5 Consumer Trends Businesses Should Watch For In 2022

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Marketing is always about understanding consumer behavior and trends.

2021 showed the world how quickly the marketing industry could transition from a face-to-face sales pitch to a 15-second Instagram reel.

Both consumer and business trends changed significantly in 2021, and experts anticipate that change to continue in 2022 as well.

Consumers prioritized personal safety as they dealt with illness, job loss, and a lack of products and services. 

On the other hand, businesses prioritized digital transformation of their marketing and sales strategies.

Now the big question is — will the consumer trends change in 2022?

Top 5 Trends that businesses should watch out for in 2022

Understanding the upcoming changes in consumer behavior will surely help businesses to strategize their services in the post-pandemic world in 2022. 

Consumer Trends Businesses Should Watch For

Today we bring to you the five upcoming consumer trends businesses should watch out for in 2022.

1. Rise of cloud-based POS

According to Lightspeed, cloud-based Point of Sale systems are currently one of the leading POS technology trends today. 

Additionally, it’s predicted that there will be a 50% increase in cloud-based POS by the first quarter of 2022. That means, 2022 will be a good time for POS service providers to witness a boost in their sales figures.

Although POS needs time to set up and additional IT support for its smooth functioning, it can be a game-changer for businesses to enhance the overall customer experience. 

One of the most decisive strategies to consider is a good employee onboarding process going to make sure your team is prepared to provide customer support.

A significant step in this direction would be to make transactions simple and painless. And a cloud-based POS mechanism is just the right tool for that. 

Rise of cloud-based POS

The simplicity and flexibility it offers are incredible for any business. A robust billing cycle and a user-friendly invoice - what else can be better than this?

This is how retail outlets can rope in the benefits of POS to improve the experiences of their customers:

a)   Faster checkout

People are always in a hurry to get somewhere. So, you can’t expect them to spend a considerable amount of time in your store. They want to complete the purchase as fast as possible. POS can let them shop instantly without standing in the checkout queue.

b)   Multiple payment options

There are fewer people using cash today. More people are opting for card-based payment methods, be it credit or debit.

Even contactless payment methods like PayPal and UPI have gone to unprecedented levels, especially during the pandemic. This trend will push businesses to adopt multiple payment options. Reliance on cash-only will be a long-gone story.

c)    Better inventory management

Keeping track of inventory consumes a significant amount of working hours. And not to mention the effort and hassle.

As long as you have a good POS system, tracking everything will be seamless. Even responding to customers will be hassle-free.

2. CPG & Retail will be more AI-integrated

AI investments in the retail sector are on the rise and are expected to reach $7.3 billion annually in global retail technology spending by 2022. 

CPG & Retail will be more AI-integrated

To keep up with the changing habits of consumers, retail businesses will continue to step up their AI implementations in 2022.

Predictive analytics, made possible by AI, enables retailers to cater to their customers’ online and offline preferences.

AI can assist data analysts to have a better understanding of customers and their changing needs. AI will also be used in retail to improve inventory management, human resource planning, and better pricing.

As far as CPG is concerned, AI's use will continue to improve consumer experiences. Better forecasting and intelligent product development will facilitate this. 

Using AI, CPG manufacturers can manage their stores and warehouses better. They can use their shelf images as data, and use that data to plan and implement price, package, and promotional strategies.

Some of the other use cases of AI will be e-commerce fraud prevention, targeted ad creation, and programming, contact centers document analysis, and inventory optimization. Predictive maintenance, and finding out manufacturing defects are some other areas where AI investments are likely to boost in 2022.

3. Post-pandemic consumption pattern

The pandemic had changed many things. One of them is the consumption pattern of people. 

Post-pandemic consumption pattern

As most people were subjected to new work models and hybrid work culture, their consumption behavior changed significantly. In the pre-pandemic era, only 37% of adults were having breakfast at home, which went up to 47% after the pandemic. Even the same trend was seen in the lunch pattern of people.

So, what is the point you can take home from the above findings?

If the trend continues in 2022, people are likely to have more homemade breakfast and lunch.

Remote work has also disturbed the coffee routines of most people. Thus, people are buying more coffee products than earlier. That being said, retail grocery products will include more self-service coffee and home-served beverages.

Is there any impact on the snacking pattern of people?

Yes, a great change has been seen in the snacking pattern of people. 

A Hartman Group report found that around 35% of people were snacking more frequently than a year ago. This habit might be a result of the extended time people stayed at home during lockdowns.

Overall, 48% of the time people devoted to eating was only for snacking. Moreover, younger consumers, including millennials and GenZ, want to have plant-based snacks, possibly free of gluten and dairy.

In 2022, retailers must focus on sought-after products, something that the consumers are looking for in the post-pandemic era. They have to fill their stores with stuff that is appealing to shoppers.

Even the CPG brands should work on their pricing and packaging to cater to the new consumer needs. This can include new sizes and formats for special occasions.

Consumers are open to testing new samples to discover new brands. This will be a chance for newer brands to outshine established market players in their competitive arena.

4. The ASP story to continue

The global supply chain has not come to the pre-pandemic level.

Industries across the globe are still suffering the outcomes of the disruption caused due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the difficulties manufacturers are experiencing in creating and shipping products, they frequently concentrate on products with higher profit margins. However, this proves to be adverse for end-users as retailers are forced to raise prices.

Overall, the average selling prices (ASPs) of most commodities have already increased for all categories of products. We can expect this situation to continue even in 2022. Although the effect might be a little less severe than in 2021, the challenges will be there, for sure.

Consumers will still pay higher prices than in 2019 and 2020, but not as much as they will in 2021 as demand returns and supplies catch up.

Many retailers will find themselves in the position of needing to incentivize consumers' lower demand levels by the middle of the year, or even sooner, and will once again turn to promotions to accomplish this.

5. eCommerce will continue to grow to a new level

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated investments in technology-based innovations. It is equally true for retailers and manufacturers. 

eCommerce will continue to grow to a new level

Each stakeholder tried to innovate new ways to scale up their delivery as per the consumer demands. These new ways include adapting to the online business model.

Most traditional retailers were relatively not well prepared from a channel perspective. The omnichannel concept changed from just a buzzword and became a reality in almost no time. This threw new challenges for retailers and shop owners to shift to a warehouse, an entirely new concept.

However, as of 2021, they are habituated to the new normal. 

In 2022, the traditional offline stores will continue to change into online retail points, powered by the new eCommerce boom.

Additionally, those retailers, especially in the grocery segment who somehow stayed behind in the transition period will slowly pick pace. New startups are popping up every week and they will somehow onboard these missing segments to the eCommerce boom in 2022.

Given the continued growth and evolution of shopping across multiple channels, retail analysts expect that more investments will pave the way to streamline the operational demand and supply chain systems. This will further lead to enhanced customer experiences in 2022. 

Conclusion: consumer trends businesses should watch for

In general, businesses, particularly the retail industry, are expected to continue their recovery as well as growth in 2022.

However, because of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, which is far from over, there will continue to be numerous business hurdles.

Many industries are still struggling to catch the global supply chain. Pricing continues to be a challenge.

Retail growth opportunities are still available, but innovative products and replenishment will fuel them as consumers have been habituated to consume faster than in the past.

Keep an eye on these trends in 2022 to ensure that your company is prepared for the future and remains agile in a rapidly changing world.

Taking a look around the corner can help you prepare for the wide range of post-pandemic consumer trends that are likely to change in the coming years.

Let us know in the Comments section below what are some of the consumer trends that you witnessed and believe that it will continue in 2022 and beyond.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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