We were delighted to welcome Joanna Feeley, CEO and Founder at Trend Bible to join us for the last session in our Future of eCommerce series.
Trend Bible work tirelessly to pinpoint future trends and how this translates into commercial success for their clients using a unique set of methodologies.
As a result of the pandemic, Trend Bible have reported a shift from relying heavily on data, to the art of forecasting and projecting gaining a lot of ground.
If you missed the webinar, we’ve rounded up the key points for you below:
If you fail to spot the signs of change, you’ll get left behind
Blockbuster once stated that “Netflix doesn't have or do anything that we don't”, and shortly after in 2010, they ceased operations. Originally, Netflix charged a set fee for each movie as Blockbuster did, however, the CEO Reed Hastings decided to listen to consumers and adapted the model to a subscription service which meant that users could get as many movies as they wanted for a flat fee, with no late charges.
Blockbuster’s comment is a prime example of businesses only asking themselves what does the competitor have that we don't, rather than ‘what do our customers actually want?’.
Trend forecasting allows businesses to: see what is coming, identify opportunities, act with confidence, and most importantly - stay relevant in the eyes of the consumer.
When dealing with a black swan event, don’t stress you ‘didn’t predict this’
The best way to deal with black swan events is not to dwell on the fact that this wasn’t something that you predicted - a company’s response to it is more important than failure to predict.
Investing time and energy into considering how the event will ripple through society and impact consumer mindsets and their emotions, which can filter through to shopper behaviour can be incredibly important for retailers when planning for the future.
Out of the pandemic, we have seen see elastic behaviours and accelerated trends
Elastic behaviour is a behaviour that consumers will ‘ping back to’. A recent example of this is upon the reopening of physical stores, we watched as shoppers queued up outside Primark doors from 4 am to be able to grab some bargains as they would in the ‘norm’ they knew before.
Accelerated trends are those that were ‘on the cards’ to impact our lifestyles anyway, but have been catapulted forwards into the limelight. For example: working from home. This has been building popularity for years and years (at Visualsoft we’ve been practising flexible working since 2014), however, the pandemic has forced us into a semi-permanent work from home situation.
Pandemic and post-pandemic trends
It’s true that people are not necessarily not looking to spend money right now, however, they are much more conscious and thoughtful about how they spend their money. Consumers more than ever are looking for the feel-good moments and activities and there will be huge shifts in what status means in the modern-day.
Sustainability and ethical credentials will be deployed by many companies in line with consumer shifts in what status means, and in a bid to get consumers to continue to spend with them. While adapting to consumers’ requirements is incredibly important, anything that is deemed to be tokenistic will be rejected by consumers - people, even the youngest of generations, can tell what is genuinely ethical, and what is for show, so retailers must be making these shifts for the right reasons.
The pandemic has taught us that the things we thought were once essential, may actually need some reconsideration. Taking time to understand what your audience may class as essential in a post-pandemic world will be critically important. The new essentials may differ vastly from what we once thought was important, and consumers will also be likely to be seeking products and experiences that bring joy to their everyday lives.
Trend Bible’s predictions for a post-pandemic world
The art of re-socialising:
As the UK cautiously exits lockdown a new normal must be adopted and new habits learned. The power of connection with each other is stronger than ever before, and householders will continue to refine the art of socialising and entertaining at home. We saw people pick up the board games and focus on time away from the screen in lockdown as analogue activities are more important than ever.
We have seen the home become the ‘social hub’ in lockdown with incredible increases seen in the sales of home cinema equipment, fire pits, at-home cocktail kits and hot tubs. The aptly dubbed ‘homebody economy’ is growing significantly, with millennials and Gen Z, in particular, preferring to socialise in the comfort of their own home.
As the stores reopen, after being forced to stay at home for months on end, consumers will seek a safe home from home. Many city-dwellers rely on third spaces like cafes, meaning these third spaces will have to innovate to be able to cater to distancing citizens so consumers can ‘top-up’ their living space.
Trend Bible’s top tips: