Inflation and economic uncertainty are big factors impacting consumer trend predictions in 2023, but there are also some surprising trends in the mix. Despite the pinch of a slowed economy, consumers are still making room to prioritise wellness, occasionally splurging on products and services that cater to their post-pandemic lifestyle.
Read on to find out more about this year’s consumer trends and the factors driving them.
7 Biggest Consumer Trends in 2023
1. Mindful technology use
For 7 consecutive years, consumers have felt pummeled by disastrous news. The term “doomscrolling” emerged in early 2020 to describe the phenomena of continuously surfing bad news online. Subsequent awareness of how screen time can affect mental health caused many consumers to rethink their phone usage.
This awareness is predicted to peak in 2023 as consumers feel overwhelmed by stress and anxiety relating to their own economic situations and global news. The appetite for doomscrolling and is expected to be replaced with more mindful technology usage, as consumers seek positive activities and content.
Though technology usage will remain an intrinsic part of everyday life, consumers will look for ways to optimise their screen time to ensure it’s both meaningful and conducive to positive mental health.
2. Emotional AI
Fast and frictionless service is the (not-so-new) norm, but the human desire for connection and emotionally intelligent customer service will be stronger than ever in 2023. These two values are at loggerheads, but AI is the perfect solution.
With the help of natural language processing (NLP) technology, brands are now able to create emotional chatbots. AI-driven platforms can understand a customer’s emotional state, based on their choice of language and tone, providing emotionally intelligent responses that are tailored to the individual’s needs.
Emotional AI technology already has the capacity to detect strong positive and negative emotions in customer tickets, social media and reviews, enabling brands to prioritise their most urgent requests.
In 2023, we expect to see more providers offering emotionally intelligent customer service through AI-driven platforms, as consumers increasingly value a personalised experience with genuine emotion.
Many consumers are facing financial hardship. High inflation and a soaring cost of living have left many struggling to make ends meet. Bargain hunting and budgeting are now necessities for many who were previously more carefree about their spending.
This means that brands will have to seriously review their overheads to accommodate cash-strapped consumers. Brand loyalty will be even more hard-won at a time when shoppers are prioritising affordability.
4. ...and Splurging
That said, trend analysts predict that there will be some wriggle room in consumer restraint. After years of sacrifice, mandates, and shutdowns, many will feel the urge to occasionally splurge on affordable luxuries to help them cope with the emotional drain of negative news cycles.
Brands that market the emotional benefits of their products, rather than purely their rational appeal, stand the best chance of succeeding in this market. Brands can facilitate these consumers by offering split-payment methods to help them justify those little indulgences.
5. The Masks are Off
As consumers emerge blinking from the pandemic years, it’s a time to reestablish past routines but also an opportunity to shape new, more authentic identities and shake off behaviours that didn’t serve them.
This coincides with Gen Z, who value authenticity and self-expression, stepping into financial freedom.
We’re already seeing a surge in out-of-home consumption with a return to nightlife and sporting activities, and we might even see a return to the popularity of experiential retail and dining. But brands should also be aware of the opportunity to create meaningful relationships with people who are exploring new avenues.
Trial periods can help encourage people to explore and develop new tastes and routines that align with their newfound values, and marketing efforts can help consumers build confidence around their identity expressions.
6. Green and Lean
Consumers are discovering that there’s a green lining to penny-pinching. Limiting and reducing consumption is not only better for the wallet, it’s also better for the planet.
In the kitchen, consumers are already switching meat for lentils, buying locally and opting to buy cheaper, ugly fruit and veg. More generally, consumers are expected to focus their purchasing decisions on factors such as efficiency, durability and timelessness.
As sustainability claims become more ubiquitous, consumers will become increasingly suspicious of greenwashing. Brands will need to ensure that their sustainability credentials are genuine and can be proven.
7. Searching Social Media
While people 25 and up are still heading to the Google search bar as their first port of call, younger consumers are turning to social media for information and to discover new products.
Last year, Tiktok updated its search functions to make it easier to browse keywords on their platform. Meanwhile, a Google exec conceded that Instagram and Tiktok were impacting Google’s core products, Search and Maps.
Part of Google’s problem appears to be the perceived reliability of Google reviews. With AI bots generating increasingly realistic reviews, consumers are becoming wary of where to find trustworthy advice.
At Symanto, we’re actively developing technologies to automatically detect AI-generated content using our Symanto Brain. Additionally, at IberLEF 2023 we are thrilled to launch our AuTexTification evaluation campaign, aiming to boost research in this space and curb misinformation and fake reviews online.
In the meantime, brands looking to appeal to a new generation of consumers must take on the challenge of being present, visible and searchable in these social spaces.
Overall, consumer trends in 2023 are all about finding a new post-pandemic balance in an uncertain economic climate. Consumers are sacrificing one-time treats for long-term value, embracing sustainability where it makes sense economically, and forging new identities that align with their newfound values. Each sector will be affected differently by this year’s consumer trends, but one thing is sure: AI-driven market insights can help you stay ahead of the curve.
Monitor Trends in Your Industry Closely with AI
Symanto AI leverages natural language processing to quickly and accurately decipher the topics embedded within any written content online.
Keep track of industry trends reported in news articles, forums, review sites, and even competitors’ social media accounts to gain valuable insights.
Discover what your consumers care about most, and how they feel about new trends and technologies, and use this data to inform make informed decisions for the direction of your company.
Leverage Symanto’s unique personality analysis software to uncover deep psychographic insights and understand the consumer mindset in 2023.
Don’t forget that Symanto can also help you develop emotionally intelligent AI models to monitor and prioritise customer service requests and even help you develop an emotional chatbot.
There’s incredible potential to develop a better understanding of how consumers are feeling, thinking and behaving in 2023. Harness the power of AI to gain an edge over your competition and stay ahead of consumer trends.
Get Started With Symanto
Find out more about how Symanto can help you understand your customers in 2023. Get in touch, or register today for a free trial of our Symanto Brain or Symanto Insights Platform.