The second quarter of 2015 saw much global attention focused on the eurozone and the Greek crisis. The Chinese economy continues to slow, whilst the US has recovered from its weak start to the year – although the recovery is not yet strong enough for interest rates to be hiked. The oil price recovered somewhat, but remains at low levels, hurting oil exporters. Concerns about productivity growth are present in a wide range of countries from the UK to China to the USA. Nevertheless, consumer confidence increased in the second quarter (over the first) in 28 of the 49 countries that we track. With global risks remaining elevated, our readers continue to be interested in a range of themes across both economies and consumers.
Here are some of the quarter’s most read content on Economies and Consumers:
This datagraphic visualises key points from the latest Strategy Briefing, Cultural Diversity and its Impact on Global Consumer Markets. Strong migration flows, combined with higher birth rates among minority populations, have led to an unprecedented level of ethnic, cultural and religious diversity in developed markets. This, along with ethnic minority consumers’ rising incomes, is profoundly impacting lifestyles and shopping behaviour within Western societies. The full report considers the impacts of this change on consumer behaviour.
Euromonitor’s Markets of the Future reports identify Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Sri Lanka as the region’s next generation of consumer markets. Although consumers in these countries have limited purchasing power, growth is strong and rapid urbanisation, poverty reduction, economic growth and the establishment of modern retailing formats are supporting sales of a wide range of consumer goods. Many big-name brands are well established in specific categories, whilst local brands continue to dominate elsewhere.
As the global female consumer market strengthens, marketers are more interested in the best way to approach this key demographic, who are already the key decision makers in some households. In Russia, for example, 53.7% of households were headed by females in 2014 and 50.6% in the USA. Women are making purchasing decisions for themselves, their husbands and their children across multiple sectors while the evolution of female labour participation is increasing household purchasing power more generally as dual-income households rise in number. Although the gender pay gap remains a global challenge (Euromonitor data reveals that the global average female disposable income per capita in 2014 was only two-thirds of the male equivalent), women are better educated, wealthier and more financially independent than previous generations. So what do women want when it comes to consumption?
With e-commerce already mature and mainstream across advanced economies, emerging countries offer some of the most attractive growth rates in the segment. Euromonitor has identified the top 5 e-commerce markets among emerging economies based on retail growth, Internet connectivity and consumer demand. They are Nigeria, Algeria, Pakistan, the UAE and India. Rising household Internet penetration on the back of lower broadband tariffs and cheaper digital devices, demand for online offerings due to improved marketing strategies by Internet retailers, and more options for consumers in terms of payment and delivery are some of the primary factors driving surging e-commerce uptake in developing countries.
In 2015 BRIC consumers will be responsible for almost one-in-five US$ spent globally. But where do their differences and similarities lie?