Three consumer trends shaping the future of leisure

By Caroline Gorski Managing Partner for Retail and Leisure at Telefónica UK

The future of the leisure industry will not be decided by the providers. It will be shaped by the changing expectations of the consumers they serve. Although disposable income might be on the rise, free-time is increasingly difficult to come by, it’s why people want to make sure they are getting the most out of leisure activities.

O2 has been working with the Future Foundation to explore how we can help leisure businesses persuade consumers to invest their time, and money with them. As a result 3 key consumer trends emerged;

  1.  Performative leisure: people are increasingly showcasing their leisure exploits across social media. The need to be more adventurous, more impulsive and more interesting than their friends is driving some consumers to record all their leisure activities. Some businesses are even incentivising this social media activity by offering coupons for every ‘check-in’ or freebies for every tweet. Leisure providers need to make sure they are tapping into this trend by offering something worth sharing.
  2.  Society of sobriety and the leisure upgrade: As time pressures increase and the UK becomes increasingly health-conscious, consumers want to get more out of their leisure activities. It’s not just about having fun or relaxing; it’s about looking after your wellbeing. Many consumers are leading increasingly moderated lives and choose to use their leisure time for self-improvement. This doesn’t mean indulgence is completely off the table, it just means it’s time to more effectively communicate the benefits of time spent at your location.
  3.  Luxury experienced and retail-tainment: Luxury is now associated with premium experiences as well as premium quality. What can you offer that no one else can? How do you make your customers feel like VIPs? Was their dwell time memorable? If you have the answers, you’re halfway there. This trend is about repositioning your brand as a luxury experience, not a luxury product. This is filtering into the retail industry too, with retailers working to create more immersive, personalised and memorable experiences on the high-street.

For the leisure industry, the future is exciting and opens up a world of possibilities. Businesses have a wealth of insight tools and digital solutions to help them understand their customers better and deliver unforgettable experiences.

Download our report for a comprehensive summary of each trend and some examples of the trends in action. Over the coming months we will explore each trend individually to discover how leisure providers can keep up with consumers and prepare for the future of leisure.

What do you think? Let me know your thoughts by tweeting me @carolinegorski