product trends - 5 Product Trends for 2008 that Every Seller Should Know About
by Chris Malta
- • The Green Trend
Unquestionably, the most prevalent and influential of all trends this year will be people's concern for the environment. Rather than declining, the green trend has actually gained momentum, growing from an extreme niche to a mainstream movement that's touching every product category.
While the majority of consumers may not be extremely environmental, most are "situationally eco-friendly." In other words, your target market may not follow an organic, vegan diet, but they may be very interested in reducing energy costs and consumption. So even if your products aren't traditionally green, you would do well consider looking for earth-friendly versions of the products you carry.
• Buying Time
Time is a huge concern for most consumers. In fact, 70% of U.S. consumers say they don't have enough time to do all the things they need. And 50% actually feel that lack of time is a bigger problem than lack of money. They're looking for products that can save them time, automate or speed up their tasks, and allow them to multi-task or use their time more efficiently.
Manufacturers are responding by developing products that address this need: from robot technology that can mop, vacuum, and clean gutters to "express" versions of traditional video and board games.
Like the green trend, the trend of "buying time" is impacting all different product markets.
• Home Health Care
By 2030, the number of Americans over age 65 is expected to double from 35 million to 70 million. With average life expectancy on the rise, more and more of this target group are looking to maintain their independence and stay in their homes. As a result, a tremendous number of products that allow users to take responsibility for their own health care are being introduced into the marketplace. Perhaps that's why this $2 billion dollar niche is predicted to mushroom into a $28 billion dollar giant by 2020.
• Mass Luxe
Today's consumers have a completely different mindset in the way they think and buy. Items that were once a luxury have become a necessity. The demand for luxury products now comes from consumers who don't fall within the traditional high-income segment. The 2007 holidays saw skyrocketing sales among average consumers looking for scaled-down versions of luxury products. As more and more people are growing comfortable buying expensive items online, this trend is expected to continue full strength.
• Transforming Furniture
Many consumers don't have a huge amount of living space, so this last trend plays into the desire to maximize the space that they do have. Versatile furniture pieces are growing in popularity, from expandable lighting fixtures to baby beds that convert into diaper changers, exercise stations, and play pens. An added benefit for online sellers is that these products tend to carry high profit margins.
States Suttora, "You have to apply the trends to your own product line. The numbers for last year's online retail sales proved how much growth potential there is for eBiz owners who will pay attention to consumer trends and bring their buyers the products they want in 2008."