In our previous retail disruptors blog, we looked at the growth of the subscription box industry and why it is important for brands to consider a sub box strategy.
Now, we unveil the latest insights around the growing Experience Economy, and discover which audiences are driving this shift and what they are in the market for. With searches for the “experience economy” rising by 58% in 2017 YoY, it is evident that the rapid growth of this industry isn’t slowing down any time soon.
What has happened?
In 2017, the Experience Economy saw an acceleration in online traffic to Experience Products or Experience Gift Retailers. Out of the top 20 players in the UK, visits grew by 12% to 64.6 million, faster than the previous year of 2% YoY. Like other retail verticals, experiences are also inextricably linked to gifting around Christmas, so we can expect to see this trend continue to grow as we get nearer to the festive period.
For example, Virgin Experience days saw an uplift of 26% in Christmas sales YoY (November to December 2017).
What were the top rising categories?
Looking at the top categories within the industry, we found that “Treat” experiences was the largest category in Q4, and continues to grow in search share YoY. 2017 also saw a shift to more adventure activities, such as “Flying” (+14% YoY) and “Adrenaline Sport” (+18% YoY). Virgin Experience Days also reported a 55% uplift in adrenaline and adventure activities YoY.
However, more traditional experience activities, such as Spas, Afternoon Teas and Driving Experiences, topped the list for 2017, accounting for 38% of search share.
Who is the Experience Economy audience?
When looking at the audience profiles of visitors to the Experience Economy, we see an over-index of people aged 18-34 years old, compared to the general online population. But there is a sizeable chunk of this audience who are still older, for example 50% of this audience are 45 years old and above.
The Experience Economy audience also spends a lot on retail products and thoroughly enjoys it (including over £200 per month on womenswear!). They have high environmental awareness, but are still stringent with their spending on environmentally-friendly products, only if it saves money.
What does this mean?
Online activity and sales growth show that the Experience Economy will continue to rise throughout 2018. By understanding who the Experience audience is, brands will be able to optimise their marketing strategy, budget allocation and content creation, so that they can reach these consumers when they are in the market for their next experience.
To read more on the Experience Economy and how brands are utilising this data, read the full report here: The Experience Economy