Consumer trends 2018 and their impact on Customer Loyalty Programs.

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Consumer trends 2018

Consumer trends 2018 and their impact on Customer Loyalty Programs.

In a recent study conducted by Mintel, four key areas in European consumer trends were highlighted for 2018. We examined these trends and outlined how customer loyalty programs can facilitate some of these trends.

1.Environmental Emphasis
With increased emphasis from Governments and campaigners on the importance of sustainable products to reduce greenhouse gases, safeguard the future of the ocean and minimise the impact of climate change.

Mintel research expects more brands offering education and initiatives to make customers aware of the dangers of materials that are hazardous to the environment and encouraging good safe and clean environmental practices. Some brands are already incorporating this ethos into their marketing and loyalty strategies.

Adidas is making one million shoes from recycled ocean plastics. While Coca-Cola has committed to increasing their recycling target by 50% for 2020.
A Spanish recycling company has adopted an incentive program that rewards consumers with points when they recycle paper and plastics.

2. Data Do’s and Don’ts
Data-driven marketing gained huge popularity in the last number of years. Large volumes of data are creating vulnerabilities and data hacking is becoming a real worry for companies across the globe, For example, the WannaCry malware hack earlier this year.
As a result, both the UK and Ireland will mirror the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation from May 2018. Obtaining consumer data will require more effort from brands or companies.

Read the latest changes on GDPR

However, Mintel research highlights that customers are open to giving data in return for a personalised experience with a brand, for instance, personalised offers and rewards. However, brands will have to encourage customers to give data to them.

Good Loyalty strategies incorporate personalisation and loyalty technology facilitates excellent personalised experiences for consumers which incentives customers to share their data.

3. Social media Status
Studies from around the world have shown an increase in anxieties around image, health and work for our younger generations.
According to the University of Sheffield, the time spent online by those aged between 8-15 years old has doubled and that spending one hour per day on social media reduces happiness indexes by 14%.

This is the scary reality of social media. Instagram was named as one of the most damaging to young people’s mental health.

Mintel predicts that’s brands will start trying to influence teens and millennial audiences positively through social media campaigns that promote positive body image and repel online bullying. Brands like the online retail giant, Asos, recently featured models with stretch marks on their site and were praised by consumers.

4. Questions and Answers
Today’s consumers are demanding brands transparency. Widespread internet access has led to greater consumer knowledge on products, brand ethos and practices.
Social media popularity has made brands answerable to consumers on a public forum, which can be critical to a company’s brand reputation. The expectation for brand transparency is even beginning to come from a government level.

The UK government are forcing companies with more than 250 employees to publish their gender pay gaps data.

Companies such as Lush, are explaining ingredients and sourcing while Amazon is offering customer warehouse tours to increase openness with customers.

Consumers have greater choice and can purchase from brands that practice a preferred ethos. Creating a compelling customer Loyalty program for your customers can significantly aid your branding and create a loyal customer base.
To read the full Mintel research document click here

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