Do you want to start a business but lack ideas? Here’s the business creation cheat sheet, a compendium of consumer trends, fertile ground for inspiration and potential business. The global Covid pandemic has changed our lifestyle and values. Sometimes radical changes, as the international institute Euromonitor deciphers in its 2022 annual report on the 10 consumer trends “Top 10 global consumer trends 2022”.
From self-realization to a need for ever greener spaces, from climate awareness to the metaverse movement, from the fear of missing out to the digitization of seniors, from self-esteem to control over one’s finances or the generalization of used to a divided return to the pre-pandemic social life… Overview of the different paths with Alison Angus, co-author of the report.
#1. To change life
“We live in a once-in-a-generation moment. The pandemic and lockdown have revealed our deep desires. I want to change jobs, I want to move to the countryside, I want to start painting, I want to create my own business… Many have been considering these changes for a long time. They are launching now,” says Alison Angus. Business ideas flourish on this theme of renewal or exploration.
Start-up Chance, for example, promotes professional mobility thanks to its digital tool open to all, which establishes a complete skills assessment including personal aspirations. The young company Wecandoo is a booking platform for artisan workshops. She offers her customers the opportunity to discover all kinds of know-how, from making her own mozzarella to making her silver wedding ring.
#2. Don’t miss anything without waiting
With the recovery, the consumer is faced with rising raw material costs and disruptions in supply chains. In 2022, he would like to ensure priority access to goods and services, whether through technology, a premium subscription, cheaper alternative solutions or direct purchase from the manufacturer. “Business ideas that directly connect producers with consumers are interesting, like these farms that deliver locally to the customer’s door,” Alison Angus cites as an example.
Many start-ups have emerged recently to meet this new demand, such as the fresh produce marketplace Pourdebon or the home delivery platform for products that come directly from the Vite mon marché farm.
#3. Mitigate global warming
Green activism and the choice of a sustainable lifestyle are trends that are now well established over time. “There are two ways to meet this expectation, either by making products with a low carbon footprint or by helping consumers make environmentally wise choices. For example, the Swedish food brand Felix sets the price of its products according to their CO2 emissions” , Alison Angus illustrates.
The young French company 900.care of refillable beauty and hygiene products is keeping its promise to reduce the ecological footprint by reducing packaging. Another initiative is Greenly, whose free application calculates the carbon footprint of your personal expenses, followed in 2020 by a software platform for SMEs.
#4. Stay home if you want
“To return to pre-pandemic lifestyle habits, consumers will take two types of paths: the vaccinated, those who are ready to take risks, will favor face-to-face; others will remain concerned and cautious and prefer distance. Consumers will want to socialize , but demands a flexible approach,” argues Alison Angus. Brands will therefore need to mix up their marketing strategies. It is up to the consumer to choose whether they want in-store, consume on-site, choose click&collect, for online shopping, have it delivered to their home personally or to a pick-up point etc. Virtual events and remote work will coexist with face-to-face engagements.
Online or on-site lessons, it’s up to you… Created on the eve of the first confinement, the start-up Dancefloor first revised its ambition to open a place dedicated to dance. She preferred to start with an online video course platform. In 2021, the company led by entrepreneur Rachel Vanier returned to its initial project and opened its first Dancefloor Paris dance studio.
#5. Enter the matrix
The Matrix is no longer science fiction! The Metaverse movement is spreading to social networks, online gaming and e-commerce. Immersive environments will contribute to product sales through virtual reality. Brands have understood this, such as Hyundai, which has just announced its Metamobility concept. “To increase their influence, brands will rely on augmented reality. Consumers will define their avatars to explore virtual worlds,” predicts Alison Angus.
In France, the startup created by Soraya Jaber, Opuscope, is a pioneer. It offers a turnkey tool Minsar to create immersive content, for companies that want to develop their communication in virtual reality.
#6. Connecting seniors
During the health crisis, older consumers were forced to turn to online sales and familiarize themselves with digital services. “They represent a great opportunity for development, provided that existing technologies are simplified, for example by designing the same access module regardless of media, smartphone, online page or application. The range of possibilities is vast: applications for health, financial monitoring, socialization, travel or learning, etc.,” explains Alison Angus. The world population over 60 is expected to grow by 65% between 2021 and 2040 to reach two billion people. A market windfall according to Euromonitor.
The start-up Lumeen, for example, provides a virtual reality solution to soothe and stimulate anxious residents of nursing homes. As for the PapyHappy platform, it helps the elderly find housing that suits their needs.
#7. love each other as we are
Be indulgent with yourself, accept yourself as you are, seek your physical, emotional or spiritual well-being… “Self-care and inclusion are sources of happiness for consumers in 2022. Any product or personal experience that will enhance the feeling of being a better version of yourself, of being in your place, in harmony, is in high demand. Brands need to connect emotionally with consumers,” says Alison Angus.
CBD’s success in France stems from this trend towards self-care. Rainbow, a French “cannabis technology”, markets two well-being brands based on CBD: Kaya, anti-stress supplements and Peace&Skin, cosmetics. It is present in the “everyday health” corners of Monoprix.
#8. E-manage your money
The democratization of the management of one’s financial assets is a fundamental trend, reinforced by the crisis and the surplus savings of the richest households. Consumers have turned to applications or turnkey solutions to make investments. More confident in technology, they become autonomous in managing their finances. “Fintechs have a future ahead of them if they offer user-friendly tools and clear financial products. Transparency is the key word,” says Alison Angus.
The start-up Finary has given traditional tools a facelift. It has developed a web platform and wealth management application capable of suggesting users how to optimize their asset portfolios.
#9. Renovate the other hand
Consumers are changing their state of mind, they no longer want to own a good, but to experience it. “The new generations have changed the way we look at a used product, which until then was perceived as a by-product. On the contrary, they are looking for unique second-hand items or to rent for an apartment. Resale apps and vintage shops have a bright future ahead of them,” analyzes Alison Angus. The expert also highlights the recent success of “repair cafes”, where “you wear your defective items, clothes or small household appliances and, between two cups of coffee, you are taught how to repair them”.
The designer of Les Yeux d’Elsa jewelry, Elsa Robichez, has opened a costume jewelry repair service to meet the demand of her customers. Patatam, for its part, expands its service from private individuals to large retailers. Established in 2013, the French start-up specializing in the purchase and sale of used clothing has become a leader in Europe in second-hand sales.
#10. Live green, in the countryside or on your balcony
The health crisis has accelerated the urban exodus of working people to the countryside in their search for a better quality of life. But it has also increased the demand for green areas in the city. “Consumers want the best of both worlds. E-distribution should therefore reach these neo-rural areas. Conversely, rooftop gardens, beehives, indoor crops or on the balcony are promising niches in the city,” explains Alison Angus.
Examples of this trend: Futura Gaïa, which grows its aromatic herbs, salads or tomatoes vertically, or Myfood, which offers connected greenhouses for rent, are part of this trend for greener urban environments. At the same time, Comptoir de Campagne revitalizes rural areas that lack shops.