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3 Must-Know Consumer Behaviour Trends Shaping This Summer’s Retail Scene

Travellers are savvier, influencers are evolving, and fashion meets function. Discover how to win over summer shoppers with these must-know consumer trends.

Written by

Caroline McQueen ACIM

what's in store

Last summer, I was totally smitten with this amazing Italian psychology professor I met online. Ridiculously smart, adventurous, and the kind of guy who whipped up homemade sourdough bread like it was nothing – hello, Scorpio! 

Anyway, he jets off to a family wedding on the Amalfi Coast and calls me one night, completely down. Turns out, there weren’t any electric car or scooter rentals available, so he felt guilty about renting a gas-guzzling Vespa. Here I was, picturing romantic sunset strolls, and he was stressing about his carbon footprint!

This might sound funny, but it perfectly illustrates a major shift in consumer behaviour. There’s now a major focus on sustainability that goes beyond just a passing trend. And it’s not just about eco-warriors like my Italian beau. Today’s consumers, across all demographics, are seeking brands that align with their values, from environmental consciousness to authenticity.

This shift in consumption is one no fashion or beauty brand can afford to ignore. We’re seeing a rise in “conscious consumerism,” with people prioritising brands using recycled materials, eco-friendly packaging, and championing social responsibility. At the same time, the influencer landscape is undergoing a transformation. Micro-influencers are gaining traction for their genuine personalities and relatable content. And let’s not forget the blurring of lines between function and fashion – think comfy yet stylish clothes that transition seamlessly from city streets to weekend adventures.

But listen, I get it. Keeping up with these trends can be challenging, especially with rising customer acquisition costs and fierce competition. In this article, we’ll explore these three key consumer trends shaping 2024. Once you understand them, we’ll show you how to leverage these insights to create a winning brand strategy that resonates with today’s savvy shoppers. Let’s dive in and get you ready to crush your summer retail goals.

Trend 1: Travel Mode – The Rise of the Savvy, Sustainable Traveler 

Photo Of Woman Standing On Foot Bridge
Source: Pexels (Retha Ferguson)

Summer 2024 is shaping up to be a travel bonanza. After years of pandemic restrictions, consumers are itching to explore new destinations and soak up the sunshine (responsibly, of course). But this travel boom comes with a twist: today’s adventurers are a discerning bunch. They’re not just seeking picture-perfect beaches and bustling cityscapes – they’re also prioritising sustainable practices and experiences that align with their values. 

This shift in consumer behaviour presents a golden opportunity for fashion and beauty brands to stand out. Understanding tourism in 2024 allows you to tailor offerings and marketing strategies to resonate with this eco-conscious, experience-driven audience.

Travel Retail Takes Flight: Aligning with Evolving Consumer Behaviour

Get ready for takeoff! Travel retail is experiencing a surge in consumer demand as wanderlust takes hold after years of restrictions. Pent-up demand is fueling a travel boom, with projections exceeding pre-pandemic spending levels in 2024. However, today’s travellers are a discerning bunch, with their consumer behaviour reflecting a shift in priorities. Sustainability, unique experiences, and destinations that resonate with their values are at the forefront of their travel decisions. This evolving landscape presents a unique opportunity for fashion and beauty brands to cater to these changing preferences.

Consumer behaviour in the travel sphere is also undergoing a transformation. While major cities remain popular, there’s a growing desire for off-the-beaten-path adventures. “Set-jetting” to locations inspired by pop culture or seeking hidden historical gems is becoming trendy. And the good news? Shopping remains a key part of the travel experience! The vast majority of global travellers plan to indulge in retail therapy while on vacation, solidifying travel retail as a lucrative market for brands specialising in resort wear and travel essentials.

The travel retail landscape itself is adapting to this evolving consumer behaviour. Brands are strategically expanding their reach beyond traditional airport hubs, setting up shop in emerging travel hotspots. Pop-up experiences are gaining traction, offering a chance to connect with travellers in specific locations and generate excitement around the brand. Additionally, collaborations with travel and hospitality brands are creating unique shopping experiences for travellers, such as hotel-based pop-up closets or branded cafes.

So, the question remains: how can you leverage this booming market, informed by the latest trends in consumer behaviour?

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How to Capture the Travel Retail Boom

1. Capturing Travelers On the Go: Aligning Distribution with Evolving Consumer Behaviour

The travel landscape is no longer confined to major cities. A shift in consumer behaviour sees savvy travellers venturing beyond traditional destinations, prompting brands to rethink their distribution strategies. Here’s how you can effectively reach these “on-the-go” consumers:

  • Embrace Pop-Up Experiences: Capitalise on the trend of pop-up retail activations in airports, train stations, or popular tourist hotspots. These temporary locations create a sense of excitement and cater to the time-conscious traveller.
  • Partner with Travel Influencers: Identify influencers whose content aligns with the travel experiences your brand reflects. Collaborations on social media campaigns or pop-up events can be highly effective in reaching a targeted audience of adventurous consumers with specific travel interests.
  • Optimise Your Ecommerce Platform for Travel: Offer features that cater specifically to travellers to demonstrate an understanding of consumer behaviour. These include easy international shipping options, pre-order options for in-destination pick-up at hotels or resorts, and streamlined returns processes to address potential post-travel concerns.

2. Emphasise Sustainability: Align Your Brand with Eco-Conscious Values

Today’s travellers are increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of their choices. Here’s how you can showcase your brand’s commitment to sustainability:

  • Highlight Sustainable Materials and Practices: Communicate clearly about the use of eco-friendly materials like organic cotton or recycled plastics in your products. Emphasise sustainable production processes and certifications where relevant.
  • Support Local and Fair Trade: Partner with artisans and manufacturers in travel destinations, showcasing the unique local heritage and supporting responsible production practices.
  • Offer Sustainable Travel Essentials: Develop a line of travel-ready products made with sustainable materials, like reusable water bottles, packable bags, or eco-friendly toiletries.
  • Showcase Sustainability Efforts in Marketing: Integrate your sustainability story into your marketing messaging. Partner with eco-conscious travel bloggers or influencers to amplify reach and build trust with eco-aware consumers.

By implementing these strategies, you can position your brand as a leader in the travel retail landscape, one that understands and caters to the evolving consumer behaviour of today’s traveller. These discerning explorers of 2024 are seeking more than just souvenirs; they crave connections with brands that resonate with their values and seamlessly enhance their travel experiences. By demonstrating an awareness of this shift in consumer behaviour, you can build lasting customer loyalty and capture a lucrative segment of the travel retail market.

Trend 2: The New Face of Influence: Partnering for Authenticity

Young woman taking a selfie
Source: Pexels (Blue Bird)

Forget the filtered feeds and staged shots. A shift in consumer behaviour is driving a dramatic transformation in the influencer landscape. Consumers are craving authenticity and real connections, and a new wave of creators is stepping up to fill the void. These “micro-influencers” might not have millions of followers, but their genuine personalities and relatable content are capturing hearts and minds. This evolution in consumer behaviour presents a golden opportunity for fashion and beauty brands to connect with a more engaged and authentic audience. Let’s dive into the rise of micro-influencers and explore how brands can leverage this trend to stand out in a crowded market.

A Shift in Consumer Behaviour Demands an Influencer Marketing Makeover

The influencer marketing playbook needs a refresh to adapt to a changing landscape driven by consumer behaviour. Consumers are increasingly weary of overly staged content and inauthentic brand partnerships. A 2024 BoF-McKinsey State of Fashion Consumer Survey underscores this shift, revealing that 68% of respondents feel overwhelmed by sponsored content, and 65% reported relying less on fashion influencers compared to previous years.

This shift in consumer behaviour is fueled by a desire for genuine connections and relatable personalities. Platforms like TikTok, with its focus on organic reach and user engagement, have become breeding grounds for a new wave of creators – the micro-influencers. These individuals, often with smaller but highly engaged followings, prioritise authenticity and quirky humour over perfectly polished aesthetics. Their content resonates with viewers on a deeper level, fostering trust and loyalty in a way that traditional influencer marketing often struggles to achieve.

Traditional influencer marketing, with its focus on mega-influencers and picture-perfect campaigns, is simply no longer enough. Brands need to adapt to this evolving landscape and embrace the power of authenticity. By partnering with micro-influencers who align with their brand values, brands can connect with a more engaged audience and create genuine connections that resonate in today’s social media landscape.

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The Micro-Influencer Revolution: Aligning Influencer Marketing with Evolving Consumer Behaviour

The rise of micro-influencers presents a golden opportunity for brands to revamp their influencer marketing strategies and cater to evolving consumer behaviour. Here are some key tips to keep in mind:

1. Prioritise Authenticity Over Reach 

Shift your focus from sheer follower count to identifying creators who embody your brand values and resonate deeply with your target audience. Look for individuals who create genuine content that aligns with your brand identity, fostering trust and connection with viewers.

2. Embrace New Platforms

Explore platforms like TikTok, which cater to organic reach and user engagement. These platforms are fertile ground for discovering micro-influencers with passionate communities built on authenticity, precisely what today’s consumers crave.

3. Think Beyond Product Placement

Move beyond a simplistic product placement model. Develop creative campaign concepts that go beyond simply showcasing products. Partner with micro-influencers to co-create content that entertains, educates or inspires your target audience in a way that feels organic and authentic.

4. Empower Creativity

Give micro-influencers some creative control to ensure their content remains authentic and resonates with their existing audience. Consumers today can spot forced partnerships a mile away. Trusting micro-influencers with creative freedom allows them to deliver content that feels genuine and resonates on a deeper level.

5. Focus on Long-Term Partnerships

Building genuine connections takes time. Consider establishing long-term partnerships with micro-influencers who can become brand advocates and storytellers. This allows for a deeper connection to develop between the influencer and the audience, fostering trust and loyalty.

6. Measure Engagement Over Vanity Metrics 

Don’t get caught up in follower count! Track key metrics that reflect genuine audience engagement, such as comment rates, shares, and click-through rates. These metrics provide a much clearer picture of the effectiveness of your micro-influencer partnerships in today’s landscape shaped by consumer behaviour.

By embracing these tips, you can tap into the power of authenticity and leverage the rise of micro-influencers to create impactful and engaging influencer marketing campaigns that resonate with today’s discerning consumers.

Trend 3: The Outdoors Reinvented. How “Gorpcore” Reflects a Shift in Consumer Behaviour

A$AP Rocky. Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Gone are the days of bulky backpacks and neon windbreakers being the sole domain of outdoor enthusiasts. A fascinating shift in consumer behaviour is transforming the way we view outdoor apparel. Fueled by a love for nature and a desire for comfort that transcends the hiking trail, the lines between function and style are blurring more than ever before. Technical outdoor wear is venturing beyond the mountain peaks and into everyday life, while fashion brands are embracing functionality in exciting new ways. This trend, dubbed “Gorpcore,” presents a unique opportunity for brands to tap into a growing market of consumers who value both performance and style. Let’s delve deeper into this exciting trend and explore how brands can leverage it to create innovative and appealing products that resonate with today’s evolving consumer.

From Hiking Trails to City Streets: How Gorpcore is reshaping summer style.

The pandemic ignited a passion for outdoor activities, and this enthusiasm is spilling over into the world of fashion in a way that reflects a significant shift in consumer behaviour. Technical outdoor wear, once relegated to mountain trails and camping trips, is finding a new home on city streets and in everyday wardrobes. This new athleisure style transcends a mere aesthetic shift; it represents a deeper desire for functionality and comfort that seamlessly integrates with everyday life.

A Reflection of Changing Consumer Needs

Several factors are driving this movement. A renewed focus on health and wellness has many consumers seeking comfortable, performance-driven clothing for everything from daily walks to weekend adventures. Consumer behaviour is reflecting a prioritisation of practicality, with a demand for clothing that transitions seamlessly between activity and everyday wear. Second, the popularity of gorpcore has normalised the outdoor aesthetic. Luxury brands have even entered the fray, collaborating with outdoor specialists on performance-influenced footwear and mountain-inspired apparel. Even mid-tier brands like H&M and Oysho are offering water-resistant parkas and hiking boots, reflecting the mainstream appeal of outdoor-inspired clothing.

However, the trend is evolving beyond the boldness of gorpcore. As consumer preferences shift, a more subtle “quiet outdoor” aesthetic is emerging. Think minimalist, logo-free technical garments that prioritise function for everyday wear. Brands like Arc’teryx are catering to this trend with their sub-brand Veilance, offering a sophisticated take on outdoor apparel. This focus on functionality extends to footwear as well. Outdoor-style shoes from brands like Salomon and On are experiencing a surge in popularity, particularly those that seamlessly blend performance features with everyday style. The lines between the gym, the trail, and the city sidewalk are becoming increasingly blurred, reflecting a consumer behaviour that prioritises a fusion of practicality and style.

Capitalising on Gorpcore: Aligning Products with Evolving Consumer Behaviour

The gorpcore trend presents a golden opportunity for brands to tap into a new wave of style-conscious consumers who prioritise both function and fashion. Here are some key tips to consider keeping consumer behaviour at the forefront:

  • Lifestyle Brands Go Technical. Lifestyle brands can elevate their offerings by incorporating technical elements like water-resistant materials, breathable fabrics, and performance features. Think joggers with hidden zip pockets, quick-drying tees, or stylish windbreakers that offer unexpected functionality.
  • Technical Brands Get Fashionable. Outdoor brands, it’s time to expand your horizons. Embrace fashion-forward design elements to broaden your appeal. Think about experimenting with colour palettes and exploring new silhouettes. Collaborations with fashion designers can help you create unique and stylish pieces—all while maintaining the technical prowess your brand is known for. This approach aligns with the consumer behaviour of wanting clothing that seamlessly transitions between cityscapes and outdoor adventures.
  • Embrace the Gorpcore Spirit for Summer Travel. While gorpcore might be evolving towards a more subtle aesthetic, there’s still room for playful injections of this trend, particularly for summer travel collections. Think statement sandals with hiking-inspired details, lightweight parkas with a touch of colour, or comfortable cargo pants with a modern twist. These pieces cater to travellers seeking both style and practicality for their summer adventures.

Cultivating a Strong Brand Experience

The outdoor fashion landscape is becoming increasingly crowded. To stand out, brands need to cultivate a strong and authentic brand experience that resonates with today’s consumer behaviour. Today’s consumers are looking for clothing that seamlessly transitions from city streets to nature trails, all while maintaining a sense of style and individuality. By understanding these evolving needs, brands can create innovative products that resonate with the new wave of outdoor enthusiasts.

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Summer Retail Revolution: Aligning with Evolving Consumer Behaviour

This summer, get ready for a retail revolution fueled by a shift in consumer behaviour. Get ready for a summer defined by comfort, authenticity, and experiences. Here’s why:

  • Micro-influencers are taking centre stage, offering a refreshing dose of authenticity in marketing.
  • The “Outdoors Reinvented” trend is all about stylish yet functional clothing, perfect for everyday adventures.
  • Consumers are craving relatable content and experiences that connect with them on a deeper level.

Summer retail is ripe for reinvention. Understanding and catering to evolving customer preferences is key. These trends offer a golden opportunity to connect with them on a deeper level. But we know you wear many hats, and keeping pace with these trends can be a challenge.

That’s where Impulsiv comes in. We’re trend detectives with a passion for helping brands thrive in

That’s where Impulsiv comes in. We’re trend detectives with a passion for helping brands thrive in today’s dynamic retail landscape. We can help you leverage these insights to craft a winning summer strategy that is aligned with the latest shifts in consumer behaviour. 

Struggling to find the perfect micro-influencer? We can help you identify a partner whose voice resonates with your target audience and amplifies your brand message. Need an “Outdoors Reinvented” collection that’s both stylish and practical? We can guide you in developing products that speak to your customer’s desire for comfort and functionality. Ultimately, we’ll help you create a summer retail strategy that positions your brand for success.

Ready to make a splash this summer? Contact Impulsiv today for a free consultation. Discover how we can help you achieve summer retail success based on the latest trends in consumer behaviour.

caroline-mcqueen-digital-strategist
Meet the author
Caroline McQueen ACIM
I help ambitious founders launch and scale unforgettable brands that effortlessly attract customers around the web and offline — without blowing the budget on social ads (Zuck that!) Off the clock, I enjoy Netflix marathons, French lessons, and exploring my local farmer’s market for culinary adventures.
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