Digitization, the circular economy and economic uncertainty shape new consumption habits

Although commercial distribution and retail trade are leaving behind the impact of the pandemic, the negative economic outlook –which points to a continuation of the rise in prices and interest rates– and a drop in the saving capacity of families, are slowing down private consumption.

In an uncertain context and less purchasing power, it is not surprising that consumer behavior is increasingly oriented towards containing spending, increasing the life cycle of their goods and seeking experiences and alternatives for consumption that are more affordable, responsible and sustainable.

Evolution of consumption in Spain between the last quarter of 2019 and the first of 2022.
Source: Report on the situation of the Spanish economy 2022, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation

In this article we focus on three trends that mark a change in the buying and consumption habits of families, and that companies must incorporate into their marketing strategies: the integration between electronic commerce and the physical store, payment in installments and responsible and sustainable consumption.

Omnichannel and integration: between the digital and the physical store

The purchase on-line, whose growth accelerated after the pandemic, is here to stay. However, the purchase preference in digital channels or in a physical store varies according to the profile of consumers. For example, those who prioritize the shopping experience or sustainable consumption opt for the purchase on-linewhile those looking for good prices tend to buy in physical stores.

Therefore, face-to-face purchases will continue to play an important role in consumption and will coexist with digital purchases. Both in an omnichannel context, in which companies will try to offer the best service in all those that are present – ​​physical, web, networks – and to which buyers will go according to different situations and circumstances.

If offering a good shopping experience generates trust, offering frequent consumption opportunities in all channels favors the choice of a particular retailer, regardless of its prices. a presence liquid and omnichannel to establish more touchpoints with consumers can be an effective differentiation strategy for retailers.

Sale on-line and payment in installments

Inflation can lead more consumers to take advantage of the payment methods in installments or deferred payment that more and more businesses are offering on-line as part of your business strategy and sales promotion. The growth of payment methods that facilitate financing and the development of new subscription models, which offer companies new avenues of income, help to maintain a minimum demand that makes the company viable.

The recent policy of inserting advertisements on some platforms streaming shows the evolution of a business model that combines the advantages of subscription television with the ability to monetize the user experience.

Responsible and sustainable consumption

Society’s interest in halting social and environmental deterioration, and especially in the impact of consumption on the sustainability of the environment, is another growing trend in recent times, and one that will surely continue to rise.

The undeniable harmful effects of climate change have made consumers more aware of the way they consume goods and services. On the other hand, companies are increasingly developing strategies to apply the principles of circularity and sustainability in their production and distribution processes.

As an example, the initiative of the Inditex group, which has entered the second-hand market in the United Kingdom through a web platform and a mobile application to repair, resell between individuals and donate clothing and footwear.

In short, the scope and speed at which companies adapt to new purchasing and consumption habits of buyers can mark the necessary differentiation to compete successfully in the market.

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