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How is the crisis impacting consumer behavior in 2022? - Affise

Tips & Guides — 05 Sep 2022

How is the crisis impacting consumer behavior in 2022?

Understanding Customer Behavior In Times Of Crisis

In recent months, customer behavior has changed dramatically. Many of these changes have been forced by economic instability. The main reasons are:

  • Inflation;
  • Rising interest rates;
  • Pandemic impact;
  • Recent cost-of-living crisis.

As a result, the way customers shop, consume information, and entertainment online is shifting while people rethink their priorities and needs. In this context, there are several challenges that marketers need to pay attention to. Below, we take a closer look at the most important recent changes and how they affect customers’ behavior.

What are the post-pandemic consumers facing?

  • Inflation and uncertainty

Consumer confidence has been decreasing in every quarter of 2022, according to a survey conducted by Deloitte in the UK. Inflation has reached its highest level in 30 years, rising 7%. Today’s economy is more unstable than when the pandemic hit in the first quarter of 2020, and uncertainty among customers is increasing.

Consequently, increasing prices in various sectors have led consumers to think more carefully before buying a product. For marketers, it is time to consider how to highlight brand differentials and communicate the values. It gives a brand a better chance of attracting customers who, while the price is an essential factor, are also interested in your brand proposal.

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  • Price sensitivity

According to the Deloitte report, 83% of consumers say they have spent more in the first quarter of 2022 after prices rose, registering a sharp increase from the 74% in Q4 2021.

Many see their budgets at risk and are taking a close look at their spending habits. The data shows that one in two consumers (54%) are buying fewer goods or services in a conscious effort to save money. The data also shows that one-third of consumers who spend less (35%) said they choose lower-priced brands or shops, and one-quarter (25%) take advantage of promotions or discounts.

On the other hand, the GWI report states that while consumers are more likely to save money after the pandemic, they also want to treat themselves more. This post-pandemic sentiment of prioritizing well-being tends to stay. Consequently, eCommerce campaigns highlighting indulging ways without breaking the budget and promoting individual talents are more likely to succeed.

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  • Shopping habits can vary significantly by generation

It’s not new that more and more people of different ages are using browsers and social media to find, learn about, and engage with brands. We saw the increasing use of social media and search tools for various touchpoints as Millennials get older. Generation X is now known as the one that tends to purchase online more, while Millennials are set to grow in spending.

On the other hand, researchers show that baby boomers are 17% more likely to shop or search for products online, especially groceries, which challenges common misconceptions about digital shopping among older people.

In terms of how consumers relate to different groups of people on social media, for younger consumers, friends and colleagues are the groups they trust the most. While Millennials cite family members second, Generation Z online shoppers believe celebrities are the most likely people to relate to on social media. In addition, 35% of Generation Z online shoppers have watched a vlog or influencer video. 

Generational Differences Chart

Generation Z

  • The average online attention for Generation Z is 8 seconds.
  • 78% of teenagers check their devices at least hourly.
  • 52% feel they spend too much time on their mobile devices.


  • They believe that content from a person is 50% more trustworthy than brands.
  • 62% appreciate when brands interact with them through social networks and are likelier to become loyal customers.
  • 72% are more likely to purchase based on photos from others who have used a product.

Generation X

  • 40% prefer using their laptops to view online content.
  • 44% select in-store pickup or home-delivery services when available.
  • Over 10% less likely to make impulse buys than millennials or boomers.

Baby Boomers

  • 49% spend at least 11 hours a week online.
  • 84% prefer to shop in-store.
  • 82% are on social media and use it frequently.

Customers are concerned about privacy

Since a while ago, consumers have become worried about how companies use their data online. This has led to several changes, and soon, marketers will no longer be able to access third-party cookies, which they had used in the last years to base their campaigns and marketing strategies.

Browsers like Safari, Firefox, and Brave automatically block third-party cookies, and Google has announced it will. However, 42% of consumers already delete their browsing history, 25% regularly use private browsing, and 22% periodically reject cookies, according to a GWI study.

In addition, 20% regularly use a VPN. So there’s no way back for digital marketers: brands need to make an effort to be more transparent and offer more value to continue to learn from customers.

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Key behaviors that will last beyond the pandemic

Another report from Google Think has investigated the consumer trends likely to remain post-pandemic. The research highlights that brands can score quick wins by responding to behaviors that people have demonstrated and investing in them, for example:

Online shopping

In South East Asia, 34% of consumers bought clothes online for the first time in 2020. Going deeper, 94% of new digital service users intend to continue with the service post-pandemic. Convenience, time-saving, and cost-effectiveness are why customers prefer shopping online.

Additionally, 41% of branded shoppers said they prefer eCommerce sites that offer an immersive experience. They feel more motivated to shop when it is easy to navigate and has precise product specifications with photos or videos.

However, with the cost of living crisis, a recent GWI report showed that the number of consumers globally who say they have purchased a product or service online had fallen slightly by 3%. Amazon experienced its slowest growth in the first quarter of this year. However, consumers show they still value online shopping, and 20% expect it to increase further in the future.

Learning online

Generation Z consumers are known as digital natives and will have a significant stake and a major role in the growth of online education. Research has shown that they already perceive that education goes beyond the classroom. Consequently, they are increasingly seeking tutorials and how-to videos on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram and using YouTube to learn new things, gain more knowledge and positively impact the world. 

Thus, more and more brands will ask themselves how to create connections, increase recognition, and reach other markets through education.

To summarize, how does this affect marketers on what to do next?

Throughout this article, we’ve presented the key trends driving consumers’ consumption habits. One of them is of particular interest to digital marketers, who are noticing more and more how consumers are using social media to research, follow brands and even buy from well-known and new ones. 

For example, among Generation Z online shoppers, social media ads are the most popular channel for discovering new brands/products. However, this may not be an easy scenario for marketers who see the price of ads rising daily, especially when we think about platforms like Facebook. Therefore, finding new alternatives is essential in this context. 

Influencers have proven to be increasingly effective in gaining consumers’ trust, which can be game-changing for brands in times of crisis. Thus, more and more brands are creating their partner program and recruiting their partners instead of relying only on social networks. 

Changing the approach is increasingly necessary to align marketing strategies to the current scenario. Many business owners and professionals are looking to focus on meaningful results rather than clicks. If you want to learn more about outcome-based marketing, go ahead and download your eBook.

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Affise Academy

Affise is a partner marketing platform for brands, advertisers and agencies to scale via all possible performance marketing channels. Synergy of technology and our long standing experience lets you expand your partnerships, automate every step of the campaign lifecycle and make data-driven decisions.

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