Category archives for Shopping

Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2014

Market Research Company Euromonitor International released today a new report identifying the top 10 consumer trends for 2014 with a focus on consumer behaviors and beliefs going into the new year.

According to the consumer trend report, there is an overwhelming desire globally to indulge in luxury goods, download more apps and document experiences visually through social media. However, consumers are also struggling with work-life balance, maintaining an eco-friendly lifestyle and eating better. These trends are sure to change the way brands appear and interact with consumers and in turn, brands will need to work harder to maintain customer loyalty.

The Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2014

1. A Narrowing Gap Between Interest and Purchase

As consumers are looking for instant gratification with various products, brands are looking for ways to harness customer impulse buying. Most recently, MasterCard announced a partnership with publisher Conde Nast in an app called ShopThis, allowing digital consumers to instantly buy items they see in a magazine ad or an item of clothing worn by an actor in a film.

2. Eating Right

Interest in eating right goes beyond the obesity statistics – many are aware that healthy eating can improve quality of life and extend longevity. Also, many are discovering food sensitivities and are looking to purchase “free-from” products. According to Euromonitor International’s 2013 Global Consumer Trends Survey, online consumers are willing to pay more for food items with specific benefits, such as added nutrients.

3. Eco-Worriers and the Blooming of Social Conscience

Consumers are increasingly looking to connect with brands, business models and products that do not associate with negative environmental or social impacts. A new lifestyle platform called SHFT is aiming to convey a new, more sustainable approach to the way we live. Created by actor Adrian Grenier and producer Peter Glatzer, SHFT believes “Sustainability should be folded into the fabric of our lives… and nudge us further towards the sustainable direction in which we’re inevitably headed.”

4. Home Base: The Importance of Home and Community

A homebody is not just a person anymore but also a state of mind as consumers are centering more of their entertainment in the home. According to Argentina’s newspaper, La Nacion, “You can get a professional chef to cook for you, host a band for an exclusive show in your living room or attend a play in your garden.” Consumers are also members of multi-generational households, due to rising costs of childcare, housing and eldercare. Multi-generational living is important in terms of purchasing, as a mix of generations will influence buying behaviors for food, holidays and technology choices.

5. Frustrations with the Lack of a Work/Life Balance

An unfulfilled work/life balance will be a widespread source of consumer stress in 2014. Many believe that mobile connectivity is blurring the work/leisure divide, creating more stress while others believe it may relieve pressure on working consumers. According to Euromonitor International’s 2013 Global Consumer Trends Survey, two-thirds of consumers say they are actively trying to simplify their current lives. While the majority of consumers make financial security concerns a priority, others are questioning personal and career satisfaction and goals, and opting for simpler living.

6. Luxury for More Consumers

In 2014, consumers are still looking to purchase luxury goods. However, more consumers want to get their hands on luxury items for less. Japanese consumers are option for more “affordable luxury” in greater numbers. For example, popular purchases include cashmere sweaters at fast-fashion retailer Uniqlo and gourmet coffee at 7-Eleven convenience stores.

7. People’s Choice

Digital technology has given people the power to react to what displeases them in minutes and enables them to become brand ambassadors, spreading the word about good buys when satisfied. Consumers can influence others purchasing habits thanks to social networks, so brands need to work harder than ever to earn consumer loyalty in 2014. Transparency and sincere apologies earn consumer respect.

8. Post-Recession Coping Strategies the New Normal

While many cash-stretched consumers are still suffering from the remains of the recession, post-recession coping strategies are about how people behave after processing the shock of living in recession. Many consumers have modified their buying behaviors and started doing things such as thrift-store shopping, relying on credit and considering collaborative consumption. Two-thirds of respondents in Euromonitor International’s 2013 Global Consumer Trends Survey agree that finding bargains while shopping is something they enjoy.

9. There’s an App for That…

With global consumers relying more than ever on mobile technology, it is no surprise apps will continue to grow in popularity in 2014. Apps are indicators of consumer interests and offer marketing opportunities for brands. New apps in the UK for ‘smarthomes’ enable users to remote control their home, such as the Hive Active Heating app from British Gas. A UK budget hotel chain, Premier Inn, recently revealed a new app allowing guests to control lighting and entertainment through their mobile phone.

10. Visual Craving

Consumers are becoming a visual audience. Those who are digitally savvy can take their pick from popular software apps such as Vine and Instagram to showcase their life pictorially. However, it is making it hard for consumers to grasp reality amongst “perfection” found in filters and editing. A blog, Filter Fakers, scours Instagram for those pretending their photos have #NoFilter. Once found, they out them for the Internet to mock. Meanwhile, another blog called Pinstrosity asks readers to submit pictures of their DIY and cooking projects gone wrong.

6 Profitable Business Ideas to Start During the Christmas Season

Christmas is near! Isn’t it? As an entrepreneur, this is the best time to plan how to maximize profit on some of the business opportunities that comes with the season. Here are 6 small but profitable Business Ideas to start during the Christmas season.

1. Design and Sell Christmas Cards

There are two ways to doing this: make beautiful handmade cards (if you are a creative artist) or buy in wholesale quantity in Eko – Dosumu or Oke Arin Market in Lagos Island. You can sell them to friends, families and business organisations. People don’t usually have that time to go shop for Christmas cards. You will be saving them the trip while also making some good profits.

2. Sell children’s toys, shoes and clothes

You would be amazed by how much parents spend on their children at Christmas. Children’s toys and clothes sell very well during the Christmas season. In fact, they are most abundant in the market during this period. This business is very easy to put up because children’s toys are quite affordable, and can be very profitable.

You can order them online or ask a relative abroad to buy them for you from sales.

Another scoop? Go to Eko-Idumota and Dosumu, you will find quality designs of beautiful princess dresses for girls and smart and stylish wears for boys in different colours, shapes and sizes.

3. Sell Christmas Items Online

If you are very active on social media platforms with a large online followership, you can make money during Christmas by selling various items for people and getting commissions from each sale. This works the other way round too. Put your items on blogs, social media platforms. Your products will reach more people than word of mouth would.

4. Sell Gift Baskets (Hampers)

Packing hampers is fun! You can use attractive plastic or hand made basket to pack your gift baskets.
Categories of Hampers:

  • Food basket
  • Fruit basket
  • Drinks basket
  • Kitchen/Electrical appliance basket
  • etc.

Pack a basket (however you want it), arrange the items beautifully in the basket, wrap with colourful Christmas-branded wrapping sheets to make it more attractive. You can sell your gift baskets to office workers and other interested customers around you.
You can also advertise on your social media platforms and BBM.

5. Organize shows

Now this is for entrepreneurs interested in making money from the entertainment industry while also having some good fun.
If you’re a musician, or you have a band, or a dance group, you can make money during the Christmas season by organizing musical concerts or featuring as guest artistes at concerts. Even if you are not an artiste yourself, you can collaborate with famous artistes and organize a musical concert aimed at celebrating Christmas in your neighbourhood, church or any other place.

6. Sell Christmas Souvenirs

Souvenirs are cherished and appreciated more in Nigeria. (Do you agree? )

Aside from spending money on food and fun activities at the end of the year at company parties, corporate organisations likes to give out souvenirs to staff, clients or customers to appreciate either services rendered or patronage. Whichever the case, Your job is to get useful and unique survenir samples to show people and they can start ordering.

Be careful though, branding suuvenirs is not as easy as one thinks. You have to mke sure there is no mistake with the press. (the brand name and other information that goes on the items).

Examples of souvenir items that people like to buy include custom-branded/Christmas-branded T-shirts, mugs, home decorations, carrier bags, face towels, pen and paper holder, calenders etc.

How to enjoy an inexpensive Christmas

Christmas is a time for giving but it can be expensive. Instead of being a simple holiday it sometimes turns into a shopping nightmare. When choosing presents for a family, it can be difficult to know what to buy without a budget being exceeded. Finding gift ideas for men or women of all ages needn’t be difficult whatsoever because there are many ways that can help with reducing how much is spent overall at Christmas, such as coupons.

Coupons can help to stay within budget

A coupon can be used for buying gifts at Christmas, such as those that are issued by grocery stores. Many grocery stores offer their customers the opportunity to earn a coupon throughout the year that can be redeemed in-store. By using a card that is swiped at the tills, a coupon can be sent to their customers. As a coupon can be valid for several months, a family can save many of them so that a Christmas budget isn’t exceeded.

Shop around

As the cost of Christmas continues to rise, shoppers should visit many shops in order to find the most cost effective presents. When looking for gift ideas for men or women, lots of presents shouldn’t be bought from one particular shop. By visiting many shops, gifts can be compared against each other. Although it can take longer to look at several shops, the cost of buying gifts and other items that are needed at Christmas i.e. food, will probably be much lower.

Why not make jewelry?

As jewelry can be very expensive, making it is an alternative. By purchasing raw materials from a craft shop, stunning jewelry can be made at a discounted price. Creating jewelry can even be a family activity. Young children can help their parents with making jewelry that can then be given to friends and loved ones.

Consider how much food is actually needed

Although it is very tempting to purchase large quantities of food when a discount is applied, it can be much cheaper to buy less food. Christmas is a time to have fun but many families across the world purchase too much food and wine. As a result, more money is spent on doing so than intended. By writing a list of the food that’s actually required, there won’t be any temptations to buy other items that aren’t needed. In fact, a percentage of the money that’s saved could be donated to a charity.

Saving on Christmas shopping

Here a pound, there a pound, here a new dress, there a new jacket, gifts for the family, festive dinner, Christmas embellishment… And you wake up one bright morning worrying about the Christmas evening and how on earth are you going to meet these costs…

Don’t worry. We will offer you some crafty ways to save on shopping over Christmas. It makes perfect sense to cut costs on food and drinks so that you save money for more meaningful purposes. But how do you do it smart?

Special offers and sales
First, it’s a public secret that one can save only on keeping an eye on the prices and promotions in the big supermarkets and shops. Special offers are a good way to buy expensive stuff that you’ve always abstained from. Ultimately, you might prove to be paying from 20 to 30% less for the basic goods and products.

Lets go shopping! Sensibly though
Second, when you do your shopping, be wise. When you do your Christmas shopping (dinner, presents, a Christmas fancy dress for a perfect look, and what not…), don’t buy things you will hardly ever use or even worse – thrown away. Don’t cook too much as if you’ve gathered with the family to celebrate the end of the world. You’ve come together to enjoy this magical time of the year, talk, dance and have fun, right?

Loyalty programmes
Some grocery chains offer loyalty programmes, such as Tesco clubcards, Sainsbury’s Nectar points and so on. Don’t hesitate to benefit from the reward systems, as using them you are entitled to either a discount or to an allotment of points that you can use in the future. If you’ve used the card over the past year, Christmas time you might turn up to be doing your shopping practically for free.

You might ask yourself is it worth spending so much time and efforts on finding the best discounts, sales and special offers. The thing is that if you go shopping with a plan, you will find the time for this. Most shops are open from very early till late in the evening. Some are open round the clock. Besides, some specialists say that looking for the best buys is a good brain activity, which boosts your imagination and brain power. A shopping tour might also help us lose a kilo or two ;-)

So, get ready for the Christmas holidays and enjoy being with your loved ones. When you draw the line, you’ll see that you’re much happier, healthier and perhaps slightly richer…

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