The shift in Consumer Behaviour in 2022
Consumer behavior and expectations have shifted dramatically in the last 18 months. According to the latest report by Capgemini (1), many of these changes are set to become permanent.
Today, most consumers shop across multiple channels; while they are running to in-store shopping, most people continue to shop online, a channel most of us have grown accustomed to amid the pandemic.
The report also highlights that there have been increased expectations for fast, easy delivery and fulfillment, whether shopping online or offline. Most shoppers are also concerned about the ethical status of the products they purchase and the companies that make them.
As we move forward, companies will need more transparency to assure their customers that their products are healthy and sustainable. Moreover, customers, today do not expect sustainable products to come at a premium price.
Another interesting finding in the Capgemini survey was that people have grown accustomed to ordering directly from their favorite brands. They are also willing to share their data if they get a better deal and shopping experience.
Here is a summary of the survey conducted by Capgemini Research Institute (2),
- Health grocery and beauty shoppers value delivery-related elements more than in-store experiences.
- Fulfillment and delivery are most important to Millennial grocery shoppers (56%) and least essential for Boomers (26%).
- The majority of buyers, particularly younger generations, urban shoppers, and families with children, are prepared to spend more for faster delivery.
- About 41% of surveyed shoppers have ordered brands directly instead of retailers.
- 68% of Gen Z shoppers, 58% of Millennials, and 21% Boomers have purchased directly from brands.
- Most consumers continue to focus on sustainable and healthy living and make their purchases accordingly.
- 69% of shoppers agreed that they would continue to maintain and protect their health even post-pandemic.
- 60% of shoppers say that sustainability will be more important to them while making a purchase decision post-pandemic.
- 72% of customers say that sustainable products should not be more expensive than similar non-sustainable products.
We see multiple ways brands and businesses capitalize on these evolving customer tastes.
Focus on First-Party Consumer Data
Businesses can collect and analyze first-party customer data to customize new products and services for specific customer segments. Many companies are already doing it effectively too.
For instance, Nestlé Brazil created 11 new strategic data assets and an internal analytics center of excellence. It allows the brand to improve its products via an iteration process and bring new solutions to market in a quicker space. The move brought over 5.5 million USD in new revenues within months of rollout (3).
Belgium-based drink and brewing company AB InBev has also used a consumer-data platform to build unified, commercially coherent customer segments from disparate consumer-profile data that different brands collected. The move improved their ad-target efficiency by over 30% (4).
Brands can also develop an omnichannel strategy that incorporates the roles of e-commerce, in-store, D2C, and marketplaces. Customers today shop in multiple ways and expect a smooth and seamless transition between different channels. They don’t differentiate between these two channels and expect the same quality of service and experience from all channels.
Considering how customers parallel virtual and physical activities, brands that fail to adapt to serve customers on multiple channels may be at risk of being left behind. Brands and retailers can do it by:
- Reimaging their stores as a center for customer engagement, data collection, and micro fulfillment.
- Positioning their store as a sustainability driver
- Building a marketplace strategy that employs a D2C experience.
Delivery and Fulfillment Services
In 2022, we will also see an increased focus on repositioning delivery and fulfillment services as central to the customer experience.
Customers have learned to demand cutting-edge delivery services across all channels as the distinctions between online and offline purchasing blur. According to the Capgemini report cited above, the demand for delivery convenience can be an important factor for trying new and evolving shopping models.
The survey found that about 47% of shoppers who purchase products through subscription services do it because of the home delivery conveniences. It means that retailers and brands must continue investing in digital and innovative technologies around delivery and fulfillment services, including data, traceability, automation, and warehousing.
Businesses will also need to embrace technology as a part of service offerings rather than treating it as a back-office tool. In addition, businesses should utilize it to drive the business and provide customers with an integrated, consistent experience across online and physical channels.
Kroger, for instance, had embraced delivery and fulfillment services as a critical part of its innovation strategy within the fresh foods market. It led Kroger to build expanded partnerships with “ghost kitchens,” restaurants for take-out and delivery only to offer customers on-demand, freshly prepared restaurant food (5).
Competitive Pricing for Sustainable Products
Businesses will also have to set prices of sustainable products more competitively to meet customer expectations.
Capgemini’s research indicated that many buyers are prepared to pay a greater price for sustainable items and have done so in the past; nevertheless, most consumers do not believe that this should remain the case indefinitely.
Many buyers are prepared to pay a greater price for sustainable items and have done so in the past; nevertheless, most consumers do not believe this should remain the case indefinitely.
It means that brands and retailers should consider repositioning products that consumers believe are ecological. They should assess if the premium price is set because they are more expensive to produce or because they are environmentally friendly. In short, brands and retailers should not rely solely on the sustainability label to increase profitability.
Marketing Lesson from “ABCDEFU” Song Trend
Gayle’s song “abcdfu” is trending on TikTok, a certified banger that everyone is using, to sum up their moment of anger after a breakup.
Many believed that the song had emerged within the short-video platform. While it is not true, TikTok did help the song to blow up.
The marketing team behind Gayle made it look like she came up with it on the spot. However, they did it only to get people talking.
This marketing strategy got a lot of people excited for the song when she had already written it before.
It makes sense to us. After all, people look to feel more involved, which could be the main reason the song went viral.
It seems that Gayle was not the first person to do it; even Charlie Puth did something similar with his “Lightswitch” song. He made it look like he came up with the song, but he might have done it only to get people talking about his song.
We don’t see why this strategy should only be limited to the music industry. Besides, brands can also utilize several unique and creative ways to build hype around a new product on their social media channels like promotional deals, telling a narrative, offering a sneak peek, etc.
According to a recent study, Dementia will affect over 153 million people worldwide in 2050, which is 3x more than in 2019. Its growing prevalence presents a grand societal challenge that businesses can address (6).
It is essential to highlight that not all people with the condition can go to nursing homes or assisted living centers. And with the rise in nuclear families and more young people choosing to stay single means that many individuals with Dementia may be living independently over the next few years.
There are several ways businesses can help them exercise their memory and help them live independent lives.
Businesses can offer clocks like this one with large digital faces that spell out and announce the full date and time (7, 8). You can also make the display sharp and non glare since it is useful for individuals with visual impairments. Other similar products can include wall calendars and organizers that are hard to miss, which can help anyone keep track of appointments, special occasions, and dates (9, 10).
Businesses can also offer mind games that can help people with Dementia keep their minds active and some social aspects. Match the Shapes (11), for instance, is made especially for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions of Dementia. Another example is Match the Dots (12), which helps trigger positive memories. There are also card games like Match the Suits (13) and word games like Grab & Go Word Search Puzzles (14). Businesses can use similar concepts and offer more games with a simple layout and bigger print.
Overall, startups can help people with Dementia live safely with their innovative products while also offering some peace of mind for busy caregivers.