A Year in Review: Marketing and Consumer Trends of 2018

consumer trends in 2018 say price isn't so important

Every year we see marketing and consumer trends evolve. It makes sense seeing as each year we see technology adapt, needs shift, and new consumers entering the marketplace. As consumer needs, wants, and expectations change, our marketing should be responding.

Thus, as we enter 2019, we should have an eye on what shifted in 2018. Both so that we can adapt business and marketing strategies to those changes, and in order to look to the future that 2019 will bring.

Consumer Trends of 2018

One major shift that 2018 brought us is the priority of price in purchasing decision.

With Amazon and Walmart still taking the lead, consumers have come to expect discounts year round. However, price as a purchasing factor dropped 12.8% in 2018.

Why?

Consumers are caring more and more about a whole picture experience with brands than they are about the bottom dollar. This isn’t to say that you don’t need to worry about being competitive in your pricing. However, you can counter a deep discount with a holistic and personalized experience.

85% of consumers are still price checking against competitors, however this isn’t the end all to who they will purchase from.

Consumers care about:
  • Transparency. Including peer reviews that are easy to find can go a long way in converting a lead into sale. Also, being very clear about what customers can expect in terms of final costs, shipping times, return policies, and customer service access make a big difference.
  • Consumers don’t want to have to hunt for this information. Be an open book and you’re more likely to beat out a lower price.
  • Personalized shopping. Shopping histories, the ability to customize shopping preferences, and loyalty programs all make consumers feel more connected to your brand. They feel more like their needs and wants are cared about and less like they have to figure out how they fit into what you offer.
  • Convenience. This isn’t just about online shopping and shipping times. Stores that offer services like curbside pick up draw consumers in. Consumers are more likely to make a purchase if they feel like it’s easy.
  • Community. This one is especially important to Millennial and younger generations. Brands that are known for community outreach and service are able to beat out those that offer lower prices because consumers feel good about where their money will go.

Consumer trends toward community

For example, in 2018 we saw a rise in subscription boxes. With most of these being seen as a way to treat yourself more budget conscious consumers

are less likely to indulge. However, Causebox breaks through this barrier by providing products that support causes people care about.

This shift in 2018 allows brands to take less hits in terms of deep discounts and hopping to make up for it in the volume of sales. Instead, businesses can build a user experience around their customers values.

Marketing Trends of 2018

The above consumer trends shift alone accounts for the biggest shift in marketing in 2018. Said to be lead by Gen Z entering the workforce and marketing world, the marketing industry is redefining brand-consumer relationships by focusing on the user experience and entertainment.

As we go into 2019 we can expect to see brands digging deeper to provide the most value in not only their products, but also the experience of their customers.