Supply chain problems set to change shopping habits

Supply chain challenges across the coming year will change shopping habits as consumers seek creative solutions to find their go-to products, according to research from Euromonitor.

The research into the top 10 global consumer trends for the year suggest access and action are the driving forces behind the trends, which include a shift to climate awareness, seniors embracing the world of digital and the metaverse movement, as consumers take back control after a disrupted 2021.

With supply chain chaos not expected to improve until 2023 – with two out of three businesses hit by the problem in 2021 – the number one consumer trend for the year will see consumers look for new ways to purchase their go-to products and services while businesses will have to pivot and provide new solutions to meet customer demand.

According to Euromonitor, what they are calling “Backup Planners” means consumers will use technology in an attempt to move to the front of the queue when supplies are threatened. Other consumers will rely on subscription services or community group buying to secure deliveries.

“When thwarted, Backup Planners are reverting to the next best option, seeking alternatives and in some cases, delaying purchases or changing shopping habits,” the report says.

“Two extreme are influencing shopping behaviours of Backup Planners – paying a premium or switching to cost-effective options, such as buying secondhand or renting.”

The report suggests that businesses that can leverage opportunities where others fail to deliver will be the winners with these types of consumers, suggesting shoppers may pay more to get first access to their preferred products and exclusive or presale items could entice these consumers and drive revenue.

“Mobile apps that enable digital waitlists and queuing allow consumers to secure their place in line and help businesses control traffic,” the report says.

“Additionally, direct-to-consumer services can bring products straight to consumer’s door.”

The Euromonitor report suggests companies need to invest in local sourcing and automation to overcome shortages, noting that prices may need to increase to compensate.

Alternatively, splitting costs with other payers to buy ingredients or components in bulk could also be an option to ensure continuous supply.

Climate change will continue to be a focus for consumers in 2022, with green activism and low-carbon lifestyles here to stay, according to Euromonitor, as consumers expect brands to step up through transparent labelling of carbon-neutral products.

“Digital innovation is reshaping how retailers, manufacturers and consumers transition to a new era of environmental transparency. Tech tools such as digital product labelling and mobile tracking apps help consumers trace ethical claims, their carbon footprint and recycling habits on their phones,” the report states.

In 2022, expect to hear more about the metaverse as the digital world evolves beyond virtual hangouts to immersive 3D realities with Euromonitor predicting the immersive environments to drive e-commerce and virtual product sales.

“Companies that start establishing a presence now will be at the forefront as virtual social environments and AR/VR develop,” the report states.

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