Data analyst platform Attest has compiled its yearly Consumer Trends report for 2022, outlining the most important moves with the intention of aiding retailers in reaching their target consumers.
Figures in the report are compared to last year’s, which was carried out at the height of the pandemic and before the rolling out of widespread vaccination programmes. The development has caused some significant changes in consumer attitudes, according to Attest’s CEO Jeremy King, who noted the shift has had an impact on brand messaging, social issues and brand receptiveness.
FashionUnited has outlined some of the key takeaways from the report, showing ways retailers can develop to reach their consumer in the ‘new normal’.
Brand messaging needs to make consumers smile
Uncertainty about the future has been a common component for consumers in the past year. As the world stabilises, individuals are looking to be entertained again, with both US and UK consumers stating humour as the brand message that appeals to them the most.
This was closely followed by the feeling of motivation, which 47 percent of US consumers said appealed to them, while 37 percent of UK consumers also agreed with this sentiment. This messaging especially resonated with Gen X, who made up 45 percent of the respondents for this category.
In third place for most appealing messaging, UK consumers voted that they look to brands to make them feel reassured, while, in the US, educational, thought-provoking marketing was of interest. Millennials had the most pull in this category, with inclusive marketing finding itself towards the bottom of the lineup.
Social media interaction with brands continues to rise
For both markets, email receptiveness has seen a decline over the past year, with most US and UK consumers stating that they are only happy to hear from brands over email once a week. However, where email has taken a slight dent, social media is continuing to shine, as consumers have reported they have seen an increase in the usage of their favourite platforms. Facebook comes out at the top for both countries, with YouTube and Instagram taking second and third place.
Twitter saw a slight growth in the UK making it fourth popular in the country, however, it took a big hit in the US dropping eight percent for usage. Regardless, it was TikTok that enjoyed the biggest increase, seeing almost 10 percent growth in both markets, a figure driven by Gen Z, of which 45 percent reported they connect with brands through the platform.
Gen Z was also found to be the biggest user of both Instagram and YouTube, while Millenials favoured Facebook. Gen X and Boomers showed the strongest engagement on Facebook too, but a total of 51 percent said they don’t interact with brands on social media at all.
High streets and main streets face problems
One of the big pandemic-related shifts was consumers’ online shopping dependency. UK customers came out in the biggest volume for online shopping, with 50 percent claiming they mostly or always shop online for non-food products. Millennials and Gen Z were advocates for this figure, whilst only 20 percent of the respondents said they mostly shopped in-store.
The figures were a little more balanced in the US, with 32 percent reporting they mostly shopped in-store and 37 percent almost always shopping online. In the middle, 30 percent claimed they split their purchases between online and in-store, creating a stable market for US respondents.
Consumers want to go on holidays… after Christmas, of course
In both the US and UK, more than a third of respondents suggested that it was Christmas that had them saving their pennies, a figure that was closely followed by saving up for a vacation. A percentage of over 30 indicated the possible bounceback of the travel and tourism industry, with Boomers being the biggest driver of this area.
Home improvements came third in both markets, whilst celebrations and weddings appeared further down the list, two categories pushed by both Millennials and Gen Z.
Shopping is the most popular pastime
Key social events have continued to lag behind in popularity due to the continued pandemic-related measures in both countries. In both the US and UK, consumers suggested they are socialising less frequently with friends, with many meeting once a month or not at all. However, shopping came out on top as consumers’ most popular pastime at the moment, some good news for retailers.
In both markets, 60 percent of respondents said they were going shopping either weekly or daily, in comparison to 26 percent who are doing a sporting activity and 22 percent that are going to a group, club or class.
Fitness first and wellness priorities
That isn’t to say fitness isn’t in consumer sights. In fact, improving fitness was the biggest goal that applied to respondents of the report. Both in the US and UK, just under 50 percent of consumers stated that this was their lifestyle priority, closely followed by the desire to lose weight. More than half of Gen Z was looking towards these goals in both markets, while Gen X was the most interested in losing weight.
In third place, consumers were either planning to or have recently moved home, a lifestyle change that was seen most frequently among Gen Z and Millennials. Likewise, these generations also contributed to the figures for planning or expecting to have a baby and planning or have been to a wedding, each receiving approximately 6 percent in popularity.
Recycling is the most popular sustainability method
Sustainability is undoubtedly one of the top trends to come out of 2022, as the climate crisis has continued to play an important part in how consumers navigated through the past year. Only 16 percent of Americans and six percent of Brits said they don’t make any efforts to be sustainable, a strong start for the coming year.
Recycling was the top activity among consumers, with over half of the US respondents stating it is part of their routine in comparison with the 72 percent of UK consumers. Boomers were the best at sorting their waste at 62 percent, while Millennials were the worst.
In fact, Boomers came out on top in both countries as the generation taking the most sustainable steps, an unlikely outcome. In America, 37 percent claimed they’re buying fewer things and consuming less, a figure that is mirrored in their UK counterparts.