Consumer priorities have dramatically shifted and consumer behaviour is predictably following suit. Businesses need to maintain a watchful eye over their consumer’s changing attitudes and expectations to stay relevant and ahead of the game.
We look at 7 of the biggest consumer trends globally and show you how AI can help you discover which trends are impacting your consumers today.
7 Biggest Consumer Trends 2022
1. Pre-pandemic…sort of
We are certainly not so bold as to name 2022 as the year that the pandemic officially ends. But as and when such a time should possibly happen (knock on wood, cross fingers, pray to your deity) we can expect a cautious and inconsistent return to pre-pandemic socialisation.
It will be down to each individual what health precautions they choose to take. Companies should be conscious of the fact that not all consumers will be equally comfortable with resuming life as before, and their messaging and offerings should reflect this.
2. Low-carbon lifestyles
Climate concern continues to impact consumer decision making in 2022. Consumers seek to leverage their purchasing power to affect change.
Companies need to step up their commitment to reducing their carbon footprint without greenwashing as consumers get savvy to cynical corporate promises.
3. Bringing nature into the city
After the first lockdown, interest from city dwellers in village properties rose 126% from the previous year. This caused many to speculate that the pandemic had sparked an ongoing trend of eschewing city life for the countryside.
In 2022 we can confirm that such speculations were premature. Yes, an increasing number of people are opting for rural life, but not in the vast numbers originally anticipated. City life is still a popular choice.
However, city residents are more interested in being in close contact with nature in one form or another. Having a private outdoor space such as a garden or a balcony, or living near a park now rank higher on property buyers priorities. In 2022, expect a rise in interest in indoor farming and balcony gardens.
4. Silver eCommerce
Tech shy boomer consumers had to get more comfortable with eCommerce out of necessity during the pandemic. Seniors are now more familiar and comfortable with making online transactions, opening possibilities for companies that cater to them.
While emboldened out of necessity, time will tell whether new habits stick, one of the major barriers being the complexity of some digital solutions, and the fact that they are all-too-frequently updated beyond recognition. The challenge will be making digital products and services frictionless and straightforward to use. As the saying goes, old habits die hard.
5. Retail investment
No list of consumer trends for 2022 would be complete without some discussion about the increase in retail investment. More and more people are opening trading accounts for the first time. Both stock and crypto trading boomed in FY21 thanks to the rise of digital trading platforms.
But can we expect this trend to survive 2022? Writing for the Financial Times, Ruchir Sharma predicts that the retail investment trend may be short-lived. “Excited late arrivals often signal the party is ending,” he wrote, “Such manias rarely last, suggesting that even if the stock market as a whole is not at risk, the names most popular with retail investors likely are.”
6. Self-care means authenticity in 2022
Back in the early days of the wellness trend, self-care used to mean buying a yoga mat and drinking lemon water. But over the years, this continuing trend has taken several forms. The 2022 manifestation of self-care is about finding your purpose and accepting yourself.
The pandemic marked a time of reflection. People reassessed their lifestyle, values and priorities and set themselves new goals in pursuit of self-actualisation.
While this trend sounds peaceful, individualism can also be ruthless. People cut out toxic family and friends from their lives, they leave jobs and careers that don’t align with their values, and they speak out fearlessly for what they believe in.
Companies need to be cognizant of this trend not only regarding their consumers but also to their employees.
Is this finally the year the Virtual Reality (VR) makes it big or will Meta’s Metaverse go the way of the Google glass? It will take some time for widespread adoption given that few people own the necessary VR technology, but there is quite a lot of hype around the potential of the metaverse to change the game of online interaction and eCommerce. With retail giant Walmart reportedly taking steps to build equity in this new ecosystem, it’s a sign that this might be VR’s best chance yet of making it mainstream.
Watch Trends in Your Industry Closely with AI
2022 is set to be another game-changing year of seismic changes in consumer behaviour. Give yourself the best possible chance of remaining relevant and keeping abreast of consumer trends impacting your industry.
Symanto AI uses natural language processing to accurately identify topics in practically any written content online.
- Parse out trends mentioned in industry news articles, forums, review sites and even competitors’ social media channels.
- Discover what consumers are saying about new trends and technologies and use this data to inform your decision making.
- Use Symanto’s unique personality traits detection software to discover the makeup of your customer base and make informed judgements about which trends would most likely appeal to your customers.