For the past few years, the consumer market has been like Schrodinger's cat, in limbo until the box is opened. But on a macro level, some consumer trends can last from year to year, some flash forward, and some evolve over time.
So how will consumer trends change in 2023?
To this end, many organizations have released consumer reports to analyze the development trend of consumer goods and retail industry in the foreseeable future from the aspects of consumer values, life attitudes and technological development.
After combing through these reports, we summarized and refined the trend keywords for 2023 to help brands see opportunities in the trends and build a better connection with consumers.
The outbreak of the epidemic has increased the uncertainty of people's lives, and the ensuing economic pressure has made consumers' consumption concepts and behaviors more pragmatic and rational.
The Roland Berger China Industry Trends Report says the pandemic is making some Chinese consumers more savvy. Even in the post-epidemic era, rational consumption still maintains a huge inertia and becomes the main theme of future consumption concept.
Data source: Accenture China Consumer Insight 2022
According to the 2023 White Paper on Chinese Consumer Insight and Market Outlook, the survey showed that 41 percent of respondents ranked "what I buy is what I really need" as one of the top three consumer concepts when it comes to consumption concepts. 36% of respondents chose "I am happy to find the most cost-effective brand and product", highlighting that rationality and pragmatism have become the mainstream consumption concept of consumers.
Data Source: 2023 White Paper on Chinese Consumer Insight and Market Outlook
It can be seen that the value proposition of consumers is moving towards long-term, and they are no longer so easily encouraged as in the past. The "halo" of consumerism is gradually fading, and the willingness to spend impulsively continues to decline.
Consumers' purchasing behavior is more based on their own real needs, and they can face their own needs with a more calm attitude, so that the demand for cost-effective products and channels is increasing.
Of course, rational living does not mean lowering the requirements for quality or abandoning personal preferences to choose alternatives. On the contrary, consumers want to get better products at every price point, to ensure that every purchase is correct and reasonable, and that what they buy is worth the money.
In the decision-making process, consumers pay more attention to the essence of the product, conduct in-depth research, and are willing to choose the most suitable option among various brands and channels.
"2023 China Consumption Trend Report" believes that "rational consumption, emotional life" has become the fundamental, from needs, wants to necessary, from the pursuit of material function to the pursuit of material, spirit and fun triple satisfaction, which has become the most important change in consumption concept.
In this context, Accenture China Consumer Insight 2022 believes that domestic brands and international brands have entered an era of "internal competition".
The brand, with its advantages of high cost performance and better understanding of the usage habits of Chinese consumers, has won the favor of consumers and become a pragmatic choice.
In recent years, with the popularity of the concept of environmental protection, more and more Chinese consumers think environmental protection is cool and fashionable, and realize the importance of sustainable development, willing to pay energy and money for environmental protection.
According to the 2023 Life Trend published by Xiaohongshu, the number of notes related to "idle cycle" has increased by 814 percent year-on-year. It has become the norm for young people to sell unwanted items to those in need and to spend money on other people's old items.
Small red book initiated the second-hand clothing market activity, the second replacement, idle cycle has become a new fashion.
People gradually return from the excessive abandonment of consumerism to the long-term value of the long-term, this concept change is not only reflected in the recycling of life goods, but also further extended to the care and practice of ecological sustainable development.
Jd.com's "New Trend of Consumption in Retail Industry" puts forward the concept of "resilient life", pointing out that the new generation of consumers shift from discarding consumption to conserving consumption, so as to create sustainable resilience of life.
Source: Accenture 2021 Global Consumer Research.
Wearing vintage clothes, buying coffee in your own cup, and buying eco-friendly clothing are fun and trendy ways to spend. Following this trend, many brands are offering consumers low-threshold, life-style, fun and environmentally friendly options, allowing consumers to have a great experience while supporting sustainable consumption. Consumer expectations are being upgraded from "I get good products/services/experiences from enterprises" to "I make the world a better place through my consumption behavior". Environmental protection lifestyle is becoming the choice of more young people.
More and more online social and entertainment activities have gradually formed a idle and lonely negative attitude, and people begin to desire to get out of the house and enjoy the beauty of life. In particular, the opening of the post-epidemic era has accelerated the recovery of the offline consumption scene, while allowing consumers to regain the fun and sense of experience brought by shopping.
According to Mintel Global Consumer Trends 2023: China, offline experiences that are both relaxed and comfortable can also help consumers escape the feeling of burnout, which is becoming a trend in the post-pandemic era.
For the offline retail industry, with the prevalence of the e-commerce model, the role of the offline retail stores is now changing significantly.
More and more retail stores are gradually transforming from sales centers to retail centers, service centers and experience centers. According to Global Consumer Trends 2023, if offline channels can offer consumers more unique leisure and entertainment scenes in addition to convenient shopping experiences, they will definitely attract people to experience them. For example, in the design of offline stores, elements such as freshness, timeliness, participation and sensuality are integrated, and practices such as integrating lifestyle, all-round sensory experience and heartwarming service details are adopted to enhance store value.
Currently, mobile Internet has been widely popularized, the proportion of elderly Internet users is also rapidly expanding, and consumers are still enthusiastic about new technologies.
From smart phones to smart homes, smart products have fully and deeply penetrated into People's Daily life. Consumers have an open and positive attitude towards digital technology and are more willing to try new things.
For example, the emerging concept of metacosmos is blowing a commercial whirlwind in China, and the overall development is in a high-speed momentum. Consumers are also looking forward to the maturity and application of metacosmos.
According to the 2023 White Paper on Chinese Consumer Insight and Market Outlook, more than 60% of consumers expect Metacom apps to improve shopping experience, and thus increase consumption frequency, and promote experience sharing and dissemination.
Data source: Deloitte White Paper on 2023 Chinese Consumer Insight and Market Outlook
Fundamentally, the increasing convergence of virtual and real can provide consumers with new information access routes and new consumption scenarios, greatly enhancing the "experience is what you get" shopping experience, and this also creates data-driven business opportunities for the consumer and retail industries.
For example, Pepsi created 2022PEPSI Universe press conference, which uses holographic technology to create a three-dimensional block in the real scene, further breaking through the virtual and real boundaries of the meta-universe and bringing consumers an unprecedented visual feast.
Although Chinese consumers are full of expectations for the meta-universe, their understanding of the application value is still in the imagination stage. However, more and more industry participants have entered the industry chain to continuously enrich the metauniverse, so as to combine virtual and real scenes and realize the true landing of the metauniverse concept.
With the improvement of national strength and the surge of national pride, the local consciousness of cultural confidence has been formed, and the cultural identity of consumers is being awakened, and the enthusiasm for consumption of domestic products continues to rise.
The New Trend of Consumption in Retail Industry puts forward the trend of "cultural intimacy", pointing out that consumers are seeking rooted identity. In the consumer market, traditional cultural elements in line with Chinese traditional aesthetic, such as Chinese clothing, craft, furniture and other categories, are being more recognized by consumers.
Data source: 2023 China Consumption Trends Report by Zhimeng Consulting Group
In the past year, 56.7% of consumers said they had increased their consumption of domestic products, and the new generation of consumers, represented by the post-00s generation, had the highest enthusiasm, according to the survey data of Zhimeng Trend.
Guochao style has been prevailing for a long time, but in the new stage, the demand of Chinese consumers has also undergone a subtle change: it is not only satisfied with the simple pattern of traditional symbol splicing and element transplantation, but gradually shifted to the construction of the artistic conception of Chinese life.
For example, in daily life, it builds scenes with strong cultural atmosphere, infuses Chinese traditional cultural elements into every aspect of living objects, covers the breadth and depth of daily life, and obtains three-dimensional Chinese cultural experience.
From stacking elements to creating artistic conception, turning national style into a way of life is the new demand direction shown by contemporary Chinese consumers.
Many of the same conceptual points can be found in multiple trend reports, because consumer trends are a gradual process. From a macro perspective, consumers' perceptions do not change dramatically from year to year, which is predictable.