19 July 2022

Marketing on the move – consumer habits in a brave new world

There’s been a repetitiveness about our conversations for what seems like forever. The pandemic. Lockdowns. War in Ukraine. Surging fuel prices. Inflation. In marketing, it’s always been how consumer shopping habits change, but they’ve never done so as quickly as they are now. No sooner had we come to terms with one seismic shift in customer focus, than we’ve had to quickly adapt to another.

Before the Ukraine crisis, all of those saved pennies were weighing down wallets and ready to spend. Now, everyone’s focussed on fuel bills and the rising cost of living. Add to this heady mix, the sharp focus on environmental responsibility, and it’s fair to say that marketing needs to keep on its toes.

For brands, all of this is Serious with a capital S, and as ever, all eyes are on the consumer. But exactly how are they seeing things lately? In a recent article for Forbes, Kiri Masters investigated three trends shaping consumer behaviour beyond the economy.

Number one is what’s called the homogenization of experiences. No, this strange phrase isn’t something that’s aimed at the dairy industry, although it could curdle a bottle of milk. In plain English, this means that eCom has become boring, with various sites offering the same experience in a different colour. An influential 64% of shoppers are blown away by a unique online experience, so the big take-home for brands is to break out of the box and lure the customer in by sparking their curiosity.

The second biggie looked at how 44% of consumers are becoming more superstitious, or more open to ideas that aren’t necessarily rooted in logic or reason. We suspect that this has a lot to do with the pandemic, but the knock on effect is a more spiritual engagement with consumerism. This enables brands to help customers to not only discover their own identity, but also become part of a brand’s community, meaning and purpose. If this embraces sustainability, so much the better.

The third factor is robots. Who doesn’t love a robot? AI has been huge in every corner of our lives, and none more so than eCommerce, marketing and gathering information on the individual. The major problem with the latter is that 43% of online window-shoppers have changed their browsing behaviour and specifically block data collection to stop being bombarded with suggestions for their next purchase. Brand marketing will do well to take note of this yearning for privacy in what has become an annoyingly naked digital world – after all, most product orders involve an email address, so in the game of trust, sometimes less is more.

Food for thought, indeed. But it’s always worth keeping the unexpected in mind. Right at the top of Bryan Pearson’s list in Following The Shopper For 30 Years: 7 Life Lessons, is that consumers often break rational moulds despite the super-sophistication of a retailer’s AI. Bryan explains: “Years ago, my associates and I learned that grocery shoppers who bought coconuts also tended to buy prepaid calling cards. Why? Because many of these shoppers migrated from tropical places, and the coconuts made them homesick. The lesson: Creativity and insight are needed not just to observe customer activity, but (more importantly) to understand why that behaviour occurs.”

With all this to keep on top of, marketing in retail is more challenging than climbing Everest in a silk onesie, but it’s also more exciting than it’s ever been before.


Recent blog posts

Volvo to embrace the digital world with next gen cars


If you thought Unreal Engine was all about movies and gaming, then think again, as it’s shortly to be playing a starring role on a car dashboard near you. But don’t get the wrong idea – you won’t be cruising on auto-pilot in the fast lane whilst watching… Read More

View more

Going for gold – 2022’s contenders for the RIBA Stirling Prize


The competition is fierce, and the boxing gloves are on for the 26th RIBA Stirling Prize – the Koh-i-Noor of UK architectural accolades. The shortlist is down to six, and four of those are in London. The names on everyone’s lips are Hopkins Architects for their revamp of a… Read More

View more

Bucking the ID Trend – creating a forever style


You know those moments when your guests look at your once cherished sofa as if it has just made an inappropriate joke? As you gaze at it in horror, you realise that it’s been a decade since it was on a trending-now list. But how do you prevent a… Read More

View more

Marketing on the move – consumer habits in a brave new world


There’s been a repetitiveness about our conversations for what seems like forever. The pandemic. Lockdowns. War in Ukraine. Surging fuel prices. Inflation. In marketing, it’s always been how consumer shopping habits change, but they’ve never done so as quickly as they are now. No sooner had we come to… Read More

View more

Three of the best – awesome museum and art exhibitions of 2022


The days of the kids being blown away by pressing an illuminated button in the Natural History Museum are long gone – if they aren’t chased around the building by a robotic T-rex, the family day-out’s been a shambles. But the same goes for us grown-ups… Read More

View more

Top VFX on screen – our top tips for screening and streaming


Skilful VFX has saved many a roadkill movie from a Golden Raspberry Award. But what do you get when the script is smokin’ and the visual effects are so hot you could fry an egg on them? Our list of the best that’s screening right now, or yet to… Read More

View more

And they’re in! The RIBA Awards 2022


The 23rd June saw the Royal Institute of British Architects’ National Awards for 2022 announce its winners. Projects across the UK that have made a significant contribution to architecture include a new library for Magdalene College Cambridge, and the recreation of a cathedral… Read More

View more

Inside Out – Bringing the outside in this summer


Unless you spent an extended lockdown in the Arctic Circle, you should be familiar with biophilia by now. But just in case you really have been snowed in, nearly all ID this year has been focused on bringing the outdoors indoors. And if you’re a UK… Read More

View more

It’s a wrap for plastic


We don’t mean to be rude, but have you had a good look at your packaging lately? In case you’re confused, we’re talking plastics, not your snappy clubbing clobber. And if the answer is no, it’s time to sit up and take note, because it’s the hot… Read More

View more

Cannes Lions 2022 – back and roaring!


With its reputation for sun, sand and superyachts, Cannes has long been a magnet for the glitterati and festivals. The top two are the ‘no introduction necessary’ film festival, and one of our most favourite industry events, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. … Read More

View more