Online Business AwardsOnline Business Awards

There’s a new disruptive influence in town which is giving rise to more immersive and intimate lifestyle choices – welcome to the experience economy.

Whether individuals are flocking to bars, restaurants, or theatres, spending across the experience economy is rising by as much as 9% year-on-year, particularly amongst the culturally curious and affluent income groups. It’s not just in the UK where lifestyle is taking precedence over possessions. At Just Opened Group we’ve identified that consumers around the world, including New York, Singapore, and Sydney, are embracing experiences and are enthusiastic to try out the hottest new openings, discovering something new and different.

Put down to the popularity and influence of social media, allowing users to share and compare their latest experiences, this economy is expected to grow and expand as consumers continue to look for the next big thing. For this reason, it’s important for businesses to capitalise on such a growing and vibrant economy. By having the below tips front of mind, lifestyle businesses will be better placed to tap into the array of experiences which consumers now crave.

  1. Stay connected

Businesses should be aware of the growing influence of social media, not just in attracting customers to a specific outlet but in how they share their experiences. Through just a click of a button friends are sharing images of trendy brunch dates, communal gym classes, and much more. By having a strong presence on social media and even making the most of promotional offers via Facebook ‘check-ins’ for example, businesses can springboard themselves to success in this growing economy. 

  1. Keep it interesting

In thriving and vibrant cities such as London and New York, businesses have a huge pool of open-minded individuals with disposable incomes. The opportunity for businesses to do something a bit different and truly tailor their offering is vast, not only to attract new customers but to ensure products or services are fresh, adding a competitive edge. Consider collaborating with an up-and-coming brand – for example a drinks business could partner with a street-food stall and create a pop-up or bespoke event so consumers can experience both brands in a unique way.

  1. Become a digitally native business

The smartphone era means goods and services are now being offered in a peer-to-peer way. The sharing and experience economy are now working in tandem with one another. Businesses which take advantage of both can attract new customers where sharing experiences is key. Investing and adapting digital platforms could be beneficial to encourage consumers to your business and improving their experience. For example allowing customers to purchase products or services through social media can encourage spur-of-the-moment purchases increasing sales as a result.

  1. Be aware of market trends

Spending growth has surged as consumers shun expensive material possessions for more meaningful experiences to share with their friends and family. It was a particularly strong year in terms of communal eating and drinking places such as Red Market and Dinerama in London and Smorgasburg in New York showing a new trend within the restaurant sector. Eating out is no longer seen as a formal past time but rather an innovative sector which plays host to a variety of immersive and shared experiences. Businesses should be looking carefully at what’s driving specific market groups and ensure they have sufficient leverage to truly reap the benefits in this growing economy.

Over the years, consumers’ priorities have changed as lifestyle choices become more accessible. The dining out culture has become less formal, with casual dining experiences and speakeasy type places coming to the fore. People now have a broader and indeed more relaxed way of spending their money. Resulting in a wealth of opportunities for lifestyle businesses, not just because of the rise in social media and connectivity but the number of open-minded individuals who want to spend their hard-earned money on memories they can treasure. The experience economy and the businesses which are part of it can certainly expect a buoyant and action packed filled year. 

By James Marchant, co-founder and CEO of Just Opened