10 consumer trends to watch in 2022

Market research firm Euromonitor International has released a report on consumer trends for 2022, highlighting the top 10 trends that underpin current consumer behavior and challenge traditional business strategies. The main conclusion of the report is that companies need to adapt to rapidly changing consumer preferences – because simply returning to the pre-pandemic era is unlikely to yield the same results in the future.

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This first trend, caused by supply chain disruptions, is causing consumers to focus on their own creative solutions due to shortages. When faced with challenges related to their favorite products, people will look for new ways to purchase these items. Or they look for the alternatives – the second best product. As a result, consumers sometimes switch to subscription services or other shopping methods that are considered more convenient. A shift that, according to Euromonitor, could affect customer loyalty.

Fresh look at life

A crisis often causes people to analyze their lives and forge new paths for themselves. Many consumers have experienced a drastic personal upheaval in the past two years. They welcomed new values, lifestyles and goals. One is that, for example, people gave more priority to time for themselves. These changes challenge companies to grow with consumers and adapt their marketing accordingly. Companies that want to capitalize on this movement must encourage and support this new lifestyle and the idea of ​​personal growth with their services or products.

Image: Primark

Climate changers

Sustainability and transparency have become even more relevant themes in the course of the pandemic. According to Euromonitor, by 2021, 35 percent of global consumers were actively reducing their personal carbon emissions. It shows a growth of green activism and a change of lifestyle, in line with the escalation of the climate crisis. This pursuit of a net-zero economy challenges companies to offer products with an ecological footprint certification and to push for more transparency in their production. In this way, companies can help customers make informed purchasing decisions. To help make sustainable choices, Modint and bAwear recently launched
a footprint tool for textile products

Digital seniors

This trend focuses on a shift among baby boomers, a generation with less and less resistance to and growing trust in technology. Figures from Statistics Netherlands show that the growth in online shopping last year
was highest among the over-65s† Digital seniors use technology not only for purchases, but also for social contacts, finance and learning. For companies, this provides an opportunity to reach this expanded audience through simplified digitization, accessible solutions and educational support. A good example is the collaboration between Hans Anders PTTRNS.ai for
online eyewear advice based on artificial intelligence

Financial Enthusiasts

Euromonitor’s report shows that more than half of global consumers expect to be better off financially in the next five years. This data is one of the driving forces behind this trend, which revolves around increased consumer confidence in investing and an increased interest in personal savings. Many Dutch people have (forced to) save during the corona crisis. Research shows that only
14 percent of households wants to use these savings for consumption. To bolster their financial security, consumers are turning to simplified tools and solutions to take control of their finances.

Image: Digital Village

The Metaverse Movement

Perhaps the most talked-about movement of the past year was that of the
metaverse† Euromonitor’s report states that global sales of augmented reality headsets grew 56 percent from 2017 to 2021, reaching $2.6 billion in sales last year. Many brands are responding to this trend: for example, Gucci organized a virtual multimedia experience on Roblox. User avatars were rendered as neutral mannequins that changed shape and color as they moved through different themed rooms. The climax of the conversation about metaverse came in October 2021, when Facebook announced a new direction and changed its name to Meta, aiming to become the first “metaverse-first” company.

The rise of ‘pre-loved’

Thrift stores and vintage marketplaces have
taken a huge flight† According to Euromonitor, this trend is explained by consumers moving towards a ‘more experience-based mindset’ rather than ownership. The report suggests that companies should do more with less, through circular initiatives such as recycling or rental. These initiatives will have a positive impact on the environment as well as create value in the form of an improved brand reputation. Re-commerce or resale – the sale or exchange of second-hand products – will continue to grow and brands will have to think about how they will fit this growing trend into their offerings.

Rural townspeople

This emerging trend focuses on moving consumers to safer and greener neighborhoods. Due to the lockdowns and working from home, many people feel confined to their small living spaces, with high fixed costs without the associated benefits. Out of a desire for simplicity, sustainability and better air quality, many consumers are leaving metropolitan areas – temporarily or for a longer period of time – and move to places with more space and a greener landscape. The focus is on suburban and rural communities, where they experience the best of both worlds. Companies that capitalize on this trend – by strengthening e-commerce distribution and with sustainable production lines – will emerge as winners, according to Euromonitor.

quest for self love

More and more consumers are experiencing a self-love revolution, with inclusion and acceptance at the forefront of their lifestyle choices and spending habits. This consumer group prioritizes their personal happiness and to feel good about themselves. This leads them to want to enjoy products that help them feel their best. This trend challenges companies to maintain genuine and deep connections with their customers. But also to offer products that meet their lifestyle needs and increase their personal happiness, think of
comfortable clothes that radiate self-love

Socialization paradox

As society reopens, consumers experience the return to normal life in different ways, with varying levels of comfort. Some consumers enthusiastically resume normal activities and are ready to fully participate in society again. Others are hesitant and stick to their routines from during the lockdowns. In between is a group of consumers eager to return to ‘normal’ and willing to participate in selected activities, but still cautious and concerned about their health. According to Euromonitor, this leads to a ‘socialization paradox’. Companies need to take this into account by offering consumers multiple options through different channels, without sacrificing the experience.

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