Where Are They Now? Everyone’s an Expert
At the beginning of the year, our expert analysts explored the Top 10 Global Consumer Trends that would have the biggest impact on consumer behaviour in 2019. Today, we are looking back at one trend in particular, “Everyone’s an Expert”, to learn how it is playing out.
Everyone’s an Expert expresses the switch in power between retailer and consumer. Whereas previously shoppers relied on a certain brand or information source to get what they wanted, now companies must constantly innovate, drive prices down and streamline and aestheticise their offerings to entice shoppers. Rather than be seduced by brands’ marketing, consumers look to each other for advice on what to buy and where, and how to get the best product for their money.
The collection, curation and publication of content – generated by the company, third parties and the user community – is a critical tool for engagement. It is becoming unthinkable for serious contenders not to offer user rankings and feedback. Personalised crowdsourcing has clearly become an established practice. You can dive deep into the crowd, find people that are similar to you to chat with and ensure that your decision is accurate.
Personalised content is becoming very powerful. A disruptor in the foodservice industry, Iwaspoisoned.com is a consumer-led website for diners/holidaymakers to report suspected food poisoning or bad food experiences. This real-time information is shared by consumers, food authorities and restaurants aiming “to make eating a safer experience”.
The Yuka app is gaining widespread popularity in France. It allows consumers to scan thousands of normal food items in supermarkets and gives an instant health rating: possible 60% score for nutritional quality, 30% for additives and 10% for organic status. The app then shows alternative food items to help consumers choose the healthiest-rated option. Retailers have noted the effect and say that a good rating can add 30% to sales and a bad rating can tank them.
Operators are responding to the trend. In February 2019, Pinterest announced its move towards a completely automated e-commerce ‘Shop the Look’ function, marshaling AI to scale across the billions of images it shows Pinners. Major social media and mobile application platforms leverage AI to remove the ‘human element’ from their e-commerce, seeking item recommendation consistency. This is particularly the case for visual-based platforms.