So far in 2022, we have seen consumer attitudes, behaviours, and purchasing habits change faster than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic has completely transformed how and where we shop, as well as altering the way we live and work. Consumers are now looking at brands differently. Therefore, it is vital to build a business strategy, which is rooted in customer insights and data.
There are several big opportunities for SMEs in 2022, which can be seen by tapping into this year’s key consumer trends of: Sustainability, Smart, Lifestyle, and Health. Products within these realms are growing exponentially, with new products being added to the market all the time.
So, with that, let’s take a further look at these trends and how you can use them to enhance your position with consumers in the upcoming year.
Although offering customers a more sustainable product choice may once have been a ‘nice to have’, it has now become a necessity. A recent study from Accenture has shown that consumer preferences have “dramatically evolved”, with now more than 60 per cent making more environmentally friendly, sustainable, or ethical purchases. Nine in ten of this percentage also said they plan to continue doing this for the long term. This level of demand has led to a strong B2B need for environmentally friendly products. This may mean single-use packaging, decentralised power generation systems and storage, and electric-powered vehicles.
In the past few years, we have seen the rise of hands-free devices, which has resulted in exponential growth for smart, voice-activated products, such as speakers and appliances. Now, more than a quarter of the UK population own a smart speaker, meaning there are increased opportunities for brands that can equip consumers with what they need to run a truly ‘smart home’. In recent months, there has been an increased demand for internet-of-things enabled smart manufacturing systems.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19, we have seen an enormous shift to a large chunk of the population now working from home. As a result, this has created a demand for at-home office furniture, such as chairs and desks. Now, consumers are looking past their recently decorated home office, and we have seen a large demand for products for other parts of the house, including bean bags, electronic sofas, and outdoor equipment.
With the rise of working from home, life and work are mixing more than ever before. Therefore, presenting customers with opportunities to relax is a brilliant area of growth. This year, there will be increased consumer demand for yoga mats and mediation equipment. Similarly, we should expect a growing demand for organic products, whether that be food, drink, cosmetics, and beauty.
So, there you have it! We believe those are four key consumer trends to watch out for in 2022. Therefore, it may be worth rejigging your business strategy, to ensure you have considered changing consumer demands.
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