Consumers were actually predictable in a year that was unpredictable. Clear trends in consumer behavior have been evident over the last few months, even though circumstances have changed.
Marketers are looking for new ways to overcome the pandemic.
The new battleground for business is delivering on the needs of consumers (which, spoiler warning is what content marketing is all too about)
Let’s look closer at five consumer behavior trends that will be hot in 2022.
- Consumers desire the freedom to shop online and in-person (from the same brands) at their convenience.
- The temporary convenience options that were created as pandemic relief solutions are likely to stay around for the long-term.
- People do more work from home than ever before and that is reflected in their purchasing preferences.
- Brand loyalty has been less secure due to easier access to more products.
- Consumers are looking for brands that reflect their values and beliefs.
Trend #1: A hybrid view of shopping
Although the pandemic has affected the way people shop, it is not the simple way you might imagine. It won’t be easy to shop online, while brick-and mortar stores will become the stuff of nostalgia.
However, 46% of consumers still prefer in person shopping to see and feel the products. Even those who prefer shopping online, they say they don’t shop exclusively.
Raydiant asked customers which shopping method they would use in 12 months. In almost all cases, the majority said in-person.
Source: Image Source
People will still want to shop in person long after the pandemic. The way that we collectively consumers think about online and in-person shopping has changed. We now see them as distinct categories for different types of products.
It won’t matter what product you choose to purchase online. It will be based on the individual’s needs at that moment.
Amazon is a great place to buy gadgets. This is the type of thing that people buy online.
But what about grocery delivery? This service was generally only used by niche consumers, such as older adults or young professionals who live in urban areas without cars. The majority of people simply went to the grocery shop. Online grocery delivery is now available to the masses.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that people will only use it. It is more likely that people will choose to use both and decide which one suits their needs best. Perhaps you have a list of ingredients that you need for a party and you order them for delivery. However, you still visit the store every week to shop for the groceries for the week.
No matter what the situation, there are always options. These retail trends are a great example of the variety of experiences customers will seek out.
There are certain consumer segments that prefer one method of shopping over another.
The behavior trend for most people will depend on their mood and other factors.
Trend #2: The Craving for Convenience
In a period when business models were being rewritten due to social distancing precautions, brands have had to be creative.
In the past year, there have been many changes in restaurants, including take-out and upscale sit-downs. Retailers also offer curbside pickup and hygiene-motivated measures such as cashless payments and contactless delivery.
These conveniences will not be abandoned by consumers in the future.
Brands will need to consider how they’ll reopen normal operations as pandemic safety measures become less restrictive. They also need to offer the convenience options that consumers have come to expect and continue to demand.
Consumers will choose brands that offer many convenient services. This is the behavior trend.
Trend #3: Homes Become Hubs
When people weren’t working, home was where they went. Now? You can do almost everything from here.
It’s where we live, eat, and sleep. But it also serves as our work space. It’s where we shop. Where we exercise. Our homes have become the hubs of our most important life activities and this trend is not going away anytime soon.
The way we live in our homes has changed. Accenture discovered that 46% of respondents plan to work remotely in the future. As more people exercised at home, the sales of expensive equipment such as treadmills and stationary bikes increased exponentially.
Smartphones, tablets, as well as other devices, have made it possible to communicate face-to-face and remotely with friends and family. We are fully integrated into the socializing process.
Consumers have made investments in their at-home activities and it is likely that they will continue to do so after the pandemic. Brands that can profit from this trend (like home offices furniture) will be able to capitalize. However, brands whose business models depended upon customers coming to them (like gyms that offer both in-person as well as virtual fitness classes) will need to adapt.
The bottom line: Consumers will experience a return to normalcy but will still do more at home.
Trend #4: Loyalty Isn’t a Given
Customer loyalty is a key way to increase revenue and sales. Is customer loyalty to brands experiencing a decline?
Raydiant’s State of Consumer Behavior 2021 Report found that 48% of consumers had replaced an item they normally buy in-store with an alternative online during the pandemic. A quarter of consumers say they are switching bands more frequently than ever.
Although they may not represent the majority of cases, these are significant numbers. It is important to consider pandemic situations (i.e. Store closures that prevent a store opening are a consideration, but brands know that it doesn’t matter what the original reason for the brand switch. It doesn’t matter if the customer prefers the new brand.
Consumers have greater choices and access to more options thanks to an increased online presence of brands from different industries.
What is the resultant behavior trend? Consumers will explore more options and choose the one that appeals to them most, regardless of their previous purchases.
While brand loyalty is important and still effective, companies shouldn’t assume that it’s an automatic outcome.
Trend #5: Customers want value — in more ways than one
Consumers are not only looking for quality products, but also customer experiences. Today’s consumers want brands that are aligned with their personal values.
Accenture’s survey of almost 30,000 people worldwide revealed that a significant majority of respondents felt that the company’s values are important.
This isn’t a new phenomenon. But consumers now look more closely than ever at the way companies view and address social issues as well as implement environmentally-friendly practices — 89% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand they feel makes a positive impact.
Watch out for this behavior trend: Consumers will look for authentic and transparent brands to help them make informed buying decisions.
How brands can respond to consumer behavior trends
Consumer behavior trends have two common themes: higher expectations about customer service and increased brand visibility online.
These trends can be addressed by companies in a number of ways. They can use content marketing, which has been proven to be three times more effective than any other type of marketing, to keep in touch with their customers.
Consistent, high-quality online content helps establish your brand’s reputation and personality. This allows consumers to “experience” your brand, before they make a purchase or visit any physical location.
Marketing Insider Group will help you create a content marketing strategy that produces tangible results for your company. For more information, visit our Content Builder Services. Or schedule a consultation for a free!
Marketing Insider Group published the post 5 Consumer Behavior Trends Marketers Should Be Watching originally on Marketing Insider Group.
By: Michael Brenner
Title: 5 Consumer Behavior Trends Marketers Are Watching
Sourced From: marketinginsidergroup.com/content-marketing/consumer-behavior-trends-marketers-are-watching/
Published Date: Tue, 05 Apr 2022 16:00:21 +0000