Products & Trends

Fashion Snoops Market Report

Connecting the dots from today’s cultural trends to tomorrow’s home furnishings

With High Point Market just a few months away, we’ve been exploring current consumer mindsets, reviewing key observations from the last two seasons, and mapping out design projections for the year ahead.

The Home interiors market is having a moment. Consumers are experimenting, embellishing, and developing their eye for design faster than ever. The vast online retail movement has paved the way for personalization and convenience, as consumers crave to be involved and well educated about their purchasing decisions. These cultural trends will shape our world in the months to come, and understanding them now should help you make better buying decisions at Fall Market.

Best,

Jaye Mize
Home Interiors Director, Fashion Snoops

The Millennial

The most common question on our minds today is, how do we engage the millennial? The answer is simple: digitally.

Whether on the manufacturing side or retail front, you must create a more meaningful interactive experience with millennial consumers. Millennials demand convenience and a personal connection to the things they buy, thus your brand story and outreach must be socially wired and trigger an emotional response.

This is a generation of digital natives that has a greater desire for discovery when it comes to products. They are risk takers who value the convenience of ordering a mattress from Casper online versus going to test the quality in store.

One of the hardest things to acknowledge is the fact that the consumer is now in control. Current technology-driven shifts empower Millennials to assume a greater, if not complete, role in personalizing their own experiences with products and interior spaces.

A New Frontier for Sales Reps

One of the biggest concerns we’ve been hearing at Market is the disconnect between the product development team and the sales reps on the floor. The product developers are craving to push design forward but the traditional reps are scared to take risks; mostly because they aren’t getting the storytelling until it’s too late.

Consumers are influenced and inspired more than ever through Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. They can travel through their desktop and research through their iPhones. They are developing a sense of identity through shopping online and have a wealth of knowledge behind their purchases.

It’s clear that the siloed structure of organizations no longer works. Sales reps are the interface with clients so they must be part of a brand’s creative thinking and should be educated as such. Collaboration and a unified company vision require a rethinking of the design-to-shelf process.

As an industry we must bridge the gap in order to adapt a stealthier consumer advantage. The traditional role of the sales rep has changed. They are no longer just selling your product, they are the educators of your brand. The sales reps should be selling the storytelling to the retailers so that they can then inform a more educated buyer in their stores, giving not only the sales reps, but also the retailer, a more dynamic story angle. This will produce a greater trust to take risks with new design, as well as solidify your brand’s authenticity among consumers.

Digital Shopping Experiences

2016 was a year of online launches for the home interiors industry. Convenience and direct-to-consumer marketing strategies are winning over consumers. Brands need to align themselves digitally in the consumer’s daily information flow.

Convenience: Online Shopping is projected to reach $523 billion by the year 2020, enjoying 9.32% annual growth over the next five years according to Forrester, a noted research and advisory company. The online vehicle is working to bridge traditional buying patterns. Searching for the perfect product is now met with seamless online opportunities.

Examples of new players in this space included Casper, Brooklinen, and Cloth & Co. New entrants are joining daily, and you can find them easily in your social feed.

Digital design platforms such as Havenly, Decorist, and Homepolish allow the consumer to create their ideal home while at home. Consumers like ideas that make their life easier, putting the power in their hands without having to leave their couch.

Consumers today are drawn to “living the perfect Instagram life” and brands are taking full advantage through product placement. Instagram and Pinterest are now pushing shopping features and consumers are exposed to trends at a higher rate.

Think solution-based, convenience-driven integrations. The web is giving you doors to consumers so don’t wait for them to come into your brick-and-mortar stores, engage with them where they are most conveniently located - online.

Sensuality

Brands are always in hot pursuit of the next design aesthetic movement. We’ve recently shifted from minimalism to maximalism. On the forefront of this shift, we’re seeing that people are craving more intimate and “feel good” items.

When examining the cultural circumstances today, the three leading shifts are technology innovations, emotionally driven consumerism, and the feminist movement. Combining them in the context of consumer wants and needs, we see a strong Sensuality coming to fruition.

This design aesthetic connects the dots from politics to an increased emotional energy that is leading consumers to desire connection, comfort, balance, and the maternal presence in their everyday lifestyle.

To achieve balance – to establish contentment – an environment must consider the comfort of the potential dweller first and foremost. As individuals are negotiating the chaos and complexities of contemporary life, we have a greater appreciation of and belief in the virtue of moderation. Our environments are a literal reflection of our internal, moral barometer.

Among interiors it involves clean, rounded shapes, and furnishings covered with ultra luxurious materials. Spaces are especially welcoming due to the use of warm colors, and while comfortable, they are also made sophisticated through an appropriate balance of form and high-quality tangibles. This seemingly personalized environment represents a melded concept that rests between stylish and honest to goodness usefulness. Each design adoption enhances one’s sensory experience.

For a complete report on the trends that will shape home furnishings in the coming months, be sure to visit Fashion Snoops at the Fall 2017 High Point Market. Date, time, and location to be announced - stay tuned!

With over 150 experts worldwide, Fashion Snoops is a global creative agency that helps brands and companies harness future trends and act on the opportunities they bring. We provide consulting services to global fashion and consumer product brands, as well as SaaS solutions wired for creators - allowing them to Create Smarter.

For information about Fashion Snoops, please contact Boyd Tasker at boyd@fashionsnoops.com.