WGSN: Top Consumer Insight Trends for 2022 & Beyond
Products for avatars, developments in the crypto market and a shift towards filterless feeds on social media will be front of mind for consumers in 2022
WGSN Insight Team
12.02.21 · 3 minutes
Jessie Wong for WGSN
Direct-2-avatar commerce

We’re in the age of the avatar – and what our avatars wear is more important than ever.

Enter direct-to-avatar commerce, or D2A, an emerging retail model that 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. This evolving, potentially more sustainable format is set to bring in business: by 2022, the in-game skins market will soar to $50bn. Powered by companies such as Bitmoji and Genies, which allow users to create and customise their virtual identities, D2A commerce means brands can debut exclusive digital products via in-game products or collections on platforms like Roblox and Fortnite. We’ll also see an emerging creator economy form, as custom content creators (or CCs) take avatar customisation into their own hands, creating high-demand, digital clothing and accessories to sell to other players across social platforms.


Jessie Wong for WGSN

Streetwear is evolving into streetcare, as youth-focused brands and consumers look to give back to the community instead of simply selling products.

Youth brands are prioritising diversity and inclusion in business, while advocating for 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. Look to London’s Adapt Climate Club, which partnered with climate activists to create its Protest Gear collection and accompanying online exhibition, and Ghanaian streetwear brand Free the Youth, a two-pronged entity selling graphic T-shirts alongside its activities as a youth NGO.

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Crypto rewards

The retail landscape is becoming more fragmented and customer loyalty is harder than ever to win, especially among Gen Z.

Enter crypto rewards, bridging the gap between traditional loyalty systems and the booming cryptocurrency market. As the crypto industry grows and more companies accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment, digital rewards programmes are the next step to build trust and more effective data analytics. Mastercard has announced it will integrate crypto into its loyalty solutions, allowing customers to earn and spend rewards in digital currencies instead of traditional points and convert their crypto holdings to pay for purchases. Brave is a new browser that pays users in crypto currencies in exchange for their data, while Lolli is a shopping portal that offers 30% cashback for using it while shopping in crypto. With brands and merchants clamouring for Gen Z’s attention, crypto rewards offer a unique opportunity to meet demand for flexible payments and digital transactions.

Jessie Wong for WGSN
The crypto class

In 2021, the creator class evolved into the crypto class as NFTs and social tokens redefined the role of monetisation in social media.

We’ll see more creators launch their own coins and reward audiences for their attention, building micro economies around their personal brand. These custom cryptocurrencies will allow creators greater control over their financial success, forging deeper relationships within their communities and evolving membership models by cutting out the tech companies that previously acted as the middle man in online transactions. After US college football athletes in the NCAA were given the right to make money on their name, image and likeness for the first time, some are already busy powering crypto coins to build full-fledged economies around their identity.

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