November 16, 2021

Prepping for 2022: How Has COVID Impacted Shopper Trends?

By Matthew Tilley
Categories

Summary:

• American consumers are feeling both concerned and hopeful for 2022.

• Feeling safe is a key influence in consumer decision-making.

• Self-care is growing as a priority for shoppers.

As we round out Q4, businesses are prepping their strategies for 2022. The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked consumer shopper trends that will affect the upcoming holiday season and beyond. This reality comes with good news for businesses — consumer hopes, confidence and shopping habits are looking up.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) forecasts that holiday sales for 2021 will increase by 8.5 – 10.5% compared to 2020. Our new consumer report sheds light on what behaviors will stick around and what priorities have shifted for shoppers. Read on for a glimpse into how COVID-19 has impacted shopper trends.

Consumer hopes are high for 2022

There is still a lot of anxiety swirling around unknowns, but American mindsets are still trending up. People are feeling better about their physical health, personal finances and work-life balance. Consumers say the most important thing to them when celebrating the holidays is spending time with immediate family (62%).

Staying close to home offers peace of mind

One of the biggest sources of concern for many Americans is the feeling that the pandemic still isn’t under control. Fifty-one percent of consumers say they will stay home this holiday season more than in the past, and we expect this trend to continue into 2022. This shift toward staying closer to home comes with consumers placing more importance on supporting local businesses, which is a strong win for smaller brands.

This trend also means people have shifted focus for personal investments; consumers are putting more time and money into their homes. They are enjoying stay-at-home activities, like cooking their own meals and joining virtual workouts.

Deals will be a key strategy to attract shoppers

Baby boomers in particular are placing importance on finding deals for the 2021 holiday shopping season. The NRF reports that income across the board is rising, and household balance sheets are looking better than ever. However, improved financials aren’t completely stopping consumers from feeling concerned about potential bumps in the road ahead.

Consumers say they are most interested in receiving discounts for grocery items, restaurants and beauty items. These money-saving shopper trends are likely to remain into 2022, so brands should consider setting up reward programs to offer deals in exchange for loyalty.

Self-care becomes a top priority for consumers

Another trend brands can plan on for 2022 is a strong focus on protecting mental, emotional and physical health. Different generations vary in their approach to self-care:

  • Gen Z consumers are interested in home décor.
  • Gen X wants deals to splurge on beauty products.
  • Baby boomers prefer restaurant deals.

For Gen X and baby boomers, there is an emphasis on finding discounts to help sweeten the deal. However, Gen Z wants to feel inspired for self-care by creative content, such as decorating ideas from brands.

How brands kick off the new year strong

Understanding changing shopper trends will help brands close out 2021 powerfully and fully prepared for 2022. If you want to learn more about what is changing for consumers, check out the 2022 Vericast Consumer Outlook.

Matthew Tilley is senior director of content marketing for Vericast and leads content marketing for the company. He has more than 20 years of experience in digital advertising and consumer promotions to develop, communicate, and distribute ideas to make modern marketers more effective. 

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