World Consumer Trends*: From Owning to Experiencing

In the past, consumer’s identities were heavily influenced by ownership of goods. The home, the furniture, the wardrobe all told a story about someone’s identity. However, more and more consumers are spending less of their money on buying stuff and more on having experiences.

Whilst spend on fashion and consumer goods is declining or growing very slowly in many major economies, spend on leisure experiences, dining out and travel are showing strong growth

In the US younger consumers (under 30s) spend almost half their annual food budget on eating out, the UK restaurant sector is booming and in China consumer spend on dining out is set to double by 2020. Casual dining, burger bars and coffee shops are the main winners from this trend.

Additionally, services such as Deliveroo bring the restaurant experience to your home in major cities across the globe from Germany to Singapore.

Analysis conducted by Visa expects international travel to increase by 35% in the next decade. At the moment most of the growth is coming from Asia and North America – but all continents are forecast to spend more time travelling in the next ten years. A strong, increasing middle class means more consumers are able to travel and it seems this is one of their spending priorities.

As consumers become less attached to ‘stuff’ – areas such as fashion may suffer. Already we are seeing a trend towards renting rather than owning. Services such as Rent the Runway (in the US), Girl meets Dress (UK) and Glam Corner (Australia) allow consumers to rent special occasion or designer clothing rather than having to invest outright. Nobody wants to be seen on Instagram wearing the same top twice – so it makes sense to rent. Deloitte Retail Trends Report 2016 expected the fashion rental trend may spread to high street stores in the near future.

It seems as we are approaching 2020 you are no longer what you own – but what you experience in life. It makes sense for brands to consider what unique and memorable experience they can offer consumers – as this may well be the key thing they are seeking.

*World Consumer Trends are major shifts in consumer behaviour that occur simultaneously across world markets. Emotional Logic regularly conducts consumer psychology studies in more than 30 countries world-wide and has observed key trends across markets.

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