The top consumer trends impacting DTC today

A Foresight Report for THG Ingenuity

category - strategy
sector - beauty
category - society
type - case studies
Case Studies
THG Ingenuity commissioned The Future Laboratory to produce a new foresight report identifying the key trends and behaviours set to impact the relationships between brands and their consumers, and offering insights into the opportunities on the horizon for e-commerce brands

As we look ahead to a future where the physical reality is intertwined with the digital world, multichannel strategies will start to be replaced by metachannel strategies that meet consumers where they are, and consumers are here for it. The shopper journey will evolve, becoming at once fragmented with brands needing to cover multiple touchpoints at a time, yet also seamless in how these touchpoints create the consumer's end-to-end experience of a brand from first interaction to the moment of purchase. 

Combining expert interviews with consumer insight, The Future Laboratory identified the emerging trends and attitudes that will transform the future of commerce. This report, made in collaboration with THG Ingenuity, draws on insights from surveys, interviews and The Future Laboratory’s independent research – helping THG Ingenuity to communicate with its customers effectively.

Click below to download the resulting Top Consumer Trends Impacting DTC Today report or scroll on to discover key take-outs and statistics for this new era.


Commissioned by:

3 November 2022

Author: The Future Laboratory


: Overview: The metachannel journey

Charles Deluvio

The world has been irrevocably transformed over the past two years. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the use of technologies as people and organisations grappled with new ways of living, working, interacting, and purchasing. In commerce, online business gained a huge boost but now, with consumers facing the cost-of-living crisis, even digital native brands must work harder to gain customers and add value.

As we look ahead to a future when physical reality will be intertwined with the digital world, multichannel strategies will be replaced by meta - (meaning before, across or after) channel strategies that meet consumers where they are. Channels and platforms will connect and mesh in unprecedented ways to create infinite – often gamified – customer journey loops.

‘The user journey is a becoming more fragmented across social, search and content. That will massively change the way we find, experience, and consume brands. There’s big change on the horizon.’ 

Peter Young, Marketing Director, THG Ingenuity

: Drivers of change

Milad Fakurian

The world changed more over the past three years than we might normally expect across a whole decade. Covid-19 brought disruption to both consumers and businesses, and changed cultural, economic, political, and social priorities. So how are these ongoing shifts driving changes that will shape the future of commerce?

We will now explore these changes in three distinct areas:

: Direct, Now - Ecommerce has long been in a race for speed. Consumers now expect
almost instant gratification through in-app purchasing, same-day delivery and click and collect. 

: Costly Crises - The 2020s have so far been defined by crisis upon crisis. Post-pandemic, with record levels of inflation and the war in Ukraine driving up energy and food costs, many consumers have tightened their belts.

: Values-driven Decisions - Shoppers are taking a more values-driven approach to their purchases, moving from mindless to mindful consumption. Consumers are also well informed, and tired of purpose-washing (including greenwashing, wokewashing and beyond) as brands market purpose without reflecting it in their organisation. 

Discover our Community Commerce macrotrend – a look at a new wave of decentralised retail concepts are transforming e-commerce as consumers look for alternative ways to access and exchange products and services online.


‘The potential to differentiate across every aspect of the customer experience, from product to channel right through to delivery, offers DTC brands the chance to delight customers and exceed expectations via an authentic and convenient shopping experience at every stage.’
Elizabeth Deverell-Smith, Strategy Director, THG Ingenuity

: Future trends

Milad Fakurian

The world is on the precipice of huge change as hybrid realities become the norm. This, alongside multiple crises– be they social, economic, or environmental – is leading to unprecedented shifts in consumer mindsets.

In the report, we unpack some of the key trends transforming the future of commerce. These include:

: Neo-collectivist Consumerism - Individualism has long been held as an ideal. Many marketers, entrepreneurs and designers have strived to build brands with customer self-actualisation as the ultimate goal. But now, consumers are re-evaluating the needs of the self in line with bigger- picture thinking. 

: Community Curators - To genuinely place collectivism at the heart of their products, campaigns and workforces, brands should prepare for a future in which they invite customers to run their businesses, design infrastructure as a service, and blur the boundaries between a company, a community and a collective.

: Empathy Schemes - With people basing more of their purchasing decisions on values, as well as value, brands must continue to innovate and develop new strategies and schemes that resonate, replacing traditional loyalty schemes
with empathic actions.

This is just a snippet of The Top Consumer Trends Impacting DTC Today report. Click below to download the full report PDF.

‘As technology develops and brandsgrow in their ability to attempt to ingrain themselves into our day-to-day lives, consumers in turn will become more discerning about which brands they allow to do so.’
Ibrahim Ibrahim, Managing Director of Portland Design, and author of Future Ready Retail.

Are you ready for what’s new and next?

To learn more about the future of commerce, download the full report here. 

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