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Social commerce, healthcare and conscious consumerism dominate 2022 shopper trends

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Among the top trends identified in the research, consumers highlighted their increasing tendency to shop across retailers’ digital platforms, with a particularly strong tendency for social commerce.

The latest research from industry leading travel and travel retail research agency, m1nd-set, reveals some of the latest consumer trends which global travellers say will impact the way they shop when travelling this year.

Among the top trends identified in the research, consumers highlighted their increasing tendency to shop across retailers’ digital platforms, with a particularly strong tendency for social commerce. A shift towards personal healthcare products is another dominant trend consumers identified in the research. Conscious consumerism is the third major trend consumers highlighted, underlining the growing importance they place on how brands and retailers communicate the sustainable way in which products are produced, packaged and sold in the travel retail space.

The main shift m1nd-set says retailers and brands need to be aware of and engaging in themselves in the travel retail space is meeting shoppers where they are, via social commerce. m1nd-set owner and CEO Dr. Peter Mohn explained: “More than eight out of ten shoppers we interviewed said that the digital presence and experience is as important as the in-store experience. Given the fast pace in the growth of online commerce over the past two years,” Mohn added, “brands and retailers need to expect to meet shoppers online first and adapt the consumer journey so that the most convenient path is proposed, whether it proceeds online only or in the physical store. This journey should increasingly commence and will increasingly end with social commerce.”

According to m1nd-set, the social commerce market grew by more than 30% in some developed markets in 2021 and is set to more than double in market size over the next four years. The research reveals that Millennials and GenZ consumers are the shopping segments most frequently engaging on social commerce, via Facebook and Instagram in particular. Around a quarter of shoppers interviewed said they had used Facebook and two-fifths Instagram, according to m1nd-set. The research agency says there is significant potential for brands and retailers in travel retail to capture this market given the synergies with some of the most common categories purchased on social commerce platforms. These include jewellery and watches, fashion & accessories and books, including e-books.

Social commerce also creates opportunities for travel retail to develop new products and services, m1nd-set adds. “Consumers will be using social commerce more and more frequently to make their purchases, Mohn continued, “and social media location tracking tools enable brands and retailers to target consumers easily when in, or near, an airport. The opportunities are endless, but failure to meet the consumer in a place where he or she is increasingly used to shopping will mean brands and retailers risk forfeiting considerable sales opportunities.”

The second major trend identified in the research is the higher demand for personal healthcare products. The m1nd-set research reports that more than a third of shoppers (35%) said they have been purchasing more personal healthcare products since the pandemic. According to the research consumers have also been taking up new sporting activities and hobbies as well as seeking more health and wellbeing treatments such as spas and retreats, than before the pandemic. m1nd-set believes there will be significantly greater opportunities for brands that either already sell products or develop services in line with this trend.

The final trend which consumer say will impact the way they shop in travel retail in 2022 is the increasing awareness among shoppers of the concrete impacts of climate change and greater concern for the environment. Around eight out of ten Duty Free shoppers are more concerned about sustainability than ever before, both living and shopping sustainably, according to m1nd-set and the trend is growing: more than half say they are more concerned than they were 2 years ago. More than two thirds of shoppers globally say they prefer to purchase brands that are transparent and proactively demonstrate social, ethical and environmental values and practices, when shopping in duty free stores. Just less than 9 out of 10 shoppers believe that sustainable values are important for the brand’s image.

“Brands and retailers not only need to improve their processes but also increase their focus on communicating their sustainability. The values and ethics of the products companies produce and/or sell need to be promoted continuously as consumers say transparency on these elements is extremely important when considering their purchases” Mohn concluded.

The research, which was conducted among 10,000 consumers who have travelled internationally in the past six months from m1nd-set’s proprietary database of global travellers, also underlines the pent-up desire among consumers to travel again. International flight bookings are expected to grow significantly in the latter part of 2022, as confidence in international travel resumes. Consumers who are planning to travel internationally say they intend to travel more than they did before the pandemic.

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