The three consumer trends you need to keep an eye on in 2022

Ben Hannan - Head of Marketing & Corporate Operations, Ovato

It’s fair to say that the last couple of years have been rough on everyone. But with Australia emerging from lockdown and vaccination rates on the rise, there’s plenty to be excited about as we move into 2022 and beyond.

This is the first in our series of blogs exploring what’s on the horizon in the year to come, and, more importantly, what it all means for you.

Let’s look into some crystal balls!

I want it now

Thanks to lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, many Australians have spent the last couple of years turning to online shopping as a safe and reliable way of getting what they want and need. From fitness gear and equipment to work from home essentials and everything in between, ordering online became the standard way of shopping.

Then came the waiting.

Because while postal services did everything they could to keep everything moving, there were significant issues throughout the year as the sheer volume of packages overwhelmed already stretched delivery services.
Now, while Australia Post has been boosting its parcel delivery capability with the expectation that parcels and not letters will be their bread and butter moving forward, consumers expect to see Same Day Delivery, or as close to that as possible, as standard operating procedure from brands.

Alongside offering and delivering on the promise of same or next day delivery, you’ll want to keep customers across the progress of their packages throughout the entire process, using automated messaging on channels like WhatsApp, SMS and email.

All-day, every day

Be it through social media apps or magazines and catalogues in newsagents and the letterbox, we’re being sold to at all times throughout the day.

Pay later apps like AfterPay are fuelling this short notice shopping decision making and unlocking people’s spending on impulse. AfterPay saw an 8 per cent increase in active customers in 2021 compared to 2020 as customers, in particular Gen Z and millennials, took advantage of the next-gen buy-now, pay later technology to get what they wanted when they wanted it and pay it off in stages.

With customers afforded that kind of buying ability, it’s important to offer customers access to a variety of payment solutions that can suit their financial needs, especially after a couple of years that has impacted many economically. Whatever channel you’re using, highly personalised marketing puts your brand front of mind when the ability to buy has never been easier.

Semi-conductor shortages

2020 and 2021 will become known as the years when the global supply chain came under immense pressure. With border closures galore and even freak blockages of the Suez Canal, getting things from one side of the planet to the other hadn’t been so difficult in decades.

There’s been plenty written about the ongoing shortage in semi-conductors used in everything from smart phones to laptops, gaming consoles, cars, CPUs, GPUs and more. That in turn has hit a number of industries pretty hard, meaning there’s a real squeeze on a variety of products that consumers haven’t had a problem accessing for years.

As a result, we’re expecting prices to rise for some goods, while others simply won’t be as easily accessible for the everyday punter. Supply and demand in affect. With a holiday season fast approaching and a bumper spending period ahead, managing the message about availability of goods from your brand will be key to avoid customer disappointment.

Don’t shy away from telling them the truth. While you might cop a short-term battering, setting the stage and being honest with what is happening will stand you in good stead in the medium to long term.

Just do it

So, what can we take from all that?

With optimism and uncertainty walking hand in hand into 2022, the way that your brand speaks to your customers will be hugely important.

After all, they’re in the same position that you’re in right now. 2021 has been a bruising year, and we’ve all been through a lot. But there’s plenty to look forward to in 2022 and people are generally walking into the new year on a bit of a high.

Reassuring customers that come what may you’ll be there with them, and looking to do the right thing by them, will go a long way in generating confidence in your brand.