The last three years have resulted in quickly changing consumer trends as global events have forced customers to change previous habits, and for U.S. consumers, that is not likely to change.
- This year, the threat of recession, repercussions from the war in Ukraine, and the beginning of a likely tumultuous presidential race will keep consumer trends shifting, according to the Consumer Trends Index (CTI).
- Understanding the trends can give businesses and marketers critical insights into how best to approach their customers and increase sales.
- Brand loyalty continues to affect consumer choices, and participation in loyalty programs is growing.
- More consumers want a personalized experience when purchasing from a brand they trust, but at the same time, a growing number of consumers value privacy when it comes to their data.
- Overall, U.S. consumers are more optimistic than the rest of the world about the economy, but many still worry about rising costs and overall economic uncertainty.
Why it’s news
Consumer trends can give executives insights into customer needs and provide guidance on how the company plans to reach its customer base. The CTI analyzes the tendencies of U.S. consumers ranging from Gen Z to Boomers.
The CTI defines Gen Z as those from 18 to 25, Millennials as 26 to 40, Gen X as 41 to 55, and Boomers as 56 to 75. Each category represents a different challenge for businesses. For example, Gen Z prefers to multi-task, has a lower attention span, and prefers institutions that make a social impact. Boomers, on the other end of the spectrum, prefer to look for the best value and deal. This category also represents the largest buying power of the four groups.
Email remains one of the most effective tools when reaching out to consumers. Nearly 55% of U.S. consumers say they have made a purchase based on an email ad in the last year. While still effective, email campaigns are most successful among Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials.
Here are some findings…
- Around 41% of Gen Z say they have purchased due to an email campaign. In all other categories, that number was 61% or higher.
- Around 72% of U.S. consumers are willing to pay more for a product if it comes from their favorite brand. Millennials are most likely to be brand loyal. Around 83% of those surveyed admitted having a favorite brand for certain products.
- Around 81% of consumers say providing a good product will win their loyalty.
- About 83% say customer service influences their loyalty
- And 82% say the availability and range of product options affect their decisions.
- Most customers, around 80%, say that data privacy policies are important to them when choosing a brand.
Privacy is of growing value to the majority of customers. Popular location-based advertising is highly unpopular across most demographics—most notably, 83% of Boomers find it unsettling. Only 47% of Millennials feel the same.
However, 81% of all U.S. consumers like receiving recommendations based on past purchases. Around 61% of consumers say that offers for products they discussed near their smart device are “creepy,” CTI finds.
Consumer trends and preferences could change if consumers’ outlook on the economy does not change. The rising cost of living, overall economic outlook, and current job market have many U.S. consumers worried. Nearly 50% are concerned about the cost of living increases, while 48% are “very pessimistic” about the overall economic outlook. Only 35% of those surveyed are “very optimistic” about their current financial situation, and 41% view their job security in a positive light.
U.S. consumers are more optimistic than other consumers around the world, but the increasing worry about economic conditions could lead to lower spending and shifting consumer trends.