Changing consumer landscape and its impact

The biggest impact on the consumer landscape in recent years is the Internet. We have never lived in such fast-changing and exciting times. Consumers are embracing new technology at a rapid rate and expect retailers to keep up.

Social media makes relationships between consumer and retailer happen in real time, and on public forums with trends spreading quickly amongst like-minded people. Just a single post on social media can have an enormous impact that both increases awareness of a new fashion, and creates a wave of demand.

One of the most explosive examples of this change can be found in the notorious white and gold dress of February 2015. When a mother of the bride sent a picture of herself wearing a dress to her daughter, nobody could decide what colour it was: ‘White and Gold’ or ‘Blue and Black’. After the image went viral, it was viewed 24 million times globally. Roman Originals, the designers of the dress, saw company sales increase by 347% as consumers bought other items after visiting the retailer’s site. A testament to the impressive powers of social networking.1

Internet Usage Quick Stats

We live our lives immersed in the online world. It is difficult to imagine a world without it but sometimes taking a step back to look at the stats can take your breath away:

  • Currently there are 3,345 million Internet users worldwide. This corresponds to an internet penetration of 46.1%. Geographically, the distribution is uneven but the gap is getting smaller. The highest Internet penetration is seen in North America at 85% closely followed by Europe and Australia at 73%.

  • In terms of social media, Facebook user estimates show 1.59 billion subscribers in November 2015, and a world penetration rate of 20.9%. Similarly, Twitter users amount globally to 307 million.

  • Younger consumers can switch between media platforms up to 27 times per hour, and spend 89% of their time on media through mobile apps.

  • Currently, 17% of all global clothing sales are placed online. Within Europe, Germany has the highest proportion of online sales at 25% followed by the UK at 20% (see table).

  • According to Conlumino almost half of consumers use three or more channels to make a purchase. Multichannel strategies are driving innovation and investment. 2

Consumers are able to choose any number of ways to interact with the retailer, from brick-and-mortar stores to mobile phones to the Internet to social media. IT solutions should include e-commerce and social media features so that retailers can easily satisfy products’ requests directly from Facebook, Twitter and other channels, or simply engage with them and analyse their personal preferences.


2 Data from Dexter Intelligence using webcrawler intelligence

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