Want to start a business, but have no ideas? Here’s the cheat sheet for building a business, a compendium of consumer trends, a breeding ground for inspiration and potential business. The global Covid pandemic has turned our lifestyles and values upside down. Sometimes drastic changes that the international institute Euromonitor deciphers in its annual report 2022 of the 10 consumer trends “Top 10 global consumer trends 2022”.
From self-realization to the need for increasingly green spaces, from climate awareness to the metaverse movement, from fear of missing out to the digitization of seniors, from self-esteem to control over one’s own finances or the generalization of the second-hand to a divided return to social life pre-pandemic… Overview of the different avenues with Alison Angus, co-author of the report.
#1. To change life
“We are living in a once-in-a-generation moment. The pandemic and incarceration have revealed our deepest desires. I want to change jobs, I want to move to the countryside, I want to paint, I want to start my own business… Many have considered these changes for a long time. They are launching now,” says Alison Angus. Business ideas flourish around this theme of renewal or exploration.
For example, the start-up Chance promotes professional mobility thanks to its digital tool that is accessible to everyone and that records a full assessment of skills, including personal aspirations. The young company Wecandoo is a booking platform for craft workshops. She offers her customers the opportunity to discover all kinds of know-how, from making her own mozzarella to making her silver wedding ring.
#2. Don’t miss anything without waiting
With the recovery, consumers are facing rising raw material costs and supply chain disruptions. In 2022, he wants to guarantee priority access to goods and services, be it technology, a premium subscription, cheaper alternative solutions or direct purchases from the producer. “Business ideas that connect producers directly with consumers are interesting, such as these farms that deliver locally to the customer’s doorstep,” Alison Angus cites as an example.
Recently, many start-ups have sprung up to meet this new requirement, such as the Pourdebon fresh market place or the home delivery platform for products directly from the Vite mon marché farm.
#3. Limit global warming
Green activism and the choice for a sustainable way of life are trends that have become well established over time. “There are two ways to meet this expectation: by making products with a low carbon footprint or by helping consumers make environmentally friendly choices. For example, the Swedish food brand Felix determines the price of its products based on their CO2 emissions,” Alison Angus illustrates.
The young French company 900.care of refillable beauty and hygiene products is keeping its promise to reduce its environmental footprint by reducing packaging. Another initiative is that of Greenly, whose free application calculates the carbon footprint of your personal expenses, followed in 2020 by a software platform for SMEs.
#4. Stay at home if you want
“To return to pre-pandemic lifestyle habits, consumers will take two kinds of paths: the vaccinated, those who are willing to take risks, will prefer face-to-face contact; others will remain concerned and cautious, preferring distance. Consumers want to socialize, but demand a flexible approach,” says Alison Angus. Brands will therefore have to mix their marketing strategies. It is up to the consumer to choose whether he wants to go to the store, consume on site, opt for click&collect, shop online, have it delivered at home or at a collection point, etc. Virtual events and teleworking will face appointments exist.
Online or on-site classes, it’s up to you… Founded on the eve of its first incarceration, the Dancefloor start-up first revised its ambition to open a place dedicated to dance. She preferred to start with an online video course platform. In 2021, led by entrepreneur Rachel Vanier, the company returned to its original project and opened its first Dancefloor Paris dance studio.
#5. Enter the matrix
Matrix is no longer science fiction! The metaverse movement is expanding into social networks, online games and e-commerce. Immersive environments will contribute to product sales through virtual reality. Brands have understood that, such as Hyundai, which has just announced its Metamobility concept. “To increase their influence, brands will rely on augmented reality. Consumers will define their avatars to explore virtual worlds,” predicts Alison Angus.
In France, Soraya Jaber’s start-up, Opuscope, is a pioneer. It provides a turnkey tool Minsar to create immersive content, for companies that want to develop their communication in virtual reality.
#6. Connecting seniors
During the health crisis, older consumers were forced to turn to online sales and familiarize themselves with digital services. “They represent a great development opportunity provided existing technologies are simplified, for example by designing the same access module regardless of the medium, smartphone, online site or application. The range of possibilities is vast: applications for health, financial supervision, socialization, travel or learning, etc.”, explains Alison Angus. The world population over 60 is expected to grow by 65% between 2021 and 2040 to reach the number of two billion people. A windfall in the market according to Euromonitor.
For example, the start-up Lumeen provides a virtual reality solution to calm and stimulate anxious residents in retirement homes. As for the PapyHappy platform, it helps seniors find accommodation that suits their needs.
#7. love each other as we are
Be indulgent with yourself, accept yourself as you are, seek your physical, emotional or spiritual well-being… “Self-care and inclusion are sources of happiness for consumers in 2022. Any products or personalized experiences that create the feeling of a better version of yourself, of being in your place, in harmony. Brands need to have an emotional connection with the consumer,” says Alison Angus.
The success of CBD in France stems from this trend towards self-care. Rainbow, a French “cannabis tech”, markets two CBD-based wellness brands: Kaya, nutritional supplements for stress, and Peace&Skin, cosmetics. It is present in the “daily health” corners of Monoprix.
#8. E-Manage Your Money
The democratization of the management of one’s financial assets is a fundamental trend, reinforced by the crisis and the savings surplus of the richest households. Consumers have turned to applications or off-the-shelf solutions to make investments. They are more confident in technology and are becoming more autonomous in managing their finances. “Fintechs have a future ahead of them if they offer user-friendly tools and clear financial products. Transparency is key,” says Alison Angus.
The start-up Finary has given traditional tools a facelift. It has developed a web platform and an asset management application that can suggest users how to optimize their asset portfolios.
#9. Refurbishing the second hand
Consumers change their state of mind, they no longer want to own a good, but want to experience it. “The new generations have changed the way we look at a second-hand product, which until then was seen as a by-product. Rather, they are looking for unique second-hand items or rented for an occasion. Resale apps and vintage stores have a bright future ahead of them,” analyzes Alison Angus. The expert also points to the recent success of “repair cafes”, where “you carry your faulty items, clothing or small household appliances, and learn how to fix them between two cups of coffee”.
The designer of Les Yeux d’Elsa jewelry, Elsa Robichez, has opened a costume jewelry repair service to meet the demand of her customers. Patatam, for its part, is expanding its service from private individuals to large retailers. The French start-up, founded in 2013, specializing in the purchase and sale of second-hand clothing, has become the European leader in second-hand sales.
#10. Live green, in the countryside or on your balcony
The health crisis has accelerated the urban flight of working people to the countryside in search of a better quality of life. But it has also increased the demand for greenery in the city. “Consumers want the best of both worlds. E-distribution must therefore reach these neo-rural communities. Conversely, roof gardens, beehives, indoor crops or on the balcony are promising niches in the city,” explains Alison Angus.
Examples of this trend: Futura Gaïa, which grows its aromatic herbs, salads or tomatoes vertically, or Myfood, which offers semi-detached greenhouses for rent, are part of this trend for greener urban environments. At the same time, Comptoir de Campagne is breathing new life into rural areas without shops.