Retail Trends, Consumer Insights and Behaviour

When a customer enters your store and walks the aisles, what factors do they consider when choosing products? What makes them decide on one brand over another? Are they basing their decision to buy on price? On packaging? What about sustainability? Having the answers to these questions is important for those operating within certain categories. So how can you obtain this consumer insight?

Customers are talking about what they want online, and so reviewing what they have to say is a great way to gain consumer insight. We recently reviewed a report from Crimson Hexagon, a social analysis firm, which took a look at trends in the cosmetic, grocery, beverage, and household cleaner categories. We thought we’d share some of the results. Use them to influence your own social and merchandising strategies.

Cosmetic. The trends here seem to revolve around natural, eco-friendly products from companies that do not participate in animal testing. Essential oils as cleansers and moisturizers, either on their own or as primary ingredients, also seem to be making waves. The discussion online seems to be dominated by females (76%). The most discussion is taking place between women aged 18-34 (62%), with younger women more apt to discuss cruelty-free (17 and younger) and women aged 35+ most involved in discussions about vegan cosmetics (36%).

Grocery. Parents are doing most of the talking online about food (53%), and they are talking about everything from healthy snacks, to work and school lunches, to food sensitivities. Furthermore, there seem to be two major themes as far as how brands are discussed on social media – value and quality. For example, the report found that “name brands are discussed more positively when it comes to quality, and are considered superior in taste. Generic or ‘off’ brands, though favorable in terms of value, are discussed more negatively as being disappointing when it comes to taste. Kids, specifically, frequently take to social to criticize generic brands for their poor taste and texture.” However, with parents doing most of the shopping, they’re often willing to sacrifice for the sake of value, and when the quality is the same, price usually wins.

Beverage. Coffee, according to the report, is the most talked about beverage on social media (30%), with soft drinks and milk sharing a fair portion (22% and 21%), followed by tea and juice. Digging deeper, the study broke down the discussions into identifiable categories, including affordability, taste, and natural and organic. For men, affordability seemed to be a major factor in their purchasing decisions (74%), and for women the trend was more towards natural and organic (67%).

Household cleaners. The major trends driving conversations about household cleaners are natural homemade cleaners, unpleasant cleaner smell, and cleaning up after kids. The chemicals used and the health impacts were also important. The report found that consumers do not hesitate to share their thoughts, negative or positive, about cleaners, and that social seems to be the go-to for airing grievances and finding out what others are saying.

In the CPG industry, it is no longer possible to ignore the impacts of social media. Nor should you want to. As this report demonstrates, there is a lot to be learned from analyzing what your consumers are saying. Use it to your advantage.

You can read the report in full here:

To get started on a retail plan that hits all the targets, one based on valuable consumer insights, get in touch with Storesupport today by calling 1-877-421-5081.


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