Meet your future customer

In part 2 of our mini series to help support local business gain valuable insight in these uncertain times so they can plan their business strategies with success, we present to you your future customer, what motivates them, what’s important to them and how you can connect to them with your business products and services.

Industries are now having to adapt to new demands that require flexibility, resilience and creativity. 2020 will be the Connected decade.

Consumer sentiments: Fear – Eco-anxiety, Financial uncertainty, emotional contagion (fear flood), Desynchronised society – removing normality, Equitable resilience – the ability to resist, absorb, recover and adapt to changes – emotional priority, Radical Optimism – backlash to mainstream media’s negative narrative, sorting through what’s real and what’s fake. By 2022 Radical Optimism will push through negativity and focus on feelings of joy and pleasure

The Stabilisers: Overwhelmed, yet aware of the pressures they face and how to negate them, The Stabilisers seek the clarity that comes with fewer available options. They want what they buy to make them feel good, and expect the same from the experience in itself.

The Stabilisers – Time pressed, overwhelmed, burnt out, acceptance advocates, self-improvers, zen- seekers, uncertain, optimism weary, prioritising stability

The Stabilisers – mainly Millennials and Gen X – are prioritising stability across all aspects of their lives, in reaction to desynchronisation and feelings of chronic uncertainty. They are starting to opt out of the cult of productivity and opt into a mindset of radical acceptance.

Ways to engage:

  1. simplicity matters – time pressed and overwhelmed, turned off by heavy product volume in store, Clutter loses conversions, declutter the store, clear labelling
  2. calm commerce – Products designed to alleviate stress and soothe anxiety will be priority sort
  3. unified commerce – unified communication – unified communication is the challenge here, finding the right balance between engagement and harassment. Focus on key product attributes and information

The Settlers: This cohort might be migrating out of your delivery radius, but that doesn’t mean they won’t want the products and services that they enjoyed before. Prepared to hustle, they want to bring their new surroundings up to speed, and they will put back into the community as they do so.

The Settlers – Balanced, supportive, conscious, career-driven, urban expats, hustlers, community invested, localists, environmentalists

Desperate to redefine the global ‘hustle hard’ work cycle, The Settlers – typically comprising Millennials and Gen X – are looking to plant roots in their community without sacrificing their careers, and they are driving a new era of localism in the process.

Ways to engage:

  1. Action to archives – the resale industry is growing. Archival products and designs are finding new life amongst The Settlers.
  2. Hyper-localised social commerce – Traditional and institutional brands and retailers will continue to lose market share to local retailers and community-based shopping platforms. The Settlers want to see where their money is going to and they prefer it goes to local communities, over corporations.
  3. Second tier cities matter – The Settlers want to buy locally, retailers need to be able to deliver outside of cities quickly and efficiently

The New Optimists: The New Optimists can’t be pinned down, either in terms of age range or physically. This adventurous cohort isn’t afraid to stand up for their beliefs, but they do so by spreading joy, not negativity. They want to share and celebrate with their fellow optimists when it comes to consumption.

The New Optimists – All ages, Activists, Hyper-connected, Adventurists, Joyous, Self-assured, Highly Social, On the go, Pack mentality

By far the most varied cohort, The New Optimists range from Gen Z to Boomers, but despite the broad demographic, they have many unifiers – the largest being a vivacious appetite to embrace joy.

Ways to engage:

  1. Living in Livestream – this group live in livestream and are more open to bargains and limited-edition products, invest in livestream shopping events
  • AR/VR shopping: from hype to convenience – This group feels like in-store shopping is a chore.  They also gravitate to peer feedback, so sharing feedback is important.

On demand evolution – Drivers of the celebration economy, they love events and adventures. Streamline the UX for in-app ordering – the fewer steps, the more likely you will drive sales. Also, brands that focus on hyper-local last-mile deliveries (think

festivals, outdoor venues and sporting arenas) are likely to gain market share.

  • The power (and savings) of the pack – The celebration mentality of The New Optimists means they have a stronger urge to spread joy, especially when it comes to savings and discounts. This is driving a renewed interest in group deals and bundle buys, both online and in-store. Giving and gifting will attract this cohort.

I think the future is bright and it’s what we make it at the end of the day. I find this piece of research encouraging, you can see the breakthrough of supporting community, focus on localism, human connection through digital resources (at this stage until human connection in person can safely be restored) and post virus it’s our opportunity to shape the world we live in today to create a better future.

I hope you are able to gleem some valuable insights to assist your businesses future, or at least to know you are on the right track.

Good luck and know Wild for the Wolds will keep on supporting the beautiful Yorkshire Wolds and its people and their businesses, because that’s what Yorkshire folk do best.

Wild for the Wolds

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