In today's market, there is a growing trend among individuals who prioritize brands that align with their personal preferences rather than following the mainstream. These individuals are willing to invest in their hobbies without being overly concerned about costs. This is the essence of the "Me-conomy" (Me + Economy) generation, who prioritize self-indulgent consumption. With the increasing number of people engaging in self-focused spending, how should the retail business respond to this shift in consumer behavior?
Catering to the Me-conomy Generation in Retail Business
The Me-conomy, also known as "self-focused consumption," refers to the active purchasing behavior of individuals who prioritize products that align with their personal standards, rather than being swayed by societal trends or high prices. The Me-conomy generation is willing to invest in limited edition items from luxury brands without hesitation, but they also embrace affordable brands if it resonates with their individuality. The driving force behind their consumption is solely themselves.
The influence of the Me-conomy generation can be seen in the rise of gender-neutral trends in the consumer market. Men purchasing makeup products or women buying unisex clothing and trunk panties reflect their personal preferences rather than conforming to traditional gender norms. Additionally, Me-conomy culture has led to the rise of "money splurging" on ethical companies and brands, as well as "boycotts" against companies or brands that don't align with their values. It has created a culture of consumption that revolves around individuality, preferences, and beliefs.
In the past, consumers typically compared brands, quality, and price to make cost-effective purchases. However, the focus has shifted from receiving praise for making "smart choices" to making "good choices" that are personally beneficial. The MZ generation, emphasizing individuality, preferences, and beliefs, has become the main consumer group. With the increase in single-person households and the post-COVID-19 focus on personal health and happiness, the culture of individualism has become more widespread, rapidly spreading the Me-conomy trend.
Responding to the Me-conomy Generation in Retail Business
The emergence of the Me-conomy generation has presented various challenges for retail businesses, as catering to consumers who prioritize themselves as the main purchasing criterion can be demanding and complex. To target the "Me generation," businesses need to actively practice Me-commerce. So, how can retail businesses effectively respond to the Me-conomy generation?
Active Customer Journey Analysis
Companies can no longer rely solely on demographic data or step-by-step funnel analysis to understand customers' purchasing processes. With subjective preferences driving purchases and consumers being open to discovering new brands based on their personal standards, it has become more challenging to grasp the individuality of consumers. Moreover, some consumers even purchase contrasting products simultaneously, such as expensive limited edition items and affordable products from emerging brands. This makes it even more difficult to understand individual consumers.
To effectively practice Me-commerce, it is crucial to focus on understanding the individually shaped customer journeys. This requires expanding touchpoints with consumers and actively listening to their feedback. By utilizing data collected from various touchpoints, businesses can gain insights into segmented customer journeys. Implementing sophisticated personalization strategies based on a deeper understanding of consumer journeys can lead to improved business performance in the Me-conomy era.
Consistent Brand Messaging
Expanding touchpoints with consumers means increasing channels of communication. Online channels, e-commerce platforms, social media, email, and physical stores all provide spaces for engaging with consumers. However, it is essential to deliver consistent brand messages across all touchpoints. For example, if a 10% discount coupon is offered via email, it should be valid on the website. It is also crucial to maintain brand consistency in social media content, ensuring that the environmental sustainability values promoted align with the production practices of the brand. Consumers view inconsistency as deceptive and may turn to competitors.
Customized Production and SKU Management
Rather than having one popular product, retail businesses are facing the challenge of managing inventory for multiple small-scale products. This inevitably leads to inventory optimization concerns. As the number of SKUs increases due to a variety of products and decreased sales volume per product, businesses struggle to minimize costs and losses.
Without proper adaptation to the changing Me-conomy trend, SKUs will continue to increase, and inventory costs will escalate. Therefore, businesses need to constantly consider approaches that target Me-conomy consumers while minimizing inventory. Customized production, based on demand, allows for the rapid production and sale of small quantities of products. To compensate for delayed production, establishing small-scale logistics centers in various locations to ensure fast delivery is also beneficial.
Many companies are searching for inventory management solutions to optimize inventory in the midst of changing consumer trends. BoxHero offers an efficient inventory management solution where you can easily monitor numerous inventory items and manage inflow and outflow quantities from anywhere using a PC or smartphone. Why not consider utilizing the real-time inventory management solution BoxHero and providing a seamless purchasing experience for the Me-conomy generation?