5 Key Consumer Trends that Spell Opportunity for Businesses in 2022

5 Key Consumer Trends that Spell Opportunity for Businesses in 2022

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1. Embrace the metaverse

Few trending topics have gained as much traction heading into 2022 than the “metaverse”: a fancy word for the networks of social connection that increasingly fuse physical and digital realities.  This rapid push of these immersive, virtual experiences into the mainstream has many businesses questioning how 

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1. Embrace the metaverse

and when to participate. The key, forecasters say, is finding accessible ways to blend online and offline spaces.

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2. Prep for the shopper of the near future to earn their massive spending power

Though many of this demographic cohort are yet to join the workforce, Gen Z is quickly aging into more spending power. According to eMarketer, the digital native generation has already amassed a collective buying power estimated around $150 billion. Meeting their heightened expectations will be key to 

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2. Prep for the shopper of the near future to earn their massive spending power

success going forward, says Kathy Sheehan, senior vice president at trend forecasting agency Cassandra.  They are super savvy consumers who see through the algorithm and can be resistant to traditional advertising and marketing. M

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3. Create winning ‘wonder and awe’-inducing ‘third spaces’

“After a couple of years of languishing, people will be seeking moments of wonder and awe,” Marian said.  What’s more, “As retailers look to woo customers back into physical retail, they will double down on creating COVID-safe experiences that allow people to connect with each other.” Beyond retail, wrote Tessa 

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3. Create winning ‘wonder and awe’-inducing ‘third spaces’

Mansfield, chief creative officer at Stylus, in the company’s annual Look Ahead report, "We’ll see a rise in innovation around how retail, co-working, leisure and hospitality can all be better connected.  This will spur a new era for retail’s third spaces that will revalidate physical brand environments.”

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4. Bring a dose of comfort to pandemic-weary customers

This year, people will focus on tools that help them navigate the ongoing uncertainty born from the pandemic and heal from trauma. Some examples: Author Sam Conniff has launched The Uncertainty Experts, a three-part interactive documentary that helps people become increasingly comfortable with uncertainty; running shoe brand 

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4. Bring a dose of comfort to pandemic-weary customers

Asics’s new app uses facial-scanning technology and self-reported data to understand how different sports impact how we think and feel; and Barbie has voiced meditations on the Headspace app, Marian noted.

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5. Keep it local

The past two years have been hard on many small businesses. But a rising consumer interest in buying local offers an opportunity for small- and medium-sized businesses to leverage closer connections to their audience to drive sales. One of the key pivots in spending habits since COVID-19 is a drift toward local 

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5. Keep it local

shopping and a move away from malls, with 75% of consumers planning to shop more locally over the next year, according to a study by digital operations platform Brightpearl.

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