Consumers want quality time, authentic media and streamlined choices, says report

Consumers want quality time, authentic media and streamlined choices, says report

A consumer trends report by Zenith UK says that consumers want this year to be one of renewal, offering brands a range of insights into how they intend to spend their time and money.

The report, entitled The View, discusses a renewed optimism where consumers want to focus their time and attention around simplified, realistic and attainable goals.

The top three cultural trends it highlights for this year are described as: Renewed Passions, Easy Living and Media Gets Real.

Renewed Passions

Consumers are spending more quality time with things that matter; drinking less alcohol, looking for more sustainable products, working harder so they can take longer holiday breaks, escaping professional pressure and renewing their focus on mental health and self-care.

Expect self-care to be big in 2020

This translates to the second-hand clothing market growing 150% bigger and faster than fast fashion by 2028, for example. Meanwhile younger people are looking to escape the strains of everyday life in favour of fulfilling and meaningful experiences. And the focus on mental health and wellbeing is fuelling a boom in the health and wellness industry, covering everything from food to exercise and medication. This year, the wellness industry is expected to reach £22.8bn in the UK.

Easy Living

There are just too many choices today. So consumers will opt for box sets and subscription services that make life easier. This ‘streamling’ is about curating options.

The report shows, for example, that 46% of online shoppers have failed to complete a transaction because there were too many options to choose from. So people want simplified choices.

And with the desire to be more sustainable, they want many little changes versus a dramatic shift. For 54%, living healthily and sustainably is a priority but only six per cent have managed it.

Bizarrely, astrology is also on the rise with 31% of UK adults believing in it to some degree, with searches for ‘birth chart’ increasing by 80% since 2014. In response, brands are reacting by bringing astrology-related propositions to market, says the report.

Media Gets Real

Devices for everyone and the arrival of 5G mean everyone has a platform for sharing stories and products. Has this bred mistrust in content? The report concludes that people now want authentic, meaningful experiences.

That means ‘authentic’ content – especially from influencers – is highly valued.

Only 22% believe social media celebrities portray their lives honestly and 61% don’t think brands are transparent about how they use influencers for branding purposes.

And with the rise in concerns over well-being and 80% of children not feeling safe on social media there is growing concern about the impact of devices on individuals.

That said, 5G means buying has become more reliant on seamless connectivity with more platforms becoming directly shoppable. So 30% of UK consumers say they are interested in seeing TV programmes that allow them to directly buy products they see.

Leonie Galliford, Head of Insight at Zenith UK, says, “Pre-2020 people have experienced years of instability and uncertainty both in their own finances, and politically, as well as seeing massive shifts in ways they can communicate, consume media, and even shop. This in turn has made planning their lives more complicated. 2020 gives the opportunity for renewed optimism, and we predict this year will see consumers shift to re-focus their time and interests around more simplified, attainable and self-focussed goals, rejecting inauthentic, negative, or complicated life choices.”