When we talk about behaviors, we are talking about something changeable, that undergoes influences and does not always remain the same, right?! And when we talk specifically about consumer behavior, the picture could be no different.
With that in mind, it is important for us to constantly track these behavior variations, to make sure we are up to date with how our customers are buying things, mostly to make sure we (and our Marketing Strategies) continue meeting their needs.
The State of Consumer Trends, a study conducted by Hubspot Blog Research, has discovered the latest consumer trends, preferences, and behaviors that have shifted from May 2022 until now. And to better understand the whole scenario of changes, across all generations, they surveyed over 1,000 individuals across the U.S., including Gen Z (18-24), Millennials (25-34), Gen X (35-54), and Baby Boomers (55+).
As you can imagine, the survey revealed some great insights to be considered while planning the marketing strategy for 2023, and we can’t wait to share the main ones here in this article.
What are the biggest consumer behavior changes?
1. Mobile experiences are a “must-have” for every business
A quick question, just out of curiosity: what are you reading this text on? If you are reading it on your phone or any other mobile device, you are not alone.
According to Hubspot’s study, 56% of those surveyed use mobile phones more than any other device to perform online research. And this is not a new behavior among consumers – in 2021, people spent a third of their waking hours on their phones, and this represents an increase of 30% in usage since 2019.
You probably think Gen Z leads the number in this mobile survey, right?! But, surprisingly, The State of Consumer Trends found out that Millenials are the most likely generation to use their mobile – at 74%. But, in terms of using it to buy stuff online, Gen Z is still the Golden Audience – we’ll talk more about this pretty soon, stay tuned!
As you could see, mobile is here to stay, and this is a fact. If you and your company still don’t think about the mobile experience you are providing to your customers, can we agree it’s past the time to start looking at it? There are plenty of mobile Marketing tactics and different content formats you can explore to see which one is more aligned with your audience. To take the first step, you can start taking a look at your website, for example, to make sure it is mobile-friendly.
2. Social shopping is getting more popular among consumers
Ok, at this point in the article we already know that people are choosing mobile devices as the preferred platform to buy things online. But, where are they buying it? According to Hubspot Blog Research, the answer is social media apps – Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Tiktok, more specifically.
A different study related to Social Media Trends 2023, performed by Hootsuite, also supports this affirmation: people are getting comfortable using social media platforms, and the numbers are increasing. 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 behind tremendous growth: it’s very mobile-friendly, and has easy-to-use interfaces, granting confidence to those who use it. But, not everything is all roses in social media land – poor customer experiences can make social commerce unpopular.
To navigate through this pass, you need to make sure to provide a great experience and this includes not just the in-app experience itself, but also the customer support you provide after and during sales, and the harmony between your sales channels – to guarantee a standardized customer experience wherever your customer is buying from.
Besides in-app purchases, another great insight from The State of Consumer Trends is about community. Building online communities has shown to be a strong and consistent strategy to engage with customers and social audiences. According to the study, 19% of social media users surveyed joined an online community, and we can already see this being put into practice in the market – big players such as Whatsapp, for example, are investing in community feature releases lately, confirming that Communities can be an ally in Marketing strategies.
Speaking of it, communities and creators are becoming a thing, and worth taking a look at moving forward.
3. Small businesses are gaining more supporters than ever
The later effects of the pandemic may be showing. One of the biggest changes the data from Hubspot’s study has shown is related to small business supporters. In May 2022, up to 8% of the consumers had chosen a product based on it being made by small businesses. This year, the number has grown to 42%.
This is a huge achievement for small businesses, and their chance to start investing in their online presence. If you have a small business, it is important to have in mind one thing: consumers already want to buy from you, so it’s important to make sure that they will easily find you, and make sure to create a seamless experience for them.
Having a marketing strategy is not only for the biggest companies – small businesses can take advantage of it, too. For example, Local SEO can help consumers to find what they need on Google Search, since this strategy helps to highlight businesses in local searches.
4. Consumers are shopping more consciously
Last, but far from least, consumers are supporting businesses with corporate responsibility – which may be one of the reasons for supporting small businesses, as well. Since it’s easier to make sure their production is sustainable, and the owners have social responsibilities to the community that surrounds them.
So, before choosing a company to buy from, consumers are increasingly in the habit of checking their political stance on issues they care about. For example, sustainability, racial justice, climate change initiatives, and LGBTQ+ rights.
This means representation is now one of the decisive factors during the buyer journey – people what to buy from companies that represent them, investing and caring about causes that matter to them.
Moving forward, brands need to pay attention to how they promote diversity, and inclusion and publicly express their support for social causes. And this needs to be genuine. Remember when we spoke about communities and growing social media engagement?
Consumers, more than ever, are following brands on the internet, mostly the ones they are related to. They will know if the brand truly invests and believes in specific causes, or if it is just a mask to gain some followers – in this case, things can get a little ugly.
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