    Louis Vuitton
  19.                    Steve Madden
  20.                    Marc Jacobs (Fragrance)
  21.                    MAC
  22.                    Walmart  (Beauty Retail)
  23.                    Clinique
  24.                    Aerie
  25.                    Forever21

The Next List: Tomorrow’s Brands Turning Heads Today

Emerging Brands Consumers are Buying or Hearing About More Today (vs. Last Year)

Question: Are there any fashion, athletic, or beauty / grooming brands that you are buying from or hearing about today that you weren’t focused on last year?

RANK       BRAND

  1.            Fenty Beauty
  2.            Glossier
  3.            Colour Pop
  4.            Fabletics
  5.            Fashion Nova
  6.            The Ordinary
  7.            Milk
  8.            Drunk Elephant
  9.            Everlane
  10.            Glam Glow

SEE ALSO: Here, the Portuguese brand who caught the eye of millennials

Iconic Movers: Enduring Favorites with Increasing Momentum

Established Brands Consumers are Buying or Hearing About More Today (vs. Last Year)

Question: Are there any fashion, athletic, or beauty / grooming brands that you are buying from or hearing about today that you weren’t focused on last year?

RANK       BRAND

  1.           Adidas
  2.           Tarte
  3.           Victoria’s Secret
  4.           Anastasia
  5.           Nike
  6.           Lululemon
  7.           Urban Decay
  8.           Puma
  9.           Sephora
  10.           Gucci

Apps Used Today More Than One Year Ago

Question: What apps are you using today that you were not using much several months ago?

RANK       BRAND

  1.            Amazon
  2.            Snapchat
  3.            Instagram
  4.            Sephora
  5.            Pinterest
  6.            Twitter
  7.            Poshmark
  8.            Wish
  9.            Ulta
  10.            Google

(Source: Condé Nast)

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