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  • Writer's pictureCharlotte White


Updated: Mar 5

The question on most people’s lips? How will people shop this year and (most importantly) what will they expect from the brands they choose to spend their money with. Get ready to meet the brand-new customer priorities and profiles whilst exploring the strategies set to impact businesses just like yours…

The last two years has certainly taken an emotional toll and in 2022, consumers will continue to be contradictory in their purchasing decisions. Non-linear customer journeys, a deep-rooted desire for value and new sentiments around loyalty and kindness will shape the shopping landscape.

This will be a year of bold change for brands. The 2022 consumer will continue to grapple with the lingering effects of the pandemic, including infuriating supply chain issues and inflation woes, while prioritising the health and wellbeing of themselves and those around them. What does this mean in practice? It’s changing the way they buy and as these behaviours evolve, they will continue to expect more from the brands they support.

person with shopping bags

Meet: The Hybrid Shopper.

The out of-stocks, price hikes and product scarcity of the recent supply chain crisis the traditional path to purchase has been well and truly disrupted. The hybrid shopper seeks alternative ways of obtaining their desired item, impacting brand loyalty, and putting pressure on brands to keep up.

Sadly, this consumer is growing (sick and) tired of seemingly endless product shortages and long lead times and are increasingly willing to go to any lengths to get what they want, when they want it. There has been a 172% rise since the pandemic in the number of out-of-stock items online and it’s having a huge knock on effect on consumer trust and loyalty. How you communicate and what you say to this shopper in times of shortages has never been more important. Their mantra is increasingly ‘buy it anywhere, from anyone’.

How to reach them? Brands need to make sure they’re showing up with the right message across multiple channels, platforms, and consumer touch points. Whether it’s a mobile app, marketplaces or in-store, social media, and resale sites you need to make sure you’re striking the right note everywhere.

sale sign in window

Meet: The Ultra-Value Seeker.

It’s no secret – things are EXPENSIVE right now. Consumers are looking like they’ll be even more frugal in 2022 and searching for value at every touchpoint. Against the backdrop of product shortages, inflation and supply bottlenecks causing price hikes, this shopper is keen on a bargain. Deals and promotions tick their boxes.

In 2021 in general consumer spending saw a jump fuelled by government stimulus (who remembers eat out to help out), pent up demand and staying in. As we move into 2022, unfortunately the pendulum is starting to swing the other way with people tightening their belts on anything other than necessary expenditure. This means consumers will be doubling down on ultra-value for the long hail with more than twice as many shoppers saying they plan to spend more money at value chains in the next five years compared to 2020, and while over 50% in a global PWC survey said they become more price-conscious in 2021.

What does this mean? Unfortunately, high prices (or price hikes) will prompt this particular consumer to opt for cheaper, essential options and lead to a reprioritisation of what they choose to spend their hard-earned money on. Ultra-value seekers prioritise deep discounts, cutting down on the number of items they purchase. How on earth do you reach a consumer whose hell bent on a bargain when you also need to keep profitability in mind for your brand? They need some serious convincing so the copy you use for your next sales offering has never been more important. They need to feel compelled to put their principles aside for this one purchase and go against their new behaviours.

person on laptop

Meet: the Viral Shopper

#TikTokMadeMeBuyIt is generating a whole new breed of shoppers who are turning to the app to promote, discover and purchase the hottest new items. Social media commerce is set to grow a staggering three times faster than e-commerce in the next four years, this shopper is changing the face of online consumption.

With one BILLION monthly active users this young, clout-chasing shopper is heavily influenced by what they see on TikTok and with 74% of users claiming it assists them with their buying decisions and 67% saying it helps them learn more about a brand or product that’s a huge number of people. Conversely, viral shoppers don’t want brands to simply ‘push’ products onto them, they rarely respond well to simple advertorials or traditional advertising. They look to micro-influencers and creators for inspiration on what to buy next. Chasing trends, discovering the next big thing and emerging brands are their priority so with this in mind it may be worth re-looking at your marketing spend and adding a line in for influencer activity. One thing is for sure, if you’re not investing in your online social media presence then you should be, and if you need guidance on how to generate your next campaign then look no further. I can help.

The bottom line.

As social commerce rises, so too does the so called ‘viral’ economy, fuelled by Gen Z shoppers heavily influenced by TikTok. Above all, kindness will reign as shoppers look for compassion, empathy and meaning in their interactions with others and most importantly, those they buy from.

Until next time.

Char x

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