Consumer Trends 2020: VIP Service, Thrifting, and Sharing Economy

3 min read

Can you believe we’re already 3 weeks into the new year? At Consumer $ense, we’ve gathered the latest trends and happenings in the marketplace for this 2020 season. Here are our predictions for top CONSUMER TRENDS for 2020.


Consumers want to have a FRIENDSHIP with their BRANDS.  Our culture is so technologically driven, that consumers feel they have lost that personal connection with others.  We want to personally connect with others.  Although we are in the era of digital and technology innovation, consumers long for conversations with their family & friends, and yes- even with their products. Brands we use are like members of our family.

This is the era of brands telling their stories to us.  Consumers want to be involved with products they use.  Companies are filling the need and developing relationships with their customers.  They want our feedback & experience to help develop better products.  They want us to help market their products.  It is a win-win situation when consumers help companies because we receive better service & better products at lower prices. We become co-producers of products with companies.  It used to be that the only thing that joined consumers with a brand was purchase, but now with data collection tools, consumers can synchronize brand touch points and act as members of the team. As the executive board member of Adidas, Eric Liedtke, said, “This new level of connectivity and seamless integration of digital and analogue [will provide] the opportunity to be closer to the consumer than ever” in 2020.

It’s all about ME!

That’s exactly what consumers want to hear.  We want to feel like we are the company’s favorite customer.  We want to be treated like VIPs.  We want products & services designed just for us.  For more information on how to get better customer service, look for my upcoming book “Itching for Better Service? HELP YOURSELF!”

Cisco Digital Network Architecture found that 53% of consumers wanted a totally personalized experience and were willing to exchange their personal data.  Although it sounds like Big Brother is watching us, many consumers want a company to know what they want and give them that product. Farfetch, a luxury retailer, collects data from store visitors and customizes the shoppers’ experiences.  Shoppers are recognized when they enter the store and RFID (radio frequency identification) enabled clothing racks track browsing to auto populate a wish list.  Digital mirrors in the dressing room summon items from the wish list in sizes and colors of preference.

It’s about the experience. Consumers are looking for an escape from reality and are turning toward the shopping experience, whether it be in a store or online.

Second Hand Shopping

Vintage is NEW AGAIN – HURRAY!  This is for shoppers who enjoy rummaging around for the perfect find at the perfect price! Macy’s and JCPenney have departments selling pre-worn clothing & have partnered with ThredUP – a leading online marketplace – so you can get used quality clothes for up to 90% below retail:  According to Thredup, 64% of women have bought or would buy 2nd hand garb.  That is up 45% from three years ago.  So there is an afterlife for merchandise! You can buy resale at thrift stores, which are nonprofits.  You can probably get the best deals there.  There is also consignment shops which are for profit businesses.

These stores evaluate the items that people bring in. If a consignment store decides to sell an item that a person has brought in, it puts the item up for sale, and then it pays commission to the original owner of the item. You can buy & sell clothes online through ThredUp,, or Nordstrom Trunk.

The Sharing Economy

And while we are talking the Resell Trend, a similar trend is the Sharing Economy.

Sometimes you need stuff, but you don’t need it forever. So instead of buying, consumers are renting. “Sharing” has become mainstream. Have you ever looked at all of your stuff in the garage and wondered “hmm.. how can I make money on this? I could sell it at a garage sale but I won’t get much”. is here to help!  Their tag line “Rent from & to anyone for anything”. This business is an easy online marketplace to lend your stuff or to borrow what you are looking for. It’s like having your own rental store and it is all free!

If you need a sound system for a kids’ party, you can rent it for $30/day; or a hammock for $2/day.  What’s good about this website compared to others is that has a built in trust system. You can easily learn who you are renting to or from. is just one of the ways you can share or borrow things. We are all familiar with Airbnb, where you can rent a great apartment for a fraction of the cost of a hotel room. You can share rides using Uber, Lyft, Curb and Sidecar. Not only does sharing lower individual costs, it helps us use our wasted stuff more efficiently.

We have always shared our things with friends, family and neighbors, but recently, the concept of sharing has moved from a community practice into a profitable business model. So, if you have a lot of stuff lying around the house, why not become a business owner and start renting your stuff?

With a vision for the future – Consumer $ense is looking to 2020 to provide you with more tips, trends, and ideas to help you save time & money in the marketplace.

For all of the Dream Team at C$, have a blessed & satisfying 2020!

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