2022 Consumer Trends: What They Mean For Digital Marketing

/ Thoughtspace - Social, Strategy

Consumer brands must constantly be getting to know their evolving audiences in order to personalize digital messaging and strategy across channels. In the US, “over 3 in 5 consumers say they have changed their shopping routines,” according to a YouGov report. So, CPG brands, it’s time to meet your new customer. Here are some of the key consumer trends for 2022 and how you can tailor your digital strategies to capitalize on them. 

7 Consumer Trends in 2022

  • Customer first approach
  • Brand loyalty risk
  • Omni-channel activation
  • Social commerce dominance
  • B2C to D2C
  • Smart technology adoption
  • Influencer growth

What do these consumer trends mean?

Customer first approach

Putting customers first is no longer an added value proposition, it is an expectation. Household brands are finding unique ways to engage consumers and insert their brand into the consumer’s story. A Netscribes article quotes that brands must, “go beyond the commodity to fuel engagement and advocacy by delivering context-specific interactions at the right junctures of the consumer journey.” 

Takeaway: CPG products can’t be treated as commodities anymore. Build a relationship with customers, no matter what your product is. Prioritize 1st party data through loyalty programs to understand where your customers are and better serve them with a custom experience.

Brand loyalty risk

Consumers are more open to trying new brands and have less stringent loyalty to major household brands. A YouGov.com survey showed 71% of grocery shoppers tried a new brand in 2021. Brand names are losing their power among household products as curious consumers are trying new things and preferences shift towards value, price and convenience. 

Takeaway: Use brand awareness campaigns to reach open, younger audiences who are willing to try something new. Engage current customers through various channels to maintain brand favorability and showcase your brand’s value.

“Adults surveyed anticipate that a year from now, they will be shopping in person and online equally.”

Omni-channel activation

Online and mobile purchases are sharing the limelight with brick and mortar. Verizon’s Look Forward study on consumer trends stated, “Adults surveyed anticipate that a year from now, they will be shopping in person and online equally (42%).” Consumers are split between online and brick and mortar shopping, so retailers have to give both channels equal emphasis and ensure they work together smoothly. With e-commerce numbers steadily rising year over year, more traditional brands and retailers must work rapidly to improve the integration of their online stores with every other customer touchpoint. 

Takeaway: Look at your marketing strategy holistically and build touch points with smart retargeting and customized creative to maintain your customers’ attention from the consideration phase to point of purchase. Blend traditional and digital channels across all funnel phases to be at every key customer touchpoint. 

Social commerce dominance

Social commerce is on the rise with platforms such as  Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest adding and testing new in-app shopping features. And for good reason. According to the Global Web Index, 37% of users use social media to research products and brands. Enabling a quick and easy shopping experience lets brands engage customers when they are actively thinking about making a purchase.

Takeaway: Explore different features and tools to utilize social commerce, making it as easy as possible for a customer to add your product to their cart. Consider retargeting engaged social audiences from paid or influencer campaigns with shoppable ads and a seamless in-app purchase process.

“Putting customers first is no longer an added value proposition – it is an expectation.”

B2C to D2C

More brands are moving to D2C options cutting out the store entirely and connecting directly with customers. Sales numbers are still insignificant, but will continue to rise as, “20% of consumers aged 18-40 years prefer to buy directly from a brand’s website, as opposed to a marketplace or third-party retailer.” 

Takeaway: Use D2C channels to build a loyal following and speak directly with your customer. Build brand equity and loyalty – not just a Shopify store. Use these direct channels to bring your like-minded customer base together creating a sense of community. 

Smart technology adoption

Expect greater adoption of smart technologies in 2022, including voice technology and virtual/augmented reality. These technologies are being refined and retailers are jumping on board due to the abilities for personalized customer experience. Voice shopping and chatbots particularly stand out. The number of voice shoppers is expected to increase by 55% by 2022 and roughly 91% of internet users interact with a chatbot on a daily basis. 

Takeaway: Utilize AI machine-learning to customize the customer experience. Use interactive ad formats and promotional activities to engage the customer and gather more meaningful data. For digital campaigns, use AI-models and tools to predict a customer’s likelihood to purchase, and tailor the creative messaging accordingly. If possible, explore voice shopping applications for your product with smart speakers such as Google Echo and Amazon Alexa. 

Influencer growth

Influencer spend and impact is still on the rise. Social platforms are improving ways for influencers to monetize content and work with brands, which helped pave the way for the social commerce trend mentioned above. In 2022, the influencer market is projected to reach up to $15B

Takeaway: Blend influencer marketing into your media mix model to build authenticity and trust in your brand. Use your media agency to help blend influencers into your holistic digital strategy. Also, consider using influencers for bottom funnel campaigns as well as awareness campaigns.

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