Consumers’ New Habits to Impact Marketing

Marketers who were lucky enough to emerge from the recession with their business models intact may find new challenges facing them in 2010. While consumers are spending again, they have learned some tough lessons during the downturn. Many analysts expect consumers to carry new shopping habits into this year.

When purchasing CPG items, Nielsen predicts consumers will exhibit the following tendencies:

Restraint is the New Normal: Before the recession, consumers who purchased gifts for friends, often purchased one for themselves as well. Don’t expect to see that behavior resume.

The Priority is Value: Even as marketers discount their products, they’ll also need to find a way to show consumers that they’re selling value.

Store Brand Popularity will Continue: This trend is linked to consumer concern for value.

The new trends in consumer behavior have ominous signals for CPG marketers. Nielsen anticipates the following trends:

Store Consolidation: As consumers look for deals in the grocery aisles, more stores will be acquired or merged. Other will close.

Margin Pressure on Brands: Stores are carrying fewer items in store. Marketers who are squeezed from the shelves will have to find new ways to reach consumers. One possible channel may be direct-​to ‑consumer sales which will require radically different marketing campaigns and we can anticipate more online activity in this area.

The new behavior of the part of consumers will drive changes in marketing strategies in 2010 and beyond.
[Source: CPG Shopping Habits: 5 Key Predictions for 2010; Nielsen,  January 2010] 

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.