In the pandemic-affected shopping sphere, consumer interests and behaviors are still changing by the minute. Thanks to shoppers' new obsessions with cross-channel commerce — and personalized, engaging experiences — tried-and-true marketing tactics are no longer "good enough," and will result in lost dollars.
These days, every occasion — every season — must be approached with a critical, carefully-crafted strategy tailored precisely to the ever-mutating needs and wants of today's shopper. So, while the big picture might look familiar (customers still embrace spring cleaning and celebrations) the small details are continually evolving.
Combine the effects of the pandemic with rising prices and supply chain concerns and you have a consumer who's more personally invested in their commerce journey — one who is more willing to switch brands and stores to get the products and experiences they want. Suddenly, nailing the micro details of any season or occasion shifts from a luxury to a necessity and becomes the only way to reach shoppers.
Clean up on every aisle
Spring cleaning is no surprise trend. However, after a couple years of COVID, peoples' relationships with hygiene and cleanliness have undergone fundamental changes, with increased emphasis on methods that work. Shoppers have become more familiar with labels, ingredients and use cases — all in pursuit of a cleaner environment that's inhospitable to the viruses of the world.
On top of this newfound appreciation for product effectiveness, cleaning has become far more fun! Thanks to platforms like TikTok and the popularity of its #CleanTok community, shoppers are exploring new ways to keep their home clean and organized — often with help from influencers and the brands or retailers that sponsor them. In fact, some 33 percent of consumers look to social media for spring cleaning tips and tricks, using hashtags like #CleaningTips and #HomeHacks.
While some people love to tackle the insides of their homes during the spring months, others put the focus on bringing order to the outside — and this year that's even more true. Thanks in part to a post-lockdown increase in appreciation for the outdoors, the Lawn and Garden category is looking to see the largest sales lift — over 219% — in the spring season.
In addition to gardening supplies and purchases made to spruce up the home exterior, sales lift numbers show large buys of everything from insect repellant to liquid soap and candles — items that will help the shopper maintain a clean, inviting home in which they can finally host gatherings again.
Alleviate pain in the supply chain
Supply chain woes are largely public knowledge and have changed how consumers approach their regular shopping. Facing inflation at its highest since 1982 and price increases in almost every category, concern over whether or not products will be available (and in what quantities) plague spring shoppers.
In response, stocking up has become a way of life. Consumers are collecting items they expect to need throughout this season and next. According to purchase data sourced through Inmar's ShopperSync® CDP, sunscreen lotions, sunburn aids, grill accessories, allergy remedies and even condiments like mayonnaise will experience significant sales lift as we head into spring 2022.
When Inmar surveyed more than 2,000 shoppers in advance of Valentine's Day and the big February football event, the impact of what could now be called a "product pricing pandemic" becomes more clear:
More than 93 percent of shoppers would purchase from a different brand in order to save money.
In the face of availability uncertainty, loyalty goes out the window. However, this can be an opportunity to get creative with coupons. A supplemental spring survey of 1,000 consumers identified that 73 percent of shoppers would buy a higher quantity of a product than they need if given a coupon for a larger amount.
At the end of the day it's the marketer's responsibility to act proactively, engaging consumers with deals and encouraging the stock-up ahead of the season. Transparency in the face of shortages and higher prices will earn brownie points with shoppers this spring.
Your guide to a stronger spring strategy
Consumers are already looking to you for guidance — a 2021 Inmar survey of over 16,000 respondents found that 50 percent of shoppers follow brands on social media to learn about new products and 43 percent for deals, offers and coupons.
Spring can be won by brands and retailers, but only through a proactive, omnichannel approach. To learn how to make the most of the season through consumer trends, purchase data, social listening data and more, download the 2022 Spring Trends Guide — get your free copy here!