Consumers' Shopping Habits Will Spell Disaster For Companies And Brands That Do Not Adapt

Consumers' Shopping Habits Will Spell Disaster For Companies And Brands That Do Not Adapt

It's not just Millennials who are changing their habits, but numerous factors added together have affected consumer spending habits for over a decade.


Companies today are realizing they will have to compete for the loyalty of their customers like never before. With changing behaviors and demographics, many longstanding companies have seen plummeting sales and a drop in consumer loyalty. This isn't just a Millennial trend, but older shoppers who once were brand loyal, are also changing their habits.

The 2008 recession has had lasting effects on shoppers and changed their buying habits. It's more common now to hear someone exclaim they aren't a brand person. Be it because store-brand goods are cheaper, or they simply don't have a strong bond with one brand or consumer-good item. This signals bad news for established brands.

The "holy grail" moment of shopping has now been lost as people turn away from brand loyalty and to the Internet.

This first moment of truth used to be something established brands could rely on: loyal customers choosing their products or new customers who were familiar with the brand name and didn't look elsewhere.

Companies have adjusted their business models or their products to appeal to a new mindset developed after the 2008 recession. For large companies like Campbell and Unilever this meant hiring new CEOs, and for Proctor & Gamble, this meant company restructuring. A report in 2015 already indicated that 90 percent of top consumer-goods brands had lost significant market share.

To understand all these changes taking place, we must understand how customers came to change their habits.

Young, impressionable workers starting to build their finances and shopping habits are prime targets for classic consumer-goods companies, but in recent years, have become harder to win over.

Most Americans today have similar shopping habits. This change distressed established brands who relied on loyal customers. According to David Luttenberger of research firm Mintel, "consumers today buy what performs for them" because "they are much less brand loyal" and are "driven by performance, convenience, by price." These three factors in one have shifted consumer habits. When canned soup was once a big seller, people now opt for quicker options. When once the softest brand-name toilet-paper won out, store-brand and equally soft, toilet-paper wins out today.

Today's shift in consumer shopping habits is no different than what happened after the Great Recession, only it is lasting longer and putting a strain on established brands.

Even as the economy improved after the Great Recession, many Americans favored cheaper, off-brand products. Consumers today may be dealing with the after-effects of the 2008 recession and have stuck with cheaper products, realizing there was no need to return their loyalty to established brands.

Another major factor shifting consumer buying behaviors is the Internet. Before, brands were only discoverable if they had the money for TV advertising and had the ability to promote their products in stores at the optimal height: at eye-level to hook every shopper onto their brand. Wall Street has even begun to show caution about consumer brands as they lose their prominence.

Companies today need to adapt, because "like in the music industry, very few artists can continue being successful…it is a big challenge to reinvent yourself over and over again" as Americus Reed, professors at the University of Pennsylvania remarked about the current trend.

Popular Right Now

5 Makeup Tips You Should Know

A small change in your daily makeup routine can make all the difference.

Makeup is fun and a lot of us wear it practically every day. The problem with that is sometimes we may spend years applying our makeup in the same incorrect way. Makeup should be used to enhance our features, and applying makeup in the wrong way can have a reverse effect. The five tips below will hopefully help guide you in perfecting your makeup skills and choosing what techniques best suit your face features.

1. Color correcting makeup

Color correcting cream, liquid, or primer aims to cover any discoloration or blotchiness which appears on the face. For example, color correctors that are green are used to reduce redness, whereas orange color correctors combat dark circles under the eyes. Palettes such as the Correct & Perfect All-In-One Color Correcting Palette by Stila contains several different colors, all of which are useful for neutralizing face discolorations.

2. Defining eyebrows

We're all aware of how trendy perfect eyebrows are these days, and in my opinion, they never need to go out of style. Eyebrows are an important aspect of any makeup look, especially for an "everyday look." You don't have to draw on your eyebrows or have them perfectly plucked, but filling your brows in makes a world of difference. Start by combing out the brow, then carefully and tactfully filling them in with a brow cream, using a small brush, or an eyebrow pencil. Finish by combing them out with an eyebrow brush to make sure the product is even and clean. A popular and highly acclaimed brow product is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade.

3. Nose contour

Nose contour may seem trivial, but it really does make a difference. By applying dark contour powder or cream to the sides of your nose, blending up to the brow, and a light cream or shimmer powder to the slope and tip of the nose, you can create the illusion that your nose is either slimmer or wider than it actually is. Because the nose is in the middle of the face, it can easily add or take away from your overall makeup look depending on how and if you contour it.

4. Eye makeup according to eye shape

The eyes are the most prominent part of any makeup look. Applying eyeshadow and eyeliner in a way that compliments your eye shape can greatly alter how big your eyes look and whether you look awake or tired. It's helpful to use an eye shape chart to figure out what your eye shape is and what type of eye makeup would work best for you.

5. Highlighter

Highlighter is a wonderful extra touch used to frame your face and capture the light. When applied correctly, highlighter will make your face glow and show off your cheekbones. When using highlighter, apply it to your forehead, tip of the nose, chin, and cheekbones. For a super shimmery highlighter, be careful where you apply it. I would stay away from applying heavily shimmered and pigmented highlighter to large areas of the face, such as the forehead, and confine it to only the cheekbones.

Cover Image Credit: AdinaVoicu via Pixabay

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

7 Ways To Avoid Buying Everything You See On Amazon

Shopping can be a source of instant gratification for many people, but it also puts a dent in your wallet if you aren't thoughtful with your purchases.


Though I don't do a ton of online shopping, when I do I find it very easy to get sucked into a vortex of "stumbling upon items I never knew I needed." This can include everything from clothes, to gifts, to books, to basically whatever else shows up in my "recommended purchases" column. Shopping can be a source of instant gratification for many people, but it also puts a dent in your wallet if you aren't thoughtful with your purchases. With that in mind, here are some ways to avoid making spontaneous, probably unnecessary purchases on Amazon when you're browsing at 2 am right before going to bed.

1. If you really love an item, put it in your cart and come back to it a day later

This is a classic "Mom" tidbit of advice: "Honey, why don't you sleep on it and tell me if you still want that toy car tomorrow, and I'll look into it." Seriously though, I've managed to talk myself out of a few almost-purchases just by not buying the item in the heat of desperately wanting it. In the light of day, suddenly those adorable ballet flats don't seem as crucial to your future happiness.

2. Resolve to only pay for things with Amazon gift card money

This is a principle I generally try to stick to, though of course I don't have such a generous influx of Amazon gift cards that this is really possible. However, paying for things only with gift card money is a good way to motivate yourself to look for the best deals on whatever item you're looking at. It's also a good way to streamline your purchases and make the most of those $25 birthday gift cards that seemed boring when you were younger, but now fill you with excitement about future purchases.

3. Resist the urge to go on Amazon when you're feeling the itch to shop

It may sound simple, but one of the best ways to temper your online shopping is to just not go on Amazon as much. That way, you won't stumble across as many "can't-miss deals" and won't feel a sudden urge to empty your wallet just to add yet another pair of cute leggings to your closet. For those die-hard online shoppers, this advice might seem like quitting shopping cold turkey, but consciously avoiding the website that sucks away your money might be the easiest way to spend less money on Amazon.

4. If you're looking at clothes, see if the item you're looking at fills an actual need in your wardrobe

When I browse online for clothes, I try to make sure that I'm only actively looking at items that I really need. For example, if I'm looking to replace my beat-up ankle boots with a new pair, I'll do my best to only browse the shoe section. It can be tempting, especially on websites other than Amazon, to casually migrate into the "tops/blouses" section and stray away from your original shopping intention. Sticking to your guns about what you're actually looking for could help remove that temptation to buy another cute top "just because."

5. Make sure you don't already own a similar version of whatever item you have in your cart

This more happens when I shop in person than online, but it's important to recognize that a big reason why you may be attracted to a specific item online might be because you already own something just like it. Then, suddenly you end up with two coral-colored short-sleeved shirts, which could have been avoided if you had just done a quick sweep of your closet before clicking the "complete purchase" button.

6. Ask yourself if this item will still be popular or in-stock in three months

Of course, it's impossible to predict the exact online lifetime of anything, especially an article of clothing. However, stopping to ask yourself this question could help prevent you from buying stuff that's all the rage "right now," but probably won't be popular in a month. There's nothing wrong with buying something that isn't that popular with other people, but if you're looking into a particular style of jeans that you see all around you right now, chances are high that you're just buying them at least partly because you keep seeing them everywhere.

7. Unsubscribe from as many store emails as you can

This can apply to Amazon purchases as well as purchases from other retailers, but those darn store email chains that give you 10% off your purchase just for signing up can really zap you of your time later on. Even if I love a certain store, I generally shop infrequently enough that my shopping schedule won't be dictated by the emails they send me. Still, getting off of those promotional email chains could have the exact "out of sight, out of mind" effect that you need to curtail your online shopping habit.

Shopping can be a fun activity, but it can also be a useful exercise in mental restraint. Of course, everyone can fall prey to that "have to have it" purchase at any time. But if you are a little more strategic with when and how you shop on Amazon, you're a lot less likely to groan when you check your next credit card statement.

Related Content

Facebook Comments