Shifting sands: The changing consumer landscape

The consumer is changing,
but perhaps not how you think.

How often do you stream a movie and order a takeaway via an app for a night in? Or unpack your subscription recipe box while your personal assistant device serves up music based on your listening habits? The way we purchase and consume things has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. As the consumer landscape continues to shift we are responding in ways that look to make our lives easier and more fulfilling. Our research also provides insights that consumer behaviour is shifting to embrace sustainability, and how old you are and how much you earn makes all the difference.

What is the current landscape?

Select a dataset

Our report tells us that people in the UK are living longer but have more health concerns. They’re better educated but experiencing higher debt levels. More people are in work, but not necessarily better off when the cost of living has increased and disposable income decreased. All this adds up to major changes in buying behaviour.

What does a changing consumer landscape mean for businesses?

More people with increased buying power and access to more choice has resulted in consumers making better informed decisions before they purchase a product or service. If you’re not already looking to consumer data to inform your business strategy – now’s the time.

As consumers, we want to feel that every brand we interact with has given us an individual experience, which aligns to our own values. As a consumer business, how can you meet that expectation if you don’t know why and how your customer demands have changed?

Is technology the driving force behind consumer buying behaviour?

Technology is certainly a massive factor. Next, or same day delivery is a common, if not expected, offering from online retailers. Social media stars have become the new ‘word of mouth’.

Generation ranking for:  
Select Value
Most importantLess important#1#10#20#30#40#50Pre-boomersBaby boomersGeneration XMillennialsGeneration Z
  • Honesty
  • Protecting the family
  • Freedom
  • Stable personal relationships
  • Authenticity
  • Learning
  • Knowledge
  • Enjoying life
  • Self-reliance
  • Working hard
  • Open-mindedness
  • Friendship
  • Helpfulness
  • Equality
  • Self-esteem
  • Material Security
  • Preserving the environment
  • Social tolerance
  • Curiosity
  • Perseverance
  • Having fun

Select values to see how important they are to different generations

But as the landscape changes people are becoming cynical and untrusting of ‘paid influencers’ and we are seeing a shift towards brands that are seen to have integrity, who are more authentic and that talk openly about their values and the provenance of the products they sell.

Although many consumer businesses have been fast to develop their online offering, our consumer tracker indicates that while online sales for grocery shopping continue to grow, the majority of sales still happen in large supermarkets.

How can understanding the changing consumer landscape help businesses meet demands without affecting margins?

Using consumer data in smarter ways can help save money and get your product or service to the right people, at the right time. It’s increasingly important to understand the demographics and behaviours of your audience. For instance, do you know if your customers are mainly homeowners? Are they parents? Are they graduates with student loan debt? Or are they saving for a wedding or major life milestone? Our report shows how different factors are impacting people’s spending habits.

By understanding in more detail why your consumers spend the way they do, you can help eliminate waste, improve forecasts and reduce uncertainty in an ever changing world.

How consumer behaviour is embracing sustainability

Following on from this insight our latest research into the changing landscape of consumer buying behaviour reveals the growing influence of sustainability. Consumer trends in 2020 reveal that sustainability is a key consideration for a variety of consumer segments when making their purchase decisions. Explore the insights.

Want to know more?

If you’d like to discuss how we can help you navigate the changing consumer landscape, please get in touch with our consumer expert, Ben Perkins, and keep an eye out for the next instalment of our UK consumer insights.

Download the full report pdf to find out more

Download the full report pdf to
find out more

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