The Transformation of the Customer Profile: What We Want & How We Want It Presented
Last year in Lower Manhattan, as luxury retailers Dolce Gabbana, Luis Vuitton and Chanel boarded up their stores during the worst looting binge since the 1977 New York Blackouts; the vast population continued their obsession with shopping – this time, online, undeterred by retail closures or the worsening pandemic outside.
The online commerce sector grew by 44% in 2020 year on year, likely bolstered by new buying power as home refinancing reached an all-time blockbuster high. Online spending topped $861B in the U.S., further supported by the wave of ‘shop now pay later’ customer financing startups such as AfterPay, SplitIt, Klarna, Sizzle and Affirm.
But how did our behaviors toward shopping change?
In April 2020, McKinsey surveyed millennials in the UK and Germany and reported that 57% had already made significant changes to their lifestyle to lessen their environmental footprint; more than 60% reported going out of their way to purchase products in environmentally friendly packaging; while 67% consider sustainable materials, where virgin synthetics cause a deal breaker.
Brand loyalty is today less important to the millennial and Gen Z market, who are instead driven by a brand’s commitment to social and environmental welfare. If indeed brands (including heritage labels that line the streets of SoHo, considered emblematic for more than a century) can no longer rely on customer loyalty, at least within the millennial market (who dominate online spending), they must now focus on product integrity.
The industry has seen a dramatic increase in the use of science and technology to develop and pioneer sustainability; not only in AI (machine learning) but 3D modeling, renewable energies, waste management efficiencies such as food scrap or ocean waste engineered into wearable, durable leathers.
Since the Rana Plaza Collapse (Bangladesh, 2013), The True Cost (documentary, 2015), #whomademyclothes movement (Fashion Revolution, 2013) and Covid-19, the consideration of ethics is not only a humane responsibility, it is highly lucrative. 63% of millennials surveyed in McKinsey’s earlier report, were equally as persuaded to shop based on a brand’s traceability.
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Before the age of 10, Bethanie was already developing as an artist with writing classes, illustration, dance, theatre and piano. Later, clients from fashion, real estate and corporate sectors rounded her creative, technical and social media writing skills. Naturally, her artistic interests transposed onto film and production. Today, Bethanie hosts and produces interviews with international lifestyle brands and contributes to SNEZNY travel magazine.