by Rick Kroetsch
The Business Development Bank of Canada released their five game-changing consumer trends for your business in 2017. One of the top five was a focus on health and wellness.
What are people looking for?
People of all ages are showing more interest in managing their health. They are looking for ways to take care of themselves, fight stress, and make healthier choices in their lives.
The health and wellness aspect of people’s lives shows no signs of stagnant or slowing growth. Here are some of the messages in the BDC study related to health and wellness.
- Consumer health retail value for products like vitamins, supplements, weight management, and sports nutrition products are expected to grow 14 percent by 2020 in North America.
- The retail value of organic beverages is expected to grow 30 percent by 2019 in Canada.
What is going on with my customers?
Maybe it’s time to start asking people (current customers and prospective customers) the following questions.
- What are you looking for, and why?
- What do you do to stay healthy?
- Why did you choose that path?
- What product trends do you see and want?
- What interests you in health and wellness?
Customers’ answers might totally surprise you and open your eyes to things you wouldn’t have thought of. Studies don’t have to be done by large organizations or meet strict marketing research criteria. The more you get out and ask people, the more insights you will have. You can see if your information follows the trends, or maybe you’ll discover that your customers are ahead of the curve.
What does the information mean to my business?
Consumer behaviour is changing at a rapid pace. You have a shorter time span to adapt to moving market needs, which means you must be quicker in responding with many of your business decisions.
If consumers are changing their buying habits and loyalties, you will want to look at the answers to the following questions.
- How does the change in product purchasing impact my selling floor space?
- What product lines are growing; which ones are shrinking? How do I adapt?
- What new products should I be looking at bringing into my business?
- What additional services do I need to incorporate in order to stay ahead?
What were the other four trends in the study?
1. Millennials are driving the consumer revolution. This demographic, born between 1980 and 2000, are changing many of the behaviours of the consumer marketplace.
2. Mobile and digital rule. The study shows how Canadians are using their mobile devices more than ever, especially for shopping purposes.
3. One size doesn’t fit all: Consumers want personalized attention. Customers are looking for personalized interaction in person or on their devices. It’s all about them.
4. The rise of the sharing economy. More people are getting and sharing their products or services from others. They’re sharing cars, accommodations, bicycles, etc.
Try to stay on top of the trends and the future. What happened six months ago in your business may be irrelevant today, so force yourself to keep looking ahead—not behind you. It’s an exciting time in business, but you need to be adaptive, flexible, and willing to change quickly to capitalize on it.
Rick Kroetsch is the vice-president and associate publisher of Alive Publishing Group.