Consumer optimism mixed with concern due to lasting impacts of pandemic
SAN ANTONIO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#consumer–A new survey from Vericast revealed that consumers have a strong desire to return to ‘normal’ but have mixed feelings about the year ahead. According to Vericast’s 2022 Consumer Outlook, nearly 60% of consumers are optimistic, but there are continued concerns about a COVID-19 resurgence and its impact on the national economy.
Vericast, a leading marketing solutions company that delivers actionable insights and operational expertise at scale, recently surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults to better understand consumer sentiment and corresponding brand marketing opportunities heading into the new year.
The study found that a majority of Americans remain concerned about a resurgence of COVID-19 (71%) and its impact on the national economy (76%). While there is an underlying desire to return to traditional patterns of shopping and socializing, these fears are causing consumers to want to shop local, make their budgets stretch further and engage with brands that feel safe and familiar.
“Consumers want to be optimistic about the future,” said Sarah O’Grady, Vice President of Marketing at Vericast. “Unfortunately, virus and economic concerns are holding them back. This holiday season and throughout 2022, brands must help consumers feel in control and tended to, whether that’s through personalized offers, campaigns that highlight familiar routines/rituals, self-care messaging or by offering value at establishments close to home.”
To deliver on these nuances and create meaningful connections, brands need access to a combination of intelligence, data and technology that seamlessly work together to keep pace with constantly evolving consumer behavior. Now more than ever, building long-lasting customer relationships requires a deep understanding of ever-changing preferences.
Additional findings include:
- Consumers want control and comfort
- Consumers are eager to make up for lost time, but only if it feels safe. This holiday season they plan to stay local, socialize on a smaller scale and avoid crowds. They are also less comfortable with public transportation.
- 60% of consumers plan to have smaller gatherings this holiday season; 75% are comfortable with in-state travel and 71% want to support local stores and restaurants.
- Consumers emphasize self-care
- The pandemic still weighs heavy; 30% of consumers are looking for ways to care for their mental, emotional and physical health. This is up from 18% in March.
- Half of Gen Z and 43% of millennials say a break from work and daily responsibilities is important when celebrating the holidays, hinting at stress and burnout in these groups.
- Brands should help reduce stress with special offers, self-care treats and supportive messages.
- Savings at local shops will reap rewards
- More than half of survey participants (55%) plan to shop in person at stores within their community this holiday season due to shipping delays experienced last year and 39% want information on where to find the best local deals.
- To connect with shoppers, brands should focus on meeting people where they are with savings at nearby shops, outlets and restaurants.
View additional findings from the 2022 Consumer Outlook.
About the study
The study was fielded Aug. 3 through Aug. 14, 2021 in conjunction with a global, third-party market research firm with proficiency in internet surveys. The sample is nationally representative and was derived from an online consumer opinion panel, and all participants were at least 18 years of age and living in the contiguous United States. The survey was closed once 1,000 completed responses had been reached.
Vericast is reimagining marketing solutions one business-to-human connection at a time. By influencing how over 120 million households eat, shop, buy, save and borrow, Vericast fuels commerce, drives economic growth and directly accelerates revenue potential for over 70,000 brands and businesses. While its award-winning portfolio of products, technology and solutions — including Illumis™, Household Connect ™, Valassis Consumer Graph™ and Harland Clarke ChecksCX™ — are a piece of the Vericast story, its people are the true differentiators; trailblazers in data intelligence, marketing services, transaction solutions, campaign management and media delivery.