Changing consumption will reshape business priorities


By understanding what’s driving the evolution of consumer consumption, you can identify growth opportunities and adapt your business.

The consumer is truly king. Not just in the store but driving economic growth – consumer spending accounts for more than half (60%) of global GDP. When consumers spend, the economy grows; and when they don’t, it shrinks. Even in a recession, we invariably find a way to spend ourselves back to growth – the levers used are almost always based on encouraging people to buy more stuff through cheaper debt and increased wages.

Governments and companies rely on consumer spending as a foundational building block of the global economy and society. It’s become an accepted principle that progress is measured through growth and growth is driven by consumption. Companies are measured by how much they can grow revenues and margins; national economies are measured by how much they can grow GDP. With consumer spending essential to both, changes in consumer values and spending behavior have a critical impact on their success.

The experience of two years of lockdowns has had a lasting effect on consumer priorities. According to the Future Consumer Index, which surveys over 21,000 consumers in 27 countries, 54% of consumers have seen changes in their values and the way that they look at life. By learning to live with less, many consumers have come to adopt simpler and less consumerist values. Technology platforms and new business models are enabling this with a growing number of reselling, rental and repair services allowing consumers to moderate their consumption without compromising their lifestyles. These changes in consumer priorities now need to be factored in.


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