When we talk about behaviors, we are talking about something changing, which is influenced and which does not always remain the same, is it not? And when we talk specifically about consumer behavior, the picture cannot be different.
With that in mind, it is important to constantly monitor these variations in behavior to ensure that we are up to date on how our customers are buying, and most importantly to ensure that we (and our marketing strategies) continue to meet their needs.
The State of Consumer Trends, a study conducted by Hubspot Blog Searchdiscovered the latest consumer trends, preferences and behaviors that have changed from May 2022 to today.
And to better understand the whole scenario of changes, all generations combined, they questioned:
- Over 1,000 people in the United States, including Gen Z (18-24), Millennials (25-34), Gen X (35-54), and Baby Boomers (55+).
As you can imagine, the research revealed some great information to consider when planning your 2023 marketing strategy.
I look forward to sharing with you the main ones here in this article!
What are the biggest changes in consumer behavior?
1. Mobile experiences are essential for every business
A quick question, just out of curiosity: On which device are you reading this text? If you read on your phone or any other mobile device, you’re not alone.
According to the Hubspot study, 56% of respondents use mobile phones more than any other device to conduct online surveys.
And it’s not new consumer behavior – in 2021, people were spending a third of their waking hours on their phones, representing a 30% increase in usage since 2019.
You’re probably thinking Gen Z is leading in this mobile survey, right? But surprisingly, the state of consumer trends revealed that:
- millennials are the generation most likely to use their mobile phone – at 74%.
- butin terms of using it to buy things online, Gen Z is still the golden audience – more on that soon, stay tuned!
As you can see, the cell phone is here to stay, and that’s a fact. If you and your business still aren’t thinking about the mobile experience you’re giving your customers, can we agree that now is the time to think about it?
There are plenty of mobile marketing tactics and different content formats you can explore to see which resonates the most with your audience. To take the first step, you can start by taking a look at your website, for example, to make sure it is mobile-friendly.
2. Social shopping is gaining popularity with consumers
Ok, at this point in the article, we already know that people choose mobile devices as their preferred platform to buy things online.
But where do they shop? According to Hubspot Blog Research, the answer lies in social media apps – Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and TikTok, in particular.
Another study related to Social Media Trends 2023, conducted by Hootsuite, also supports this claim: people feel comfortable with social media platforms and the numbers are growing.
According to Social Media Trends 2023, more than half of millennials and Gen Z have social media influences when shopping online, and Gen Z already uses TikTok more than Google to search for things.
The in-app experience is the reason for the strong growth: it is very mobile and has easy to use interfaces, giving confidence to those who use it. But all is not well on social media – a poor customer experience can make social commerce unpopular.
You need to ensure a great experience, and that not only includes the experience within the app itself, but also the customer support you provide after and during sales.
Harmony between your sales channels is also key to ensuring a standardized customer experience, regardless of where your customer is shopping.
In addition to in-app purchases, another interesting insight from The State of Consumer Trends concerns the community: building online communities has proven to be a solid strategy and systematically to engage customers and social audiences.
According to the study, 19% of social media users surveyed have joined an online communityand we can already see this being put into practice in the market.
Big players like Whatsapp, for example, have been investing in launching community resources lately, confirming that a community can be an ally in marketing strategies.
3. Small businesses are gaining more supporters than ever before
The aftermath of the pandemic could be felt. One of the most significant shifts Hubspot’s study data has shown is in small business supporters.
In May 2022, up to 8% of consumers chose a product because it was made by small businesses. This year, the number has risen to 42% of consumers.
It’s a huge achievement for small businesses and a chance to start investing in their online presence. If you have a small business, it’s important to keep one thing in mind: consumers already want to buy from youso it’s important to make sure they can find you easily and you’ll ensure an easier experience for them.
Having a marketing strategy isn’t just for big businesses – small businesses can benefit from it too. For example, local SEO can help consumers find what they need on Google Search, as this strategy helps businesses stand out in local searches.
4. Consumers buy more consciously
Last but not least, consumers support responsible businesses, which could also be one of the reasons for supporting small businesses. Because it is easier to guarantee that their production is sustainable, and that the owners have a social responsibility towards the community around them.
Thus, before choosing a company to buy from, consumers are increasingly in the habit of checking political positions on the subjects that interest them. For example, sustainability, racial justice, climate change initiatives, and LGBTQ+ rights.
Representation is now one of the defining factors of the customer journey: people buy from companies that represent them, invest and care about the causes they care about.
This means brands need to be careful about how they promote diversity and inclusion and publicly express their support for social causes.
And it must be authentic. Remember when we talked about communities and growing social media engagement? Consumers, more than ever, follow brands on the Internet, especially those with which they are connected.
That way, they’ll know if the brand really invests and believes in specific causes, or if it’s just make-up to gain followers – in which case, things can get a little ugly.
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