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Voice of the Consumer: Key Insights 2024

6/5/2024
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In 2024, consumer optimism about the future is the highest it has been over the last five years. According to the Euromonitor Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey, fielded January to February 2024, 52% of respondents reported feeling their life will be better and 58% that they will be happier. It is nice to feel good, yet noteworthy for businesses is that this sense of optimism is positively correlated with a higher willingness to spend more on goods and services.Chart showing consumer outlook for the next five yearsInflation is falling, but concern over prices is sticky

As inflation gradually decelerates from record highs in 2022 and 2023, consumers are still just as weary of high prices for everyday goods in 2024. However, motivations for cost saving strategies, like bargain hunting, are also decreasing while preference for brand name goods and spending money to save time are trending upwards. Our latest survey results suggest that 2024 will be characterised by more discerning, justifiable consumption driven by a desire to explore and perform one’s tastes.Chart showing Global Consumer Spending PreferencesConsumers’ views on sustainability mature

In the consumer space, high inflation has battered sustainability. Shoppers have largely turned away from higher costs associated with organic and ethical goods in favour of cheaper alternatives. Looking at this from a broader timespan, sustainability behaviours and shopping motivations recorded in the Euromonitor Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey have been decreasing since before inflation shot up, revealing a downward trend. Yet, rather than an indication of sustainability losing relevance among consumers, our analysis shows that views and actions relating to sustainability are becoming more concentrated among specific consumer practices. As consumers gain a better understanding of how “green” labels fit into their consumption patterns, they focus more on these. This is evident in the degree to which consumers report higher willingness to spend for certain eco/social conscious attributes for specific types of goods.

Chart showing consumer willingness to pay moreAs consumers’ views on sustainability mature, businesses should identify and concentrate on leveraging the attributes where they are already succeeding and develop focused strategies to improve in areas where they are not.

Omnichannel consumers

Following in the same vein as sustainability, our survey results show that consumers are overall less motivated by the apparent advantages of both online and offline shopping. While we see clear preferences across different generations (for example, far fewer Baby Boomers report online purchases than Millennials) and industries (more consumers report buying small electronic goods online than pet food), consumers appear to be settling into using both online and offline according to their needs and routines.

“For groceries and essentials I am spending online rather than offline. I only go offline when I can’t find certain specific products I am looking for. I have also started exploring online platforms more for hobby related items.”

Millennial, Singapore (Euromonitor Analyst Pulse Survey, 2024)

Social media marketplaces

Consumers report a complex relationship with technology – 58% of global consumers reported feeling that they would be lost without the internet. Both a tool and a source of dependency, consumers are concerned about privacy, yet many prefer online interactions to in-person interactions. 34% feel that technology adds to their daily stress as nearly three quarters of respondents use social media at least once a week.

Psychological aspects aside, social media platforms are increasingly transforming into marketplaces for goods and services. This trend is directly observable when looking at platforms like TikTok or Instagram, yet Euromonitor’s Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey highlights that consumers are embracing them as a new purchasing channel. Between 2023 and 2024, the number of consumers making purchases via social media platforms jumped from 14% to 18%. Millennials and Gen Z led the trend, but Baby Boomers showed the highest year-on-year jump. With nearly three quarters of consumers using social media at least once a week, there is tremendous potential for purchases via this channel to continue to grow.Chart showing Share of Global Consumers who Purchase a Product or Service via a Social Media Platform

For more insights on the state of consumers in 2024, read our recent report, Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey Key Insights.

 

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