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Evolving Disruptions and Shifting Consumer Preferences Underline B2C Trends In 2022

From omnichannel sales and marketing strategies to data-driven product development and personalized marketing, B2C businesses are embracing a wide range of approaches and trends to strengthen their brands, mitigate risk, and capitalize on new opportunities.

In the two years since COVID-19 first began upending businesses of all types and sizes, we’ve seen countless examples of how, with little to no warning, entire industries can find themselves permanently altered. Between supply chain shortfalls, shifting customer needs and preferences, and evolving pandemic restrictions and concerns, companies have had to rapidly evolve in response to a wide range of new challenges. Yet by the time a company adjusts its strategy in response, those challenges evolve, and new difficulties emerge.  

In the face of all this, how can companies effectively move forward and prepare for the future? A good place to start is with data — or, more specifically, data-backed strategies. 

Collecting insights and building data-backed strategies is critical for B2C companies hoping to not only remain competitive but to maximize their opportunities. They also need agile, adaptable strategies that allow them to quickly respond to and solve unexpected problems. Businesses that rigidly stick to their standard operating procedures risk alienating customers and losing share to companies willing to evolve to give consumers the experience and products they want. 

Emerging Disruptions and Evolving Customer Needs Breed Both Challenges and Opportunities

Indeed, building products and experiences customers want has become more critical than ever, as today’s shoppers have heightened expectations for the brands with which they interact. Over the past two years, those same shoppers have also demonstrated their willingness to explore new brands.  

It’s not surprising: Supply chain challenges and labor shortages have tested customers’ brand loyalty, forcing them to choose between the products they love and the products they can get their hands on.  

Since the start of the pandemic, 35% of U.S. consumers have tried a new brand and have had a variety of reasons for doing so:  

  • 57% said it was because their preferred/usual brand was unavailable 
  • 50% found a brand that met that a newly established need 
  • 37% said their previous brand failed to meet their needs 

This presents companies with both the challenge of retaining their existing customers and the opportunity to capture new business. To capitalize on this and secure customer interest, businesses need to invest heavily in data collection and implementation, keep an eye on potential opportunities and challenges, and develop agile and responsive strategies.  

Learn how product concept testing can help organizations understand customer needs and gauge reactions with our guide Product Concept Testing: The Secret to Meeting Customer Needs 

The 2022 B2C Trends: Omnichannel Experiences, Data-backed Offerings, and More 

Obviously, all of this—the pandemic hardships, the supply chain challenges, the shifting customer loyalties, and behaviors—adds up to a hugely disruptive time for businesses of all stripes. But with disruption comes significant opportunity. For B2C brands, in particular, 2022 will be a year of evolution, as companies embrace and launch data-driven strategies designed to strengthen their brands, mitigate risk, and capitalize on new opportunities. Here are the top five trends we see shaping the B2C space over the coming year: 

  • Seamless, Flexible, Omnichannel Shopping 
    Today’s customers expect the ability to shop how they want, where they want, and when they want. Companies will need to adapt their marketing and sales strategies to provide a cohesive, seamless experience across all channels or risk losing customers. 
  • Targeted, Personalized Marketing  
    As customers’ needs and priorities shift, they’ve become more selective about what they purchase and the brands they interact with. Brands need to hone and expand their sales and marketing efforts to target diverse consumer needs.
  • Shifting Brand Loyalties 
    With their priorities changing and many of their favorite products unavailable, many consumers are abandoning rigid brand loyalties and embracing new ones. While this creates loss potential for some companies, it also introduces growth opportunities for those ready to step in and fill consumer needs.  
  • Data-Driven Branding and Product Strategies
    More than ever before, businesses are recognizing the role of data in driving meaningful, resonant conversations with customers. To leverage this opportunity and remain relevant amid evolving customer behavior and priorities, brands need to upgrade their data-gathering capabilities to quickly collect and adapt to consumer preferences.   
  • Disruption-Proof Agile Strategies
    Between the strains of long-term supply chain disruptions and labor shortages, companies face a range of uncertainties. To ensure quality customer experiences, loyalty, and satisfaction, they’ll need to embrace agile, flexible, new approaches that are adaptable to changing environments.   

Looking for B2B insights? Download the Top Five Trends Disrupting B2B Businesses in 2022

Adjusting Your Business to Match Consumer Demand and Overcome Emerging Challenges

To survive in a constantly evolving and often chaotic business climate, companies need agile, data-driven strategies. Further still, they need to remain committed to using the data they gather to monitor their market for emerging trends and challenges. And, of course, they need to operate in a constant state of self-assessment, prepared to adjust their approaches to align with the market in which they operate.  

In a climate that introduces new risks and challenges on a regular basis, the ability to collect and act upon meaningful data will become increasingly critical for businesses that hope to emerge on top. For deeper insight into the top trends affecting B2C companies — along with strategies and tactics to mitigate risk and unlock opportunities — download our latest report Top Five Trends Disrupting B2C Business in 2022. 

Need updated, targeted data that uncovers your biggest business challenges? Our team of experts is ready to help with in-depth surveys, qualitative research, and strategic planning. Reach out here to learn more about how we can help.  

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