— Last updated on January 5, 2022 —
Consumer behavior in 2022 is going to be very different from what it was a decade ago.
The world has changed and so have consumers, with more people now becoming more informed about their rights and responsibilities when buying products or services.
They expect companies to provide them with clear information on how things work, as well as the ability to compare prices.
This means that businesses need to think carefully about how they communicate with customers.
In this article we will look at most important parts of consumer behavior and some of the key changes you can expect to see in consumer behaviour over the next 10 years.
Meaning Of Consumer Behavior
The term “consumer behavior” refers to a person’s actions when making purchasing decisions.
It includes everything from how often people buy products or services to where they shop.
It also covers their attitudes toward brands, companies, and even specific items.
Consumer behaviors are influenced by factors such as demographics, psychographics and lifestyle choices.
This means it incorporates ideas from psychology, sociology, marketing, economics, anthropology, etc.
For example, if someone buys an item because they like the design, then their purchase decision would fall under the category of “psychographic” rather than “demographic”.
An another example is that if someone purchases something because they want to save money, their attitude towards shopping might change after educating themselves more about the specific topic.
This can fit perfectly in your omni or multi channel strategy.
The more we are interested in understanding our own personal preferences and needs, the better equipped we become to make smart decisions.
So, while there may not be any direct connection between your business and consumer behavior, understanding it helps us understand why certain groups of people behave differently.
Just remember that you and your business need to be in sync with current trends. For example, almost a third (29%) had spent more on fresh food during the crisis than previously, while 26% were spending more on fresh food after the crisis than during it. Source
How do I measure consumer behavior?
There are many ways to collect data on consumers’ buying habits.
You can use surveys, focus groups, interviews, social media posts, web analytics, and more.
Each method has its own strengths and weaknesses especially in 2022 and beyond.
- Surveys are one of the best methods available today. They allow researchers to ask questions directly to respondents without bias. However, they require time and resources to conduct properly.
- Focus groups are similar to surveys but involve small group discussions instead of individual answers. These tend to produce richer results since participants feel comfortable sharing opinions within a smaller group.
- Interviews are conducted face-to-face with individuals who answer questions based on their experiences. Now you can do interviews a lot faster using Skype, Zoom or any other conference call software.
- Social media posts are great tools for collecting real-time feedback from current and potential customers. Companies like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have built powerful platforms which enable marketers to reach out to millions of users every day.
- Web analytics allows you to track visitors throughout different pages of your website. This way you can learn what content works best and improve user experience.
Personal recommendation for online business owners is to use a combination of surveys and interviews.
It will help you to get insights into your target audience’s purchasing patterns.
The goal behind measuring consume behavior is to gain insights into what motivates them to act.
Understanding consumer behavior will help you create strategies that work well across all channels.
If you know what types of shoppers visit your store, you’ll be able to tailor your offerings accordingly.
In addition, knowing what drives these buyers makes it easier to identify new opportunities.
Finally, being aware of trends in consumer behavior will give you insight into future market conditions.
Importance Of Consumer Behavior
The importance of understanding consumer behavior lies not only in its practical applications but also because it helps us understand human nature.
Understanding how people behave allows us to predict their actions and reactions.
This knowledge gives us a competitive advantage over our competitors.
It enables companies to create more effective ad campaigns, product development strategies, pricing models, sales promotions, etc.
For example, knowing that customers prefer discounts before price increases will help retailers decide whether to offer them first or wait until after the holidays.
Knowing which types of products sell best at different times of year will allow manufacturers to plan production schedules accordingly.
And knowing your target audience’s preferences will enable marketers to develop messages that resonate most effectively with each group.
So if you have an ecommerce site, make sure you take consumer behaviour into account when designing your strategy.
You need to consider things such as:
- What type of customer would buy this?
- What features should I include?
- How much does my competitor charge?
- Are there better alternatives available?
- How many items am I selling per month?
- Should I add shipping charges?
- Do I need to provide free samples? If so, do they influence purchase decisions?
These questions are just some examples of issues that arise when thinking about consumer behaviour.
So don’t forget to ask yourself these important questions while developing your own marketing plans.
Types of Consumer Behaviors
When it comes to types of consumer behavior, we’re talking about two main categories: Behavioral psychology and Social science.
Both disciplines focus on studying individual behaviors and interactions between individuals.
However, behavioral psychologists tend to study psychological processes whereas sociologists look at societal phenomena.
The main difference between the two fields is that one focuses on internal factors whereas the other looks at external forces.
I don’t want to overcomplicate this part, so there are four main types of consumer behavior and those are:
- Complex buying behavior
- Variety seeking behavior
- Dissonance-reducing buying behavior
- Habitual buying behavior
Complex buying behavior
This type of behavior is encountered when consumers are buying an expensive, infrequently bought product.
They are highly involved in the purchase process and consumers’ research before committing to a high-value investment.
Imagine buying a house or a car; these are an example of a complex buying behavior.
Complex buying behavior involves several stages including:
- Researching information about the item
- Deciding if you want to buy the item
- Making a decision to buy the item
- Buying the item
- Shopping for additional accessories
- Purchasing insurance
Consumers who engage in this kind of behavior tend to be older than those who don’t.
They have higher incomes and education levels. They also spend more time researching their purchases online.
In addition, they often use comparison shopping websites like Amazon.com.
As a result, they can easily find out what similar products cost elsewhere.
If you run an ecommerce store, then chances are you’ve already experienced customers engaging in complex buying behavior.
Variety seeking behavior
Finally, variety seekers look for different products and services every day.
They don’t stick to one product category but rather switch between categories based on their moods.
They also tend to buy several similar products within the same category.
In other words, they like to mix and match.
As an entrepreneur, you need to think about ways to attract variety seekers by offering unique products and services.
For example, if you have an ecommerce store selling clothing, you could add accessories to your inventory.
By providing variety, you will not only get repeat purchases but also gain loyal followers.
In addition, variety seeking behaviour helps us to identify new trends.
If you notice that there is a sudden spike in demand for something, chances are that it might become popular soon.
Therefore, make sure to stay updated with current events and news stories related to your niche industry.
That way, you’ll always be able to provide value to your target market.
Dissonance-reducing buying behavior
Dissonance-reducing buying behavior is related to dissonance which means that people will try to reduce any unpleasant feelings caused by new experiences.
For instance, imagine going into a restaurant where everything seems unfamiliar. You might feel uncomfortable because you haven’t been there before.
To avoid feeling anxious, you’ll probably choose not to go back again. This is called dissonance reduction.
People with low self-esteem may experience dissonance from trying something new.
Therefore, they’ll do whatever they can to make themselves feel better.
You need to help your customers to build up positive memories associated with the brand.
Another reason why people engage in dissonance-reducing buying behaviors is due to boredom.
Boredom occurs when someone feels uninterested in doing things they usually enjoys.
It’s common among teenagers and young adults. However, it doesn’t mean that they’re lazy.
It just means that they lack motivation to pursue certain activities.
When dealing with bored shoppers, you should offer them incentives such as discounts or free shipping.
These kinds of offers encourage them to keep coming back to your website.
Habitual buying behavior
Habitual shoppers rarely change brands and this is the core of habitual buying behaviour.
The main reasons behind this habit include convenience and price.
Convenience refers to how easy it is to shop at one place instead of having to visit multiple stores.
Price refers to how much money you save on each transaction.
The more the customer repeats the pattern and they are satisfied with the outcome, the more the habit is formed.
There are two types of habitual buyers:
- Those who prefer to purchase items through traditional channels – Customers who prefer brick & mortar shops typically rely on recommendations from friends and family members.
- Those who prefer to order online – Most consumers now prefer ordering online since it saves time and effort.
Online trend has increased over the years. Now in 2022 and beyond we as a business owners need to adapt and form habitual buying behaviors that work for our customers.
We must understand our audience so we know exactly what type of content resonates best with them.
This way we can create content that encourages them to come back to our site.
So if you want to increase sales, then you have to be aware of how to create these habits for our customers.
What Affects Consumer Behavior
Many things can affect consumer behavior, both positively and negatively.
Especially now in 2022 and beyond, technology plays an important role in influencing consumer behavior and their decision making process.
Technology allows us to communicate instantly with others around the world. It also helps us stay connected even while away from home.
In addition, social media platforms like Facebook allow users to share their opinions about products and services.
If we know what influences consumer behavior, then we can take steps to improve it.
|Positive factors||Negative factors|
|Interests||Lack of interest|
Negative factors may cause consumers to ignore certain opportunities or fail to act upon others.
Some common examples of cognitive biases that could cause negative factors are:
- Confirmation bias – We seek out evidence that confirms our beliefs rather than looking for contradictory evidence.
- Availability heuristic – When faced with two options, we choose the one that seems easiest to remember.
- Recency effect – The tendency to judge something as being good based solely on how recently they experienced it.
But the most frequent factors influencing consumer behavior are:
- Marketing campaigns
- Purchasing power
- Economic conditions
- Personal preferences
- Group influence
When marketing campaigns are successful, people start associating those brands with positive emotions such as happiness and success.
However, when marketing campaigns aren’t effective, people associate those brands with negative feelings such as frustration and disappointment.
The more often someone sees a brand name, the stronger its association becomes.
And this means that marketers should focus on creating memorable advertising campaigns.
To do this, they should use emotional appeals instead of rational arguments.
This works because emotion-based messages are easier to recall than logical ones.
Moreover, these types of ads work better at triggering strong associations.
So, even though some people might find them annoying, emotionally charged advertisements usually generate higher click rates.
Like it or not, purchasing power determines whether or not someone buys anything at all.
When it comes to making a decision, people often look first at prices before deciding whether or not to buy.
This means that low prices usually win out over high prices.
So, even though some products cost more, they might still end up being purchased less frequently.
There are three main reasons why people become sensitive to price:
- The value proposition – What does the item offer? Is it worth paying extra money for?
- Availability – How easy is it to find? Are stores nearby? Can I get it delivered quickly?
- Affordability – Does it fit my budget? Do I need to sacrifice other important aspects of life?
On top of that, purchasing power is influencing consumer behavior on many levels, but the core thing is that it’s affecting decisions regarding which products to choose.
Economic conditions influence consumer behavior because they determine whether people feel confident enough to spend money.
For example, if unemployment levels rise, people tend to save their earnings until times are brighter.
On the other hand, if inflation rises, people begin saving less so that they don’t lose purchasing power over time.
As a result, economic conditions play a major role in determining which products sell well and which ones don’t.
People’s personal preferences drive much of their buying decisions.
They’re influenced by many different factors including price, quality, availability, convenience, etc.
However, there is also an element of choice involved.
Therefore, they will make choices based on their own values and interests.
Which leads us to personal preferences.
Personal preferences can be defined as your likes and dislikes.
You’ll probably have several favorite things like food, music, hobbies, movies, books, clothes, etc.
And each of these items has a unique set of characteristics that makes them special.
For instance, your customers may love listening to certain songs or watching specific films.
They may enjoy eating foods from particular countries or wearing clothing made by famous designers.
These kinds of details help you understand what motivates consumers’ purchases.
In addition, knowing about their tastes helps you create targeted promotions.
Group influence is strong when it comes to buying behaviour because most people buy for others rather than themselves.
That said, group influences only apply within families, friends, co-workers, clubs, schools, sports teams, religious groups, political parties, etc.
In contrast, individual influence applies to everyone else who isn’t part of any kind of social network.
Social media plays a big role in influencing our behaviors.
It allows us to communicate directly with one another and we share information, opinions, ideas, jokes, memes, etc., all day long.
But we rarely think about how this affects our lives. We just assume that everything happens automatically.
The truth is, however, that every single thing we see online gets stored somewhere inside our brains.
Then, whenever we want something, we simply pull up those memories and compare them against whatever new product we’re considering.
If the two match perfectly, then we decide to purchase it.
Otherwise, we won’t bother looking into it further.
That the power of group influence.
Customer Behavior Patterns
Buying habits and buying behavior patterns are not the same thing.
Today’s behaviour patterns and different compared to ten or even five years ago.
This is due to changes in technology, demographics, economics, culture, politics, society, etc.
While buying behavior patterns are collective and offer marketers a unique characterization, each customer has his own buying habits.
Customer behavior patterns can be grouped into:
- Method and place of purchase
- Time and frequency of purchase
- Items purchased
Method and place of purchase
Method and place of purchase related to customer behavior patterns include:
|Online shopping vs. offline shopping||Home delivery vs. pick-up at store|
|Mobile phone apps vs. mobile websites||Delivery services vs. self-pick-up|
|Offline retailing vs. eCommerce||Store pickup vs. home delivery|
These days and in the future the method of purchase will be more important than ever before.
This is especially true as many shoppers prefer to shop on their phones instead of going out to physical locations.
If you haven’t noticed (and you will soon) people are now buying digital products and treat them as physical goods. This trend is called NFT which stands for non-fungible- token.
NFTs are gaining popularity among crypto investors and traders since they allow users to trade assets with the proof of authenticity.
So in a near future you could see if you buy a mobile phone, you will have a digital token of authenticity. This is fantastic because when you want to resell your goods, you have a proof of authenticity.
Time and frequency of purchase
Frequency of purchase relates to the number of times per year that a consumer buys products.
This could range anywhere between once a month to once a day.
Time of purchase relates to customer behavior patterns including:
- Seasonal purchases
- Holiday sales
- Black Friday deals
- Cyber Monday deals
- Weekend discounts
- Discount codes
- Sales events
In addition, time and frequency also relate to other factors such as age, gender, income level, education level, location, occupation, marital status, political affiliation, religion, race, sexual orientation, size of household, type of residence, etc.
Items purchased relates to customer behavior patterns that include:
- Brand loyalty
- Product preferences
- Price sensitivity
- Satisfaction levels
- Quality standards
The items bought by customers may vary from one person to another but there are some common things about what most consumers like to buy.
Consumer Behavior Trends in 2022
Consumer behavior trends are constantly changing.
The way people shop, eat, travel, and even interact with each other has changed dramatically over the last few years.
We’ve seen an increase in online shopping and social media influence.
These trends are only expected to continue growing in the coming years.
Consumer behavior trends will be different in 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Consumers will be more cautious about spending money on nonessential items such as clothing, electronics, and travel.
However, we expect these changes to be temporary.
As long as businesses can keep up with new technology and adapt quickly enough, it should not affect business too much.
As far as grocery stores go, consumers will start picking up groceries at home rather than visiting brick-and-mortar supermarkets.
Grocery store chains such as Walmart, Costco, Aldi, Lidl, and Kroger already offer this option.
The main trends that are occurring are related to
- Online Shopping – This trend is not reversible, it will just continue growing. Online shopping continues to grow in popularity due to its convenience and ease of use.
- Social Media Influence – Social media platforms play a huge role in influencing how people behave. People spend hours browsing through their friends’ posts and comments.
- Personalization – Personalized content is becoming increasingly popular. Brands have started using AI to personalize messages for specific audiences based on user data. Like it or not, you would rather want to see an ad for something that you want then something completely irrelevant.
- Artificial Intelligence – Artificial intelligence is being used extensively across industries. It helps companies make better decisions when they need to predict consumer behaviour. Businesses that combine AI and Data analytics can grow faster, with less cost which gives them more leverageable growth potential.
- Augmented Reality – Augmented reality allows users to view digital information superimposed onto real world objects. AR apps allow brands to create interactive experiences where users can learn about products without having to leave their homes. Facebook is already looking to build this kind of world.
- Blockchain Technology – Blockchain technology is revolutionizing many aspects of our lives today. From finance to healthcare, blockchain technology is disrupting traditional ways of doing things. In fact, some experts believe that by 2030, all financial transactions will take place via cryptocurrencies.
Questions About Consumer Behavior
Can consumer behaviour be predicted?
In most cases it ‘s impossible to know what someone else will do before they actually decide to act.
However, there are certain factors that help us understand why people choose one action over another.
That’s why testing is so important. You don’t want your product to fail because you didn’t test well enough.
The same goes for predicting consumer behaviour.
If you’re going to try to predict future behaviours, you must first identify the key influencers.
These are the variables that determine whether or not a person chooses to buy from you.
Once you’ve identified those influencers, you’ll be able to develop strategies to influence them.
How does consumer behavior change over time?
Over the last few decades, there have been many significant shifts in consumer behavior.
- The rise of online shopping – which began around 2000
- A shift towards mobile devices – smartphones and tablets became popular in 2010
- An increase in social media
- An increase in social media usage – especially among younger generations
- Increased access to credit cards – allowing consumers to purchase goods at any time
- Changes in demographics – as baby boomers retire, millennials become the largest generation in history
As these trends continued, we saw changes in consumer spending habits.
For example, while young adults were once known for buying lots of clothes, they now prefer to save money instead.
This has led to a decline in clothing sales.
An another example consumer behavior change over time is increased awareness about health issues such as obesity.
If you are ever in doubt how the consumer behavior will change over time, just think what will be more convenient for consumer (example: ordering things online vs going to physical store).
There you have it! Understanding the current state of consumer behaviors helps you make better decisions when planning new projects.
It also gives you an idea of where you should focus your efforts if you want to improve existing products or services.
Understanding the past gives you an idea of what might happen next and one thing is certain…consumer behaviors are changing so your business must adapt to those changes.