As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow in both use and popularity, its impact on the consumer continues to change the marketplace. In 2022, people are starting to look for more commerce-related balance, establishing an equilibrium between technology and human interactions in their buying decisions.
At the same time, people are expressing an increased desire for convenience in their shopping choices. They are more comfortable receiving recommendations on new products or services from social media influencers. All these dynamics create an interesting quandary for retailers and other brands who must learn to market to buyers with these new desires.
In light of this shift, brands and those who study business and marketing must find new ways to connect with customers. While technology is still an important element, people are starting to shift toward wanting a balance between convenience and human interactions. As you work toward earning a communication degree online, understanding the consumer business trends that impact consumers and their buying decisions will be helpful.
So, how has the customer changed in 2022? As you consider marketing to the current demographic, keep in mind that in 2022:
- Consumers are favoring a balance between digital and physical shopping experiences.
- The definition of beauty is changing.
- Influencer marketing continues to be a strong factor.
- Eco-friendly products are increasingly desirable.
- Consumers desire products that contribute to a convenient lifestyle, including products that are delivered on demand.
5 Consumer Behavior Trends in 2022
Technology, personal perception, environmentalism and convenience are prime movers for 2022’s consumers. Keep these trends in mind when developing a marketing and communications strategy.
1. Convergence of Digital and Physical Shopping
Today’s consumer is interested in both remote and in-person shopping experiences. It’s a trend prominent enough to spawn new words designed to describe this convergence from both the consumer’s and company’s perspective.
The first term coined as a result of this trend is the word: “phygital.” It refers to the merged brick-and-mortar experience and the online shopping experience. Another term to emerge is: “omnichannel,” which describes a company’s approach to providing customers with a consistent experience regardless of how they shop, whether in person, online or on a mobile device.
2. A New Definition of Beauty
All brands must understand what consumers define as beautiful, as it will impact everything from the selection of models for advertisements to the products people choose to buy. The definition of beauty is changing as consumers push for diversity and inclusivity. Many shoppers respond positively to ads that include people with disabilities, people of different body sizes and people with a diverse set of physical features.
On the other hand, consumers are responding negatively and rejecting brands that push a specific “traditional” definition of beauty. Beauty is now seen as a way to express one’s self, rather than a way to fit into a mold. Brands that respond to this consumer behavior trend by embracing diversity in both their products and their advertising choices will see greater success as 2022 progresses.
3. The Role of “Influencers” Will Become Even Greater
Social influencers are growing in importance among brands and marketing professionals. A recommendation from a well-loved blogger or radio personality can drive more sales than a strategically positioned advertisement. Reviews from real consumers will influence more buying decisions than just about anything else.
Influencers are valuable in changing consumer actions because of the many different platforms they use for their messages. From online platforms to Instagram, to other social media channels, to radio and television advertising, influential people can leverage multiple channels to drive purchase decisions. Brands that incorporate this knowledge into their marketing plans will find greater success in the coming years.
4. Demand for Eco-Friendly, Sustainable Options
Environmental awareness is not a new trend, but in 2022 it continues to become increasingly important to consumers. A report by IBM revealed that 49% of consumers over 12 months paid an average of 59% more for products that labeled themselves as socially responsible or sustainable. Additionally, 51% of those surveyed noted environmental sustainability is more important now than it was a year ago.
Meeting these eco-responsible goals can take on many forms, from using recycled packaging to phasing out single-use plastic products. While this trend does not necessarily mean a company has to adopt a fully sustainable approach, it does mean ignoring the impact that sustainability can have on the bottom line doesn’t make good business sense.
5. Delivery on Demand
Convenience matters to the consumer in 2022. Nothing exemplifies this like the popularity of delivery on-demand services. This concept makes it possible for the consumer to receive a product or service at a specific location at a moment’s notice. For consumers, this eliminates the inconvenience of going to a physical location to pick something up.
Delivery on demand is most commonly associated with restaurant food delivery services such as DoorDash and Uber Eats, but the category encompasses a wide range of services. Dry cleaning, massages and even childcare services can be obtained through on-demand services.
What These Trends Mean for Communication Professionals
The way a brand communicates its value to its target market is essential to its success. Marketing and communication professionals must understand consumer behavior trends to better serve their clients. When you as a communication professional can capture the ethos and essence of today’s consumers, you are better able to draft communications that highlight brand value, framing it in light of the consumer’s unique desires.
Stay Ahead of the Curve
Marketing professionals who adapt to trends early can gain an advantage over those who lag behind. The USC online masters in Management offers a robust curriculum. Courses focus on a variety of topics covering consumer behaviors that teach students to identify and adapt to changes in consumer preferences as they unfold.
Learn how USC can help you identify and leverage the consumer trends that keep businesses relevant.
Communicating a Business Strategy Externally
Digital Marketing Communication Trends
Geotargeting: Finding the Balance Between Personalization and Surveillance
Forbes, “Phygital — What Is It and Why Should I Care?”
GWI, The Consumer Trends to Know for 2022
HubSpot, “The Top Shopping Trends of 2022 & Beyond (State of Consumer Trends Data)”
IBM, Balancing Sustainability and Profitability
Lifewire, “7 On-Demand Delivery Service Apps”