Trends of consumer behavior in Russia and over the world

What trends in consumer behavior will be relevant in 2024?

Before purchasing any goods or services, the consumers make a choice based on their needs, financial capabilities, values and other factors. How consumer behavior will change in 2024 and what consumer trends business should pay attention to will be discussed in this article.

Consumer trends
Consumer trends

A smart approach to spending

Economic difficulties, uncertainty, and feelings of anxiety are forcing consumers to take a more reasonable approach to their spending: think through the budget, plan purchases, and give up unnecessary expense items. According to a PwC global study conducted in February 2023, 96% of consumers planned to switch to cost savings within six months.

In the Russian market, the trend towards reasonable consumption actually began to develop after the 2008 crisis. Then discounted goods began to be perceived by Russians as a profitable purchase of something high-quality and necessary, but at a lower price. And after 2014, price became a key factor when choosing products. Today, Russian citizens are reducing their spending and trying to extend the life of the things they have. First of all, consumers are cutting back on spending on luxury goods, technological innovations, leisure, entertainment and redistributing budgets in favor of basic products used every day.

However, according to experts, avoiding expensive purchases is unlikely to lead people to stop buying goods and services that can make them happy during difficult times. In particular, delicious food remains one of the main ways to combat stress among Russians.

Shopping at sales and looking for low prices

Reasonable consumption and budget reduction lead to the fact that shopping on sales becomes one of the key strategies of consumer behavior. According to the RBC Trends project, about 20% of Russians purchase goods only at sales. At the same time, consumers buy at discounts not only expensive products, such as appliances, but also household products for the home and other things that can meet actual needs.

According to the global report The Future Shopper Report 2023, for 56% of consumers from around the world, price is the main factor when choosing a product or service, and 46% are ready to refuse to purchase on a specific site if they see that the same thing is cheaper elsewhere. At the same time, as mentioned above, people do not want to give up what they really want, so they look for the best deals in different sales channels and in different market segments. In connection with this, a new term even appeared - Value Hackers.

As for Russians, according to a NielsenIQ survey, 61% choose stores with low prices, 41% compare products offline and online in search of cheaper products, and 48% say they can order FMCG goods cheaper online than in physical stores.

Growing popularity of marketplaces

Convenience and the opportunity to purchase goods at a lower price are attracting more and more consumers to marketplaces. Low prices, fast delivery and a wide range are key factors in the popularity of global trading platforms such as Amazon, Alibaba and eBay.

A study by the analytical company DataInsight suggests that in the second quarter of 2022, sales volume on Russian marketplaces amounted to more than 400 million orders and over 500 billion rubles. Compared to the same period in 2021, the number of orders increased by 80%, and the increase in cash volume reached 73%. The increase in sales volume is also facilitated by the growth of the network of delivery points, which today are literally within walking distance of the consumer’s daily routes. According to Easy Commerce data, the share of the monthly audience of marketplaces in e-commerce reaches 73%, and the share of orders reaches 77% of all e-commerce orders. In addition, over 50% of marketplace users are a unique audience that cannot be reached using classic media.

At the same time, analysts note that when making purchases online, consumers demonstrate the same habits as when shopping in offline stores. It is important for people to be able to choose and pay only for that thing that completely satisfies them. Experts call food products, clothing and consumer electronics to be the leaders in sales on marketplaces in Russia.

Interest in local

Due to global uncertainty, consumers are increasingly interested in local businesses. Local products seem more environmentally friendly, safe and attractive in terms of price and quality, and local brands seem more transparent.

In Russia, the development of this trend is also influenced by the crisis, which stimulates import and brand substitution. According to NielsenIQ, amid changes in assortment, 65% of consumers have noticed the appearance of more Russian products on store shelves, and 29% are trying to choose products that are made in Russia. Buyers are looking for alternatives to outdated brands, but so far they are not ready to pay as much for new brands as for established brands with a long history.

Attention to ecology

Companies' environmental awareness and product sustainability continue to be important factors for consumers in many parts of the world when making purchasing decisions. 52% of people have changed their consumption habits due to concerns about global warming and the environment.

It would seem that in Russia this trend is no longer so relevant and is gradually fading away. Russians do not have a sense of increasing severity of problems in the environmental sphere, and the majority do not believe that the situation is getting worse. However, the ESG agenda is of great importance for young parents. Of course, when savings come first, not everyone is able to maintain environmentally friendly consumption. But when it comes to the category of goods for children, Russian mothers and fathers under the age of 35 strive to purchase safe and natural products, as well as clothes and toys made from eco-friendly materials. According to research company Ipsos, 68% of Russians agree that if they do not quickly change their habits, an environmental disaster will occur. At the same time, 49% were ready to change their habits in order to influence the environment for the better in 2021, and in 2023 - already 43%.

Taking care of physical and mental health

Over the past four years, the concept of wellness has undergone a major transformation and expanded beyond just physical health. Today, 76% of people in the world say that mental and physical health are equally important. As for Russians, for 89% of them it is important to take care of their physical condition, and 65% are also ready to pay attention to mental well-being. The issue of psycho-emotional health is more acute for women (70%) than for men (58%).

Growing external psychological pressure also makes consumers want to slow down. 73% of Ipsos global survey participants would like to slow down the pace of life. In Russia this figure was 58%. This need to slow down is driving people's interest in simple, minimalistic and feel-good products.

Consumer behavior
Consumer behavior

Thus, global instability has greatly influenced the change in consumer habits in recent years. These trends in consumer behavior did not appear today, but their manifestation will be especially noticeable in 2024. Buyers in Russia and all over the world are becoming more conscious and thriftier, increasingly purchasing goods on marketplaces and sales, showing interest in local products and eco-friendly products, and caring more not only about their physical but also psychological well-being.

You can learn more about trends in consumer behavior and present your products, which are relevant and necessary in 2024 for wholesalers, retailers and HoReCa representatives at the 33rd International Autumn Food and Drink Exhibition WorldFood Moscow. The WorldFood Moscow 2024 exhibition will take place on September 17–20 at Crocus Expo IEC (Pavilion 3).