Global Consumer Trends in 2022: Tips for hotels to get more customers to engage and book
Euromonitor shared their Top 10 Global Consumer Trends research at ITB Berlin recently, and it was filled with so many great nuggets of information! Read on to find out what consumers are driven by in 2022, and how that can help you to creating products that resonate and engage your target audiences.
Regularly assessing consumer driven trends is critical for staying relevant and ahead of your competitors. The global trends included in the report clearly show that the pandemic has not only affected the way we do business, but also how we socialise, and how we consider our impact in the world.
Take a look here at the right-hand column. This is great news for the hospitality industry 😊 Leading growth in global consumer expenditure is travel and leisure.
This is exactly what we want to hear and it further proves that pent up demand is real, and we will see that as we move forward through the year.
I also love how the above graphic breaks down the global population by generation.
Generation Z and Millenials now make up 44% of the population! If these people are not already our customers, they certainly will become so during the current decade.
Understanding who they are and what drives their buying decisions is critical for business resilience and sustainability as we move forward.
Millenials were born between 1981 and 1996, so in 2022, that makes them 26 to 40 years old. According to Alison Angus, Head of Lifestyles at Euromonitor International, “They are the new parents, homemakers, and key decision makers”. ¹
The oldest tier of this age group grew up in homes without computers, and still remember the world of VCRs and round dial telephones. The youngest tier were the first children to grow up with mobile phones, and both lead the way in social platform usage.
Generation Z are those born between 1997 and 2012 meaning that in 2022, they range from 10 to 25 years old.
The younger half are our trailblazers who are inspired by people like Greta Thunberg and movements like The Extinction Rebellion. They know more about plastic pollution and biodiversity loss than most adults do.
The oldest tier of this generation are our gap year students, those looking to be enriched by the world, especially after having “lost” two years to lockdowns. They buy online, research online, and socialise online. They are our TikTokers, and neither tier knew a world without smartphones.
And I learnt something new in this report. I had no idea that children born from 2012 onwards are called the Alphas!
My own children, at 6 and recently 5, fit snugly into this influential generation. And I get exactly why they are influencing. My 6 year old son knows the whole life cycle of a plastic bottle. He even told me all about the work being done by some "really cool people" to clean the oceans and what is being done with the rubbish that is pulled out.
MANY supermarket arguments are saved when he boldly says he does not want that Paw Patrol yogurt - even if it does come with a free (plastic) toy! - because there is just too much plastic in the packaging and it is not fair to the fish. (Cue huge internal sigh of relief from Mum 😊).
While of course these children don't have any income, they are hugely influential in the decision making of their parents and grandparents. This is not to be underestimated and can be used as a powerful marketing tool.
So, leaving global populations behind, let's take a look at the global consumer trends you need to know to get ahead in 2022.
The Great Life Refresh
I love this name! It encapsulates the emerging changes in behaviour and attitudes as we take stock of a world that was so brutally shaken by the global pandemic, and that continues to be challenged by war atrocities and energy crises. The main message here is that consumers “are putting their plans into action based on their passions and values”. ¹
The first two columns are super significant for the tourism industry.
Great experiences are exactly what we aim to provide for our customers, so knowing that they wish to spend more money on those rather than things is great news!
And making a difference in the world is also indicative of that move towards more conscious travel decisions that we see reflected in the decision of Booking.com and Google to launch the ability for accommodation providers to list their sustainability endeavours.
To find out more about these new features, head on over to this blog:
The Socialisation Paradox
Gina Westbrook, Director of Consumer Trends, Euromonitor International, talks about how "Consumers have very different thoughts and feelings about resurfacing from the pandemic". ¹
How we begin our return to socialising and holidaying is boosting the domestic tourism industry with sales growing 29% year on year last year, and they are set to increase even more in 2022.
This is great for long term business sustainability and boosting off season sales, and should continue to influence your marketing strategy as we move forward.
Gina Westbrook explains this trend in the following way: "[Self-love seekers] are very invested in taking care of their bodies and minds. They don't need to try to be something different to please others. They surround themselves with people, products, and things that enhance their own wellbeing and mindfulness. One might treat themselves to a luxury vacation, while another may simply use CBD to de-stress. Either way their happiness and health are their priorities and the products they use reflect this". ¹
While I am not suggesting you incorporate CBD (cannabidiol) into your offer, I am highlighting the continuing tendency towards self care and wellness products. Clearly of high demand, a great way to engage more consumers this year is to align your products and services towards this trend, and once you have a new product created, delve into my Google Made Easy for Hotels eBook to find out how to use keywords and other visibility optimisation techniques to gain traction in organic searches.
Driven online out of a need for connection during the pandemic, the digitalisation of seniors is a trend that will undoubtedly influence your marketing.
The over 60's are now much more comfortable than ever before with using the internet so a focus on creating intuitive, online customer journeys is essential for engaging this target group.
Pursuit of Preloved
While this trend may not be directly related to tourism, it is good practice to look outside of the industry to see what consumers are positively reacting to. There is clearly a move towards circularity - reuse, recycle, regenerate.
Incorporating this sustainability angle into your business actions has so many benefits from reducing energy bills by focusing on greener sources, to sharing the story behind your upcycled garden furniture in your marketing.
Corporate sustainability action is becoming more expected, with large companies already obliged to submit annual ESG reporting* in a growing number of European countries. Ikea is a great company to watch. They have installed "Circular Hubs" focused on the concept of repair and recycle. They sell used, damaged, and discontinued items, but they also offer workshops to teach consumers more about circularity, and their impact on the planet through their purchasing decisions.
*the disclosure of environmental, social and corporate governance data.
As expected, and related to the sustainability conversation, a focus on mitigating climate change appears on the list of global consumer trends as we move further into this “critical decade”.
We know from many available statistics and reports that consumers are looking for the information and the tools to make more conscious choices in all their purchasing decisions.
Specific to the tourism industry, 83% of consumers think sustainable travel is vital, and almost half (49%) still believe there are not enough sustainable travel options available. What’s more, 53% admit to getting annoyed if somewhere they are staying stops them from being sustainable, for example, by not proving recycling facilities. ²
There is so much to be done in this area, and getting started is often the hardest part. One great way to kill two birds with one stone is to focus on building a greener business while reducing your energy costs. You can access my free energy savings download here:
The Metaverse Movement
I know! Getting clued up on even what the metaverse is feels so far from anything we have time to consider, BUT, bear with me, I am not going to talk about the metaverse itself right now.
What is important to consider is that interest in this developing technology will only grow over time. The forerunners, that we can definitely get clued up about, are AR - Augmented Reality, and VR - Virtual Reality.
As you can see from the chart above, both are already very much a part of video gaming, and those video gamers grow older, have kids, and need holidays. The way they research online is different to our previous generations. They clearly engage with these new technologies, so learning more about how to integrate both into your marketing content is a great way to appeal to those Millenial, Gen Z, and later the Alpha generations.
The takeaway here is to meet people where they are at and generate content that leans into creating enhanced interactions to stimulate customer engagement. I talk more about incorporating new technologies into your marketing in my Google Made Easy: A Toolkit for Hotels eBook.
Find out more here: https://www.sarahhabsburg.com/google-made-easy-for-hotels-ebook
There are some great insights here, right?
The key message is to think outside of the box and look for examples of best practice that are resonating with your target audiences in other industries.
Also, use this information to consider how your tourism product caters for the increasing buying and decision-making power of Gen Z and Millenials as we move forward.
And don't underestimate the influence of those Alphas on the people in their lives who do make the buying decisions that involve them today.
While the Alpha generation are of course not researching travel destinations and accommodation options online, you can focus on connecting with those who do arrive to your property in a way that has impact and creates not only happy family memories, anecdotes, and stories, but also generates great reviews. Parents will happily share outstanding family moments with their friends and family.
This is powerful stuff when you get it right. Engaging the littlies once they are in-house requires a strategy that is tailored to what you offer and where you are. I have many tried and tested actions for this, so schedule a call to get great in this area and you will see returns.
Let the information in this blog percolate, return to it, and identify opportunities that fit your offer and are most relevant to your business. Understanding consumer driven trends and impact is key so you can adapt and stay relevant. We need to understand values and behaviours to lead changing trends.
I will leave you with an additional thought that everything you have learnt above about influential generations is not just applicable when considering attracting guests to your property.
From a human resources perspective, retaining employees continues to be a challenge. Businesses that take the time to understand what resonates with the next generation of managers, chefs, receptionists, and housekeepers, those who invest in human capital and build skills for the future, will most definitely reap the benefits later.
Be one of those businesses by working out how to connect with the next generations today.