Consumer & Research Trends for the Year of the Ox

Consumer & Research Trends for the Year of the Ox

Despite a slew of rather big surprises that the year of the Rat held for us, our research predictions at the start of the year weren’t too far off. Read the article back here. In this news item, we’ll have a look at the Consumer Trends for the Year of the Ox and what it means for Market Research.

The pandemic has changed the way consumers get their information, how they think, what they decide and where they purchase drastically. In SPARC’s view, most of these changes were already set in motion – the pandemic merely accelerated them.

Throughout our projects, interactions with clients and respondents, we see the following trends in consumer behaviour for the next year:

  1. An increased use of Digital Tools to stay connected at home but also to facilitate safer procedures in brick-and-mortar outlets
  2. Consumers will get more involved in political and social issues. They distrust ‘The Media’ and Governments increasingly. More channels to find information will be used and traditional channels will be mistrusted more (e.g. newspaper or channel news)
  3. Consumers are more aware of and get more obsessed with Safety and Hygiene. They demand contactless services, exceptional sanitation standards and buy more products that enhance hygiene and immunity
  4. More workplaces, in new spaces. Having tasted the flexibility of work from home and (in some cases) the pressure of balancing home schooling with work obligations, the work-life balance has changed as the boundaries between the two faded significantly in the last year
  5. A renewed attention for ‘The Triple Bottom Line’: People, Planet and Profits. Consumers are going to be more concerned about sustainability than before COVID-19
  6. Consumers have become more aware of their spending patterns and the impact of the pandemic on their ability to earn an income has led them to budget more cautiously and purchase more affordable products and services

Though we’re sure there are specific insights and trends for specific industries (think about aviation, agriculture, hospitality, Fintech) the 6 trends above capture the overarching trends that will influence consumer behaviour in the next year.

So what do these trends mean for your Marketing or Product Plan? How can Market Research help to understand this changing group of consumers better?

At SPARC we have implemented the following changes to help our clients face the challenges that are evoked by the consumer trends.

  1. It all starts with smarter, shorter surveys…

We’ve always preached this… but are very aware of its increased importance in this day and age.

  1. Create mobile first, interactive surveys

The company was set up as a Mobile First research agency. Not having the history of a face to face or ‘interviewer type’ organisation behind it, we’ve excelled at this point and became one of Asia’s first boutique mobile first research consulting firms

  1. Combine Research with Consulting – the actionable type

The days that Research was separated from the business and seen as a ‘hobby’ of a couple of insight managers are long gone. However, a further integration is still needed. The key is with the Research Partner that needs to be able to translate research outcomes into actionable insights.

  1. Bring Qualitative Research online

Throughout 2020 we’ve seen an accelerated growth of online Qualitative Research. The main insight for our clients? It actually works pretty well and can be applied in a majority of the research requests.

  1. Crowdsourced Research – build communities

This will lower costs and, if set up correctly, reduces lead times. As it often uses a quali-quant (mixed) method, the insights you can get from a diverse audience base are tremendous. Not only can it help solve problems, but it also helps to get an idea of a more extensive and more varied population. SPARC has applied crowdsourcing since many years. We’re seeing a tremendous increase in requests and projects in this space and expect this to continue to grow over the next year.

With this fifth and last Research trend we conclude our Consumer & Research Trends for the Year of the Ox.

We hope you enjoyed reading our take on things for the year ahead. As always… if you have any questions… do let us know using the contact form on this site!

The SPARC team wishes you a healthy, prosperous and particularly insightful year ahead!