What does your target customer look like? Are they a 40-something parent of two in a middle-income household? A recent college graduate who just moved into their first apartment? No matter how you describe a customer, buyer personas like these help you identify your audience. However, they don’t show how that audience actually behaves. That’s where consumer psychology comes in.

Consumer psychology studies how thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and perceptions influence the way people buy goods and services. For example, you might look at how customers shop for one business or product over another. You may also investigate how variables such as relationships, media, and culture influence the decision-making process.

So, why do we study consumer behavior? Because if we understand why customers gravitate toward a product or service, we can learn how to more effectively grab their attention. Here’s what you need to know about consumer behavior—and how it can impact your business in 2022.

Consumers are more connected than ever.

The vast majority of Americans—97%—own a cellphone. Around 84% of those devices are smartphones. Likewise, 78% of adults own a desktop or laptops computer, and 63% have tablets. By 2022, 73% of consumers will use voice assistants in their cars, and over 55% of households are expected to have a smart speaker in their homes.  These statistics show us that device ownership and media penetration are growing exponentially.

Just think about how and where you utilize connected devices every day. If you’re anything like today’s consumers, you probably:

  • Use mobile devices from the couch, even when having access to a desktop.
  • Use smartphones and laptops to look up businesses before you visit them.
  • Use voice assistants to research topics that come up in real-life conversations.
  • Use mobile devices in the car to find a highly-rated restaurant nearby.
  • Use voice assistants to add to shopping lists and find the best deals.

Consumers stay connected wherever they go. The more connected they are, the more information there is to vie for their attention constantly. Your business must be present, active, and optimized everywhere online to become truly competitive and successful.

Consumers are becoming more curious but more impatient.

Now that customers are always connected, they have become more inquisitive and more impatient. Consumers turn to the internet for information as well as inspiration. They often want to learn how to do something, investigate an area of interest, or research a product or service. They use conversational language—such as “do I need” or “can I buy”—to make these searches more pointed, specific, and personally relevant.

Consumers then expect immediate answers to these inquiries. According to Think Google, searches for the phrase “near me” are up more than 500% in the past two years. Similarly, mobile searches containing phrases like “near me” and “on sale” have grown by over 250% in recent years.

So, how will this curiosity and impatience impact your business in 2022? A LOT!

As the Executive Editor at Think with Google, Natalie Zmuda, said back in 2018, “people’s expectations will continue to rise. They’ll ask increasingly detailed questions and expect brands to provide answers that are tailored just for them. Ultimately, it will be the brands that are deemed truly helpful that will rise above the competition.” And today, this insight rings true even more than it did back then.

To attract new customers and keep your business top-of-mind, you need to predict consumers’ needs regardless of where they are in their journey. You can do this by producing useful, relevant content that addresses a specific audience and a specific query. Additionally, this content should utilize keywords and contain cross-links to improve your SEO ranking and climb to the top of customers’ search results. Finally, develop your marketing communications with technology trends, such as the rise of mobile devices and voice assistants, in mind.

Consumers are putting trust in reputable content and word-of-mouth marketing.

Now, more than ever, consumers are turning to friends, relatives, and even strangers on social media for information on a product or service. In fact, 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as recommendations from personal contacts.

You can improve your online image by asking loyal customers to leave reviews and acting as a reliable resource. Customized content, for example, provides value to consumers without asking for anything in return. As a result, you build trust and establish authority in the industry.

Understanding consumer behavior can inform your digital strategy in ways purely demographic information can’t. If you’re still not sure how to integrate this data into your marketing efforts, give Vivial a call or fill out our contact form, and we’ll help you get on track!