The Compass Blog
By Natalie Bremmer
With the Covid-19 catastrophe (hopefully) coming to a manageable end, producers all over the world are now faced with a whole new consumer landscape. News ideas, norms, policies, and ways of life have created a blockage for businesses trying to reach the same degree of success with their original pre-pandemic business plans in a post-pandemic climate.
These are the must-know consumer trends businesses need to have in place in order to adapt to the tricky consumer environment in 2022.
After being cooped up inside, people more than ever have been observing the state of the planet and they are not pleased. With this in mind, consumers have opted into more environmentally friendly options with their day-to-day and significant purchases. Items that are reusable, easily recyclable, and even second-hand are on the upswing as of late. Examples of such items include electric or hybrid vehicles, second-hand clothing and furniture, and reusable water bottles in lieu of disposable plastics.
Buyers are also looking for businesses that, while in the production process, are actively using sustainable processes to reduce the amount of pollution they pump out into the air, water, and land. Consumers are also looking for companies that present evidence of reducing their carbon footprint impacting the atmosphere.
On top of sustainable products and production standards, producers releasing statements regarding their commitment to the environment and possible donations or actions backing said statements is another way to garner greater attention and support from the general public with a post-pandemic mindset.
Technology & Digitalization
Consumers want information and they want it now. The days of calling a helpline and waiting on hold for half an hour to learn more specific information are gone; customers are going to “google it” or find it on the company website. If they can’t, they will go buy from someone else whose information is more readily available. This can be easily done by making the company website more user-friendly, updating it with the most recent information, creating an app highlighting exclusive deals and news, and being more transparent about company ordeals– barring oversharing or private items of course.
People are also buying more electronic devices– especially video games and VR headsets. The trend is showing that consumers are looking for easy entertainment that can be controlled on their own whim. This is likely a thought process carried over from the depths of the pandemic when forms of entertainment outside of the home were shut down and unobtainable.
With breaking news plastered to every corner of cyberspace and the pandemic slowing down the usual hectic pace of the world, it’s no wonder that people are starting to pay more attention to recent events. This, in turn, has reflected over into buying habits where consumers are more likely to buy from brands that notice and care about the same issues that they do.
Some common world issues or events that businesses have come to support are the fight against homelessness, natural disaster relief, BLM, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and most recently support for the Ukraine.
Money Management & Financial Literacy
With the economic upswing post-Covid-19, people are now fulfilling the need to secure themselves financially in order to fend off any other surprise shocks to the world as they know it. People are putting money in savings accounts at increased rates, investing in traditional stocks, even more, dipping into cryptocurrency, and some even dabbling in non-fungible tokens (NFT). Anything that will help aid in these endeavors – be it alternative payment methods, membership deals, or anything of the like – will definitely catch the consumers' eye.
All of these things have one thing in common– CONTROL.
In light of a pandemic shutting things down, inflation, and war; people everywhere feel like their lives are out of control. The most successful companies in 2022 will be the ones that make buyers feel like at least some aspect of their life is in control again.
Focusing on ethics, sustainability, technology, or money management is a great start to grabbing the attention of the consumers; but to really win the dollars of the post-pandemic market, businesses need to target consumers’ need for control in the seemingly out of control world we currently live in.
According to our GVSU student researcher and author, businesses that can adapt to these trends will be better positioned to satisfy their ever-evolving consumers’ demands in 2022. For additional global consumer trends identified by Euromonitor International , attend the 36th Michigan World Trade Week Business Conference in person or by live stream on May 4th, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The gathering of industry professionals is a great source of information on how to navigate the next normal way of trade. Register today !
About the Author
Natalie Bremmer is a Student Assistant at GVSU’s Van Andel Global Trade Center . She is a sophomore currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Finance and Human Resource Management at Grand Valley State University. She enjoys lifting weights, playing video games, spending time with friends, and going on long hikes.