Consumer Trends 2022

By at 11 January, 2022, 12:40 pm

By Karen Kerrigan –

One thing that entrepreneurs and small business owners can continue to expect in 2022 is more of the same and more of the unexpected. Entrepreneurs and innovations will continue to provide solutions to potential problems that may emerge in the marketplace, and as we’ve seen, consumers have embraced the continuous pivoting.

Flexibility is now embedded into the mindset and lifestyle of most consumers. Technology and tech platforms have provided answers and solutions to the many challenges wrought by the COVID economy. That is why SBE Council continues to advocate for smart policies – not invasive regulation – and incentives that are needed to fuel investment, which then drive the innovative solutions that are needed to overcome our nation’s – and the world’s – most pressing challenges.

In a recent “Retail Trends 2022” blog post, I provide a roundup of articles, content and resources that offer business owners helpful information about retail trends and how to reach and serve consumers in the ever-evolving economy.

In this “Consumer Trends 2022” post, I provide practical and insightful content on what the consumer is thinking and doing, what they expect from businesses, and how they will spend their dollars in the coming year.

2022 will certainly come with its challenges, but it will also offer entrepreneurs and small businesses many opportunities to innovate, grow and succeed. Let’s go!

Goodbye Big-Box? Curbside Pickup, Contactless Payment Options Fueling Rise of Small Businesses, StudyFinds

Small business appeal: Leverage and promote unique offerings, create atmosphere and a community. BUT…be more flexible on store hours. The survey revealed a large share of Gen-Zers and millennials “couldn’t care less about stepping foot in a large chain store ever again.”

● Commissioned by GoDaddy and conducted by OnePoll, the survey revealed both Gen-Z (54%) and millennial (60%) respondents couldn’t care less about stepping foot in a large chain store ever again.

● The things respondents find the most appealing about small businesses are having interesting items for sale (49%) and the store’s atmosphere (44%).

● However, many people believe small businesses have a long way to go. Twenty-nine percent think the biggest hurdle when shopping small is dealing with limited store hours.

Consumer Trends for 2022, Synchrony

What consumers may buy more of: more things for the home, home office equipment, cooking supplies and gadgets, work-from-home apparel, pet care and pet-related products, health and wellness, cars and personal transportation. They’ll spend less on: home exercise equipment, work and dress clothes.

More Highlights:

Hybrid: The New Shopping Model, and other Trends to Watch include:

● Consumption of more private label products

● Sustainability matters more

● Supporting businesses that share consumers’ values

● Ease and convenience

● Support of local businesses continues

5 Ways Small Businesses Can Plan and Prepare for 2022:

● Provide customers with multiple shopping options

● Stay connected to your customers

● Provide a more personal shopping experience

● Offer a safe, convenient shopping process

● Stay on tops of the latest trends!

Predictions 2022: Weary Consumers Seek Immediate Happiness and Comfort, Forrester

“After years of living in the face of uncertainty, consumers are weary, guarded about their spending, and used to constantly resetting their expectations and adapting their patterns of activity. In 2022, consumers will continue testing new ways to fulfill their needs with an eye toward long-tail pandemic disruption; in the process, their new behaviors will create new economies.”

● Consumer demand for brands that deliver instant happiness and comfort will propel category growth.

● A majority of consumers will see the world as all-digital, with no divide.

● Device-enabled mobility will signal the new status symbol.

Consumer and Customer Trends to Watch for in 2022, OneSignal

“2021 has been a year of sweeping changes that have rocked the entire app and digital marketing ecosystem, affecting companies across the board.”

● Trend #1: The Importance of Omnichannel – “Large players such as Amazon have set a high bar for these high-touch, personalized omnichannel communications and consumers now expect smaller businesses to measure up to this standard.”

● Trend #2: The Death of Personalized Advertising – “In the past decade, identifying unique users across mobile apps and websites has laid the foundation for personalized advertising. Today, regulators and platforms are quickly putting an end to these capabilities.”

● Trend #3: The Rise of Subscription Models – “Rather than acquiring as many users as possible via advertising, businesses are now being forced to think about how they can retain existing customers and increase their lifetime value (LTV) in order to achieve reliable business growth.”

● Trend #4: Digitization of Customer Interactions, Mobile-First Growth, and the Explosion of Key App Categories – “Consumers spent 8 percent more time on their mobile devices than they did watching live TV in 2021.”

● Trend #5: Real-Time Everything – “Real-time customer experiences are not just appreciated — they’re expected…They now expect to receive proactive communication and updates rather than seeking out information or interactions with your brand.”

● Trend #6: Increased Tech Literacy – “Over the course of 2021, Gen Z, Millennials, and GenX/Baby Boomers spent 16, 18, and 30 percent more time YoY on their most-used apps.”

Connecting the Dots: 6 Must-Know Consumer Trends for 2022, GWI

This blog takes a quick tour through six uber-trends shaping consumer behavior in the year ahead.

“We’ve seen U.S. consumers in the past year feeling bolder, more adventurous, and empowered…One way for brands to stand out in 2022 is to make sure their tone matches this YOLO mood.”

More on: Media preferences, the new looks in personal care and what it means for marketing, exploring the uncertain future of crypto, how consumers are sharing the “whole picture” on social media, and how consumers are taking care of their wellbeing.

Global Consumer Trends in 2022, Qualtrics

“The overriding message from our research is that customers want to feel valued. They want better quality service, with a two-way relationship forged by feedback and action.

“Consumers want better experiences in 2022, and businesses are failing to respond – risking on average 9.5% of their revenue. It’s time to throw out the old business plans and try a different way of thinking.”

2022: What Can You Expect, Froomle

“While the pandemic and its effects have continued into 2021, life is slowly returning to a pre-pandemic state, with a few large changes. But what are the consequences for eCommerce? And what changes to consumer behavior can we expect to see in the coming months?”

● Trending Products: “Toys, Shoes, Pens & Pencils”

● Positive connections: “Organizations need to provide value and be helpful, so they remain relevant for their customers.”

● Fragile loyalty: “Now is the time to work out exactly why your customers are loyal to you and to use these insights into expanding your customer base.”

● Hybrid events: “Imagine the possibilities from incorporating AR applications or virtual reality tours in your next event…just remember that innovation is key when it comes to in-person events.”

● eCommerce on Mobile: “With their connection to their mobile devices, these consumers are looking for new experiences that can be enjoyed on-the-go.”

● Privacy and personalization: “With the changing rules banning the use of third-party data, this year all eCommerce stores will be relying on their own data.”

● Re-commerce: “With its current worth of €24 billion, and a projected $51 billion by 2023, recommerce – renting, reselling, and thrifting – is booming. The stigma of buying secondhand items has lost its stigma thanks to the increasing passion for sustainable commerce and the growing purchasing power of Millennials and Gen Zers.”

Social media: “Another important social media trend is social selling, which is becoming more common as apps include features that enable social media users to purchase items without leaving their platform.”

Tech is Finally Killing Long Lines, Axios

The use of apps is increasing and lines are going virtual.

“Physical lines are disappearing at theme parks, doctor’s offices, clothing stores and elsewhere, replaced by systems that let you book a slot online and then wait to be notified that it’s your turn.”


What Will Consumer Be Buying in 2022? E-Commerce Experts Reveal Product Trends, Forbes

“Here’s what e-commerce leaders from Etsy, Pinterest and Shopify are predicting as bestsellers in the year ahead.”

● Self-care and balance: “I anticipate shoppers will embrace lagom as they look to live their lives with balance and moderation in mind.”

● Refreshening and brightening the home: “Above all, people want to have a home that truly represents their unique personality, which is why items such as statement lighting and other quirky, fun pieces are trending right now.”

● Embracing creativity and deeper connections: “The customer has discovered that an every day item can have real meaning, especially if they have made it themselves. Expect to see doing-it-yourself continuing to be at the forefront of customers’ minds.”

● Pets: “Pampering your pets isn’t enough anymore. Try animal first…architecture. In 2022, people will redesign their homes with Fido and Felix at the forefront, from luxury dog rooms to ‘catified’ homes.”

● Color and joy: “After a focus on neutrals and natural materials for a couple of years, we’re going to see a renewed emphasis on using color to bring that pop of personality…Shoppers want to shop with intention.”

The New Trend in Healthcare: Do-It-Yourself, Wall Street Journal

The strained healthcare system is forcing consumer to take matters into their own hands.

“Ms. Ditty is part of a do-it-yourself healthcare movement that has accelerated during the pandemic, doctors and industry analysts say. Frustrated with an overburdened health system, more consumers are turning to gadgets, home kits, apps and monitors for tasks and tests previously handled by trained medical workers. They are monitoring their own blood pressure, conducting EKGs, tracking blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and pricking their own fingers for blood tests normally done at the doctor’s.”

What’s that Smell?, Wall Street Journal

Housebound Americans are super-conscious of the odors in their homes, and consumer purchases of air fresheners and candles were up significantly in 2021.

“IFF’s consumer research found that 67% of American consumers have experienced ‘more malodor’ in the pandemic, Ms. Merrill said. Within that group, 61% said they needed home-fragrance help.”

Here Are Whole Foods’ Top Ten Food Trends for 2022, Food Manufacturing

“Buzz-less spirits, yuzu, Reducetarianism and functional beverages made with prebiotics and botanicals are among the food influences expected to rise in popularity in the next year.”

What trends are you seeing or tracking in 2022? Please share them with me at

Karen Kerrigan is president & CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

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