WGSN forecasts the key consumer trends for 2022 and beyond

Key Consumer Trends for 2022 and Beyond: Filterless Social Media (WGSN by Jessie Wong)
Dec 01, 2021

Products for avatars, developments in the crypto market and a shift towards filterless feeds on social media will be front of mind for consumers

LONDON, December 1, 2021 – WGSN, the global authority on trend forecasting, today reveals the forecasts for consumer behaviour and lifestyles in 2022 and beyond. A focus on crypto and digital worlds is set to shift the consumer landscape, and demand changes from brands, alongside an enhanced communal aspect in both individual and brand initiatives.

According to Andrea Bell, Director of WGSN Insight: “2022 will prove a dichotomous year with consumers navigating hype versus reality. Some are already investing in meta-commerce by shopping, playing and trading in brand metaverses. Others are simply trying to figure out how to do click-and-collect via an app. The common thread between these new digital frontiers and ‘the real world’ is the need for connection, community and care. In 2022, conversions will be based on this need.”

The key consumer insights to watch for in 2022 and beyond are:

  • Direct-2-avatar commerce – This emerging retail model will unlock new opportunities for brands entering the metaverse, forging deeper connections in digital environments. By designing and selling items that don’t exist IRL directly to avatars, D2A commerce allows brands to sidestep supply chains, opening them up to new revenue streams.
  • Crypto rewards – Bridging the gap between traditional loyalty systems and the booming cryptocurrency market, crypto rewards will be the next step to build trust. As more companies accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment, digital rewards programmes are the next step, offering a unique opportunity to meet Gen Z's demand for flexible payments and digital transactions.
  • Streetcare – Streetwear is evolving into streetcare, as youth-focused brands and consumers look to give back to the community instead of simply selling products. Brands are prioritising diversity and inclusion in business, while advocating social causes that align with their brand mission and engaged consumer bases. They’re leaning into strategies that build hype and embracing streetwear staples to augment their appeal among young audiences and support their cause.
  • Spiritual coaching – The pandemic deepened people’s need to seek out rituals, knowledge and meaning, with the global personal coaching industry reaching $2.8bn. 2022 will see a rise in spiritual coaching, as interest in spirituality is infused in career coaching, financial advice and relationship counselling. Businesses and brands can offer coaching services focused on their community's spiritual health and growth, such as in-house spiritual concierges.
  • Filterless social media – In 2022, we'll see a shift towards the ‘filterless feed’, as ordinary users and influencers alike present more raw and transparent representations of themselves online. With Gen Z placing value on authenticity, brands will follow suit. Filters have long been woven into the fabric of social media, but a backlash is mounting as awareness of the harm they can cause grows.
  • The crypto class – The creator class evolved into the crypto class as NFTs and social tokens redefined the role of monetisation in social media. In 2022, expect to see more creators launch their own coins and reward audiences for their attention, building micro economies around their personal brand and forging deeper relationships within their communities.



For quotes and interviews on consumers' behaviour and lifestyles with WGSN's experts, contact the WGSN press office at press@wgsn.com.


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