Change is inevitable. However, the rapid rate of change consumers and retailers experienced in the past year can be difficult to comprehend. In terms of priority, what should people deal with first? Health and personal safety? Finding employment after a job loss? Or ensuring that food and essentials are not in short supply. It can be a balancing act to manage it all efficiently. Retailers are impacted by the decisions consumers make in their personal lives. It’s critical to understand what is a temporary situation versus what will last into the foreseeable future. Here are six consumer trends to consider as you develop plans for 2022.
Speedy Delivery is a High Priority
Amazon’s same-day delivery goal consistently raises the bar for the speedy arrival of packages. While only 30 percent of consumers expect same-day deliveries, 90 percent expect packages to arrive within 2-3 days. Slower deliveries fail to meet expectations.
- Sixty-eight percent of consumers say fast-shipping prompts them to place online orders
- Eighty-five percent of consumers shop elsewhere when deliveries aren’t fast enough.
Support Brands that Value Sustainability
Consumers want the option to purchase sustainable products. According to a recent survey, 71 percent of shoppers care more about sustainability than they did a year ago. Over two-thirds of respondents are willing to pay premium prices for brands that demonstrate a concern for the environment and ethical practices. “We believe consumer appreciation for sustainable brands is reaching an inflection point, says Jim Duffy, consumer and retail managing director at Stifel, a financial firm. “The empowered and connected consumer is armed with more available information about products and brands than ever before, and we are seeing an increasing emphasis on sustainability in personal values and buying behavior.”
Shopping is an On-going Experience
Consumers are constantly online looking for deals or exciting products.They enjoy shopping while reading articles or scrolling social media sites.Media consumption has doubled in the past two years, so there is ample opportunity to click on ads and review personalized messages. In response, marketers are tailoring their messages based on the consumer’s level of online activity.
Prefer to Buy Online, Pick-up in Store (BOPIS)
Buying merchandise online and picking it up in a physical store became a higher priority for consumers this year. These transactions benefit businesses and consumers. It allows retailers to connect the online and physical store experience and potentially generate additional in-store sales. Consumers also have a greater sense of safety since they do not have to come into contact with people inside a store.
- Lower shipping costs from the manufacturer to the store vs. to the consumer
- Batter inventory management and less overhead
- 61 percent of retailers put BOPIS at the top of their omnichannel and investment plans
Shopgate Omnichannel Survey
Consumers have options, and they prefer shopping with retailers who meet their expectations. According to a Fisher Study, 90 percent of respondents dislike paying high shipping fees and are unwilling to wait longer than two days for home deliveries. Consumers also want the assurance of knowing the items they need are in-stock. The Shopgate Omnichannel Survey also found:
- Over 40 percent of shoppers used BOPIS during the holidays
- 68 percent of respondents made multiple purchases
- 50 percent of respondents shopped online because they could pick-up in store
Cash Replaced by Contactless Payments
The value of contactless payment transactions in the U.S is expected to increase from $178 billion in 2020 to $1.5 trillion in 2024. According to Juniper Research, global transactions are currently $2 trillion and are projected to rise to $6 trillion in four years. Shoppers who were wary of the new technology are now comfortable with this form of payment. This option is especially true for Millennials who enjoy speed and ease of use. Contactless payments are:
- Ten times faster than other methods of in-person payment
- 84 percent of users prefer this type of payment to cash
- 50 percent of users make four or more contactless payments per month
Understanding what’s on the minds of consumers and how they respond in certain situations will help you develop an effective plan of action for 2022.