Once a Necessity, Now a Luxury

If the line between luxuries and necessities didn’t shift enough with the Great Recession, changing values of younger consumers and tech-savvy Millennials have pushed it even further into uncharted territory.

Do you know what today’s customers can and can’t live without and how it might affect your business? In this piece, we look at some notable changes and the ways you can make the most of them.

No Longer “Auto”-matic

Believe it or not, the automobile is no longer an absolute must-have for many American consumers. Some shed their wheels due to recession-related income loss, while others cite lifestyle reasons for going carless. Regardless of the motivation, more consumers are now considering cars a luxury and driving less. And with greener, socially responsible living on the rise, the trend shows no sign of letting up.

Business Opportunity 1

Consumers who don’t drive are perfect candidates for businesses who take online commerce seriously. Use your website to facilitate the total sale, right down to delivering your product to the customer’s doorstep. To those who consider a car a luxury, your turnkey site is a necessity – so the tighter your online operation, the more you might profit.

Business Opportunity 2

Is your business located in the city? The suburbs? Way out in the boonies? Think like a carless person to make the most of it. Consider self-locking bike racks for convenience and security. If you’re located further out, develop a carpoolers club that provides discounts to people who share the ride. Use your website to promote these alternate means of transportation.

Business Opportunity 3

Target the carless crowd with mass transit ads, such as bus boards and shelters. Consider online advertising to reach shoppers who prefer doing business on the web.

For more insights into Millennials’ attitudes toward car ownership, check out this report.

“Tuning-Out” Conventional TV

Don't rely solely on TV advertising to attract new customers. Broaden your reach by adding alternative mediums to the mix. Consider working with a media placement firm that specializes in online and social advertising.

Business Opportunity 1

Fewer TVs and more mobile devices mean an increased need for a place to charge smart phones, tablets and laptops. If your business is one that requires customers to wait, such as a dental clinic or auto repair shop, consider convenient charging stations that keep devices powered up – so patrons can enjoy whatever content they watch to pass the time.

Business Opportunity 2

Gear your promotions toward Millennials and the tech-savvy crowd. Instead of a drawing for a flat-screen TV to generate traffic, try giving away tablets or a subscription to Netflix. Use Facebook and YouTube to promote winners and incentivize like-minded consumers to check out your business.

Business Opportunity 3

If you’re advertising on TV, perhaps it’s time to add alternative mediums to the mix. Consider working with a media placement firm that specializes in online advertising and social media.

Want more insights on how we’re watching television? The report here looks at the changing viewing habits of consumers worldwide.

Necessitating Change

When necessities become luxuries, the consumer landscape changes. As a business owner, you can capitalize by embracing it along with the technology we have at our disposal. You don’t have to be a dot-com genius to prosper in this environment, but you do have to keep your mind open and your ears in tune – because the luxury of standing still is not an option.

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