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Industry news: WGSN Whitepaper

Future Consumer 2022

Customers of today is not the same customers as three months ago. Covid-19 has literally changed the world overnight and forced society to slow down. What is the mood amongst consumers? What will it be like in two years? How can the fashion industry react to the changes? A study from trend specialist WGSN gives answers.

May 2020

Stores are gradually reopening. But will customers return? The Corona crisis has sped up changes in consumer sentiment and is forcing the fashion industry to rethink its strategies. In its Whitepaper "The Future Customer 2022", British trend forecasting company WGSN outlines consumer sentiments, identifies three consumer profiles and provides the tools to tackle the changes ahead. WGSN calls the four major sentiments influencing consumers’ mindsets “Fear”, “Desynchronised Society”, “Equitable Resilience” and “Radical Optimism”. The customers of the future are mapped out as “Stabilisers”, who accept their conditions as they are, “Settlers”, who strive for solidity and sustainability and “The New Optimists”, who great life’s challenges with fierce optimism.

The Stabilisers, mainly Millennials and the generation X are prioritising stability and acceptance in reaction to feelings of chronic uncertainty. Instead of trying to optimise every aspect of their lives they are now focusing on realistic goals and dedicate time and resources on the truly important aspects that need to change. In terms of retail this means that Stabilisers desire a decluttered shopping experience with select important products. They want to feel calm and good while shopping, which can be achieved for instance by designing stores with a simple layout and low shelving. The Settlers are the former workaholics born between 1965 and 1980, who aspire to a better work-life balance, think locally and attach great importance to sustainability. They will be the future customers of companies, which offer special limited archive collections and products made from leftover and recycled fabrics. Sustainability is also on the minds of The new Optimists, who stand up for their beliefs, but do so by spreading joy, not negativity. These consumers of the generation Z can be won over by livestream events and augmented and virtual reality shopping experiences.

How can the fashion industry do business successfully in the future? Whether it is a brick-and-mortar store or online, the product offer should be decluttered and well-chosen. Simplicity matters. Livestream events and conversational commerce will be on the winners’ list as well as platforms that offer group deals and bundle buys. Augmented and virtual reality should be focused less on marketing than on features like in-home try-ons.


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Photo: Becca McHaffie


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