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Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2020

Global consumer

Every year, Euromonitor International identifies emerging and fast-moving trends that are expected to gain traction in the year ahead. These trends provide insights into changing consumer values, exploring how consumer behaviour is shifting and causing disruption for businesses globally.

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Two main themes are evident in 2020’s top global consumer trends – convenience and personal control. Consumers must strike a balance between the two, and that is not always easy.

Here, a glimpse of those. For a preview of the report, click here.

Embrace Robots

The Beyond Human trend shows how people are beginning to accept that reboots or other artificial intelligence (AI) can perform certain tasks traditionally done by humans.

Thanks to AI, Alexa will be a more frequently voiced word in the coming year. Virtual assistants, smart devices, chatbots, unmanned factories and AI-driven applications are penetrating business operations, supply chain logistics and consumers’ lives. Businesses are moving Beyond Human, creating sustainable growth opportunities with technology to make life easier.

Flexible and personalised transportation

Consumers want the freedom to move around increasingly congested cities as they please. Frictionless Mobility is now the expectation as consumers use navigation apps to plan their journey and want real-time updates on the best way to get from A to B, whether it is by train, taxi, electric bike, scooter, helicopter or a combination of them.

More content in less time

Swipe, click and scroll are now the main reflexes to search for information among Catch Me in Seconds consumers. With improved technology, accessibility and usage, especially among younger generations, consumers can access immense amounts of information with fewer barriers.With this comes the need to identify the most relevant bits. Consumers are constantly seeking personalised, authentic and appealing channels. They are growing accustomed to shorter content, which is driving the Catch Me in Seconds trend.

Tailored experiences

Private Personalisation consumers expect brands to tailor products and services to them, yet they must surrender their personal information to optimise their experience. Companies are investing in algorithms and data collection methods to achieve more precise marketing. In return, consumers spend less time researching product options.

Never need to leave home

During times of economic, political or personal uncertainty, consumers are drawn to the comforts of their home. Thanks to high-speed internet access and innovative goods and services, global consumers are able to exercise, shop, work and play, all from the comfort of their Multifunctional Homes.

The percentage of global households with access to broadband internet has doubled since 2010, giving many consumers internet access in their homes at speeds equal to their workplace. As a result, companies and workers alike are increasingly able to embrace the benefits of remote work, supported by a host of software products enabling online meetings, chat and collaboration.

Open up to other abilities

Brands are catering to individuals with physical or mental disabilities, unlocking the potential for an Inclusive for All business model. Companies are reframing their products and services to be more accessible to everyone, representing individuals beyond the mainstream and helping to reduce prejudice around diversity and differences. From fashion to toys, games, food services and interior design, brands are responding to a societal push for change. Businesses are making steps towards authenticity and inclusion, putting liability at the core of new product developments.

Today, global awareness of the Inclusive for All trend is rising, both from operate straggles to new product developments. As part of the United Nations (Un) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the goals explicitly address the needs of individuals with disabilities, pledging to “leave no one behind.” In fact, “people with disabilities are both beneficiary and agents of change,” according to the United Nations Flagship Report Disability and Development 2018.

Go back to our roots

Pride and power in local culture will become more sharply defined and relevant in 2020. The Proudly Local, Going Global trend captures consumer desire to adopt and appeal to a sense of individuality and growing national identity from local inspiration. There is also a growing expectation for multinationals to respond appropriately and creatively to local culture, social norms and consumer habits.

A 2019 survey by Wave X Remix Culture found more than half of consumers believed that local brands and products were more authentic than content and products from other countries.

The Proudly Local, Going Global trend is driving the rise of local consumer brands, especially in developing markets, going head to head with multinationals. For niche brands, regional and even global success was followed.

Use resources better

Today’s sustainability leaders are tapping into new circular business models that aim to offer more with less through sharing, reusing, refilling and renting. Increased environmental awareness is driving the Reuse Revolutionaries trend, especially for younger generations who are prioritising experiences over ownership. This is creating sustainable business opportunities. Recycling labels are losing credibility due to a lack of knowledge about a product’s recyclability. New business models that avoid waste generation are appearing to more ethical consumers who are embracing sustainability through longer-lasting products.

According to Euromonitor International’s Lifestyles Survey 2019, 60% of consumers are worried about climate change and 54% think they can make a positive contribution in the world with their purchases. As environmental awareness increase, consumers look for alternative eco-friendly products. However, more sustainable products often come with a premium price, and not all consumers are willing to pay more. While appeal for second-hand products in on the rise, convenience and affordability still play a role in consumers’ purchasing decisions.

Fight for clean air

Air pollution’s impact on health is an area of concern. According to WHO, air particulates from dust, soot, smoke and fumes increase the chance of lung cancer, while the American Heart Association suggests it as a possible risk factor for heart disease and stroke. The consequences of poor air quality also impact businesses and economic growth. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, by 2060, the annual number of lost working days due to poor air quality will reach 3.7 billion, up from 1.2 billion today.

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Focus on mental needs

One in four adults in the developed world suffers from anxiety; yet under half receive treatment, according to WHO. At the same time, consumption of self-medicating stress-relief products, such as cigarettes and alcohol, is declining. Instead, consumers are seeking outcome-based goods to address specific mental wellbeing needs and prevent the physiological effects of stress, worry and sleeplessness.

Read more about the 10 trends on the report.