Changing Lives UK: The Consumer Marketplace in 2020

Joseph Clift

The 2008-09 economic downturn, the deepest for decades, will result in long-term changes in UK consumer behaviour. Quite which form this "New Normal" will take over the years to come was the subject of the Future Foundation's Changing Lives UK conference, held in London in February 2010.

Taken as a whole, research and analysis from the think-tank presented at the conference suggests:

  • Spending growth will be positive (albeit at a relatively modest rate) over the decade to come.
  • Consumers will be more price-conscious than before, but will also be willing to pay a premium for certain goods and services.
  • The web will become still more important in helping consumers make purchasing decisions; this trend will partly be driven by growing smartphone use.