The Best of Q3 on Economies and Consumers

The third quarter saw a continuation of bad economic news from China with ensuing stock market volatility; a renewed debate about the Fed “lift-off” in the USA; and more gloomy economic news from some other major emerging markets most notably Brazil and Russia. The EU has become embroiled in a refugee crisis, putting further pressure on its founding principles. Nevertheless the recovery in the eurozone continues to build and the UK and US economies continue to strengthen. We expect private consumption to have increased over Q2 in 50 of the 63 countries which we track quarterly.

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:

Why Online Marketplaces are Conquering the Internet

Online platforms that host the e-commerce offerings of third-party sellers, such as business-to-consumer market places and online classifieds, have become major drivers of Internet economies worldwide. International majors including eBay, Airbnb, AliExpress, Amazon, MercadoLibre and Avito are able to boast some of the strongest web traffic figures, with maturing digital consumers flocking to perceived bargains and price-comparison tools on offer. The digital middleman platform has become the cash-cow of online enterprise, driving liquidity through commissions, advertising and added-value services. While dealing with the expanding and complex demands of both consumers and businesses remains a challenge, these large consumption networks are well placed to serve new Internet users.

The World’s Top Five Marketplaces by Web Traffic: May 2015

Top Five Markets by Web Traffic

Source: SimilarWeb

Eco worriers: Trend impact

The fledgling mainstreaming of green awareness impacts governments, corporations and consumer buying behaviour in market sectors like  food and drink, apparel, beauty and personal care, home care, tissue and hygiene, transport and the home.

Green priorities are very much culturally influenced. In Japan, food scares and distrust of imports makes eco-worries head for local productsl; in Brazil, where the Amazonian rainforest is under threat, consumers primarily look for sustainable products; in Germany, ethical issues such as fiar trade and free range are top of mind.

Source: Euromonitor International Annual Survey 2013

More companies are looking to authentic environmental strategies and moving beyond simple “greenwashing”, and in doing this they are carving out a path of innovative, profitable green business for others to follow.

Top 5 Emerging Markets with the Best Middle Class Potential

The rise of the middle class in emerging markets has captured the enthusiasm of global businesses, especially in the context of weak demand growth from developed economies. In targeting emerging middle class consumers, the most successful companies are those which can fully assess the middle class potential in prospective markets. For the long-term period through to 2030, Euromonitor International has identified five, which are China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and the Philippines. In these countries, the middle class is set to become a prominent consumer force thanks not only to their large size, but also their strong income growth prospects and a median income exceeding US$10,000 (in constant 2014 prices) per household in 2030.


Strategies for Consumer Market Success in China

With a background of slowing economic growth and increasing competition from domestic and global players alike, multinationals are broadening their horizons in order to succeed in China. Retail sales growth has been decelerating since 2010 and is expected to continue to do so. Recent stock market falls have dented business and consumer confidence and companies in diverse fields including Ford, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Caterpillar are voicing their concerns about the challenges to growth in China. Winning in China is now harder than ever to achieve, but there are several strategies that should be employed in order to boost the likelihood of success.

Fastest-growing Cities by Consumer Expenditure: 2014-2019

Fastest growing cities by consumer expenditure

Consumers and Fear in Africa: How are Safety and Wellbeing Concerns Driving Purchasing Habits?

Concerns over safety have an impact on every aspect of consumer decision-making in Africa, from where to live and shop, to the car one drives and the route one takes to and from home. This is because insecurity and fear are normal realities of life on the African continent, from the broader conflicts in countries like Somalia to the high crime rates in Kenya and South Africa, and terrorism in Tunisia.