Changes in consumer behaviour: What marketers need to look out for in 2022

5 May 2022

So, here we are in 2022. And as we come out the other side of Covid restrictions, industry data indicates that some consumer habits are distinctly different from pre-pandemic times. So, what exactly are these changes in consumer behaviour, and what does it mean for the marketing sector?  Here we’ll explore what has changed permanently for the consumer, what might be going back to ‘normal’, and what other behaviours marketers should be on the lookout for in 2022. 

A sense of mistrust

One of the current trends in consumer behaviour picked up by Mintel’s Global Consumer Trends 2022 report is a general sense of mistrust. After two years of misinformation about everything from vaccines to Partygate, consumers are wary of the ‘fake news’ agenda that can all too often be characteristic of a marketing campaign. 

As a result, ‘Brands will need to work harder to deliver consumers reliable information and balance censorship and authenticity,’ claims the report, and this is an important message to take on board if you are going to connect meaningfully with the consumers of 2022. 

To rebuild trust in your product, it’s important to use clear messaging that gets straight to the point, without any jargon. This isn’t the time for bold, far-fetched claims; instead,  open and honest communication is the order of the day.  

two women shopping instore with masks on

A craving for physical, in-store experiences

After all those months of staying at home, getting out and about to shop is one of the changes in consumer behaviour that shouldn’t come as a surprise now that restrictions have relaxed. After a spike in online sales during the 2020 and 2021 lockdowns (with 41% of consumers shopping online in November 2020), many consumers are now eager to experience the physical, sensory side of shopping that you just don’t get from staring at a screen. However, not everyone is so keen to get back into the crowded shopping centres that characterised pre-Covid times, and there are signs that many consumers, particularly millennials, still prefer the safety and convenience of buying online. 

So what does all of this mean for marketers? More than ever before, it’s important to make a trip to your physical store into an experience, something that can’t be replicated online. Free samples, instore events and personal shopping services are all ways that you can make your real-world premises into a must-visit destination. 

consumer trying out VR headset during an instore experience

A desire for fun times again

Lockdowns have left us eager to experience fun and joy once again, with a shift in consumer behaviour especially evident in the travel and leisure sectors. According to Mintel, 46% of consumers plan to spend more on holidays than they would have done pre-pandemic. Marketers can harness this desire by creating a more joyful instore experience and by offering ‘products that transform daily routines and tasks in to fun activities’. 

A focus on ethical consumption 

One of the changing consumer habits that’s been on the horizon for a while now is a focus on ethical consumption. Changes in consumer behaviour over the past few years mean that now, the onus is on the brand to prove their ethical credentials. The consumer wants to see ‘ measurable, transparent and consistent actions’ that reflect the brand’s wider commitment to an ideology that goes beyond just making a profit.

older couple about to walk into shop

Get in touch

New trends in consumer behaviour may be here to stay, or there may be further changes still to come. Here in 2022, it’s still not clear what the ‘new normal’ consists of, but for now, the shift caused by the pandemic is a good time to pause and take stock.Whatever the future holds for consumer behaviour, it’s important to get your message out there effectively. And at Wagada, we’re here to help you do just that. From digital marketing strategy to public relations, we offer a full range of marketing services to keep you at the forefront of your customers’ minds.  Want to see what we could do for you in 2022? Contact us for a chat today.