Loungewear at work, a boom in pet accessories and an emerging new generation of young e-entrepreneurs, these are just some of the trends that will emerge, or grow further, next year as a proportion of Aussies continue to earn a living from home, relocate out of cities and take precautions to reduce their risk of viral infections.
The forecasts come from Davie Fogarty, founder and CEO of Davie Group, who says there are several key trends that will emerge, or grow further, that will drive a good amount of consumer spending.
“The impact of the Covid pandemic has seen more Australians embrace the indoors, changing their behaviour and clothing choices as a result,” he explains.
“Businesses are similarly pivoting to meet these new needs, while the emergence of new technologies is drumming up consumer demand in new areas, while also helping young entrepreneurs break into different industries easily and successfully.
“At Davie Group, I am looking at ambitious ways to continue expanding our existing brands and acquiring new ones. I expect other business owners to similarly look at how they can evolve, grow and ultimately succeed next year and beyond.”
Here he shares his nine consumer trends for 2022:
1 Loungewear will enter our workplaces and social lives. Now that hybrid working arrangements are widespread, Fogarty predicts more Australians will place an importance on, and invest in, lounge-style clothing, such as slouchy pants, track pants, sweats, tees and comfortable slip-ons or sneakers.
There will be some ‘blurring’ between what we wear to bed or lounge around in at home and what we wear out.
“Seeking comfort over fashion will be embraced more widely over the next year, as people and their employers become more used to people earning a living from home.”
In anticipation of this trend, Fogarty is planning a loungewear collection launch for one of his brands, The Oodie, in 2022.
2 Pet accessories will boom. As Australians have spent more time at home, pet ownership has increased significantly in the last two years, with 69 per cent of Australians now owning pets and 19 per cent of pet dogs and 24 per cent of pet cats obtained during the pandemic.
With more people working from home in the company of their pets, Fogarty predicts pet products―along with pet ownership―will continue to boom in 2022. His own pet bed brand Pupnaps saw sales increase by 447 per cent from FY20 to FY21.
3 Bedrooms will become decentralised. Fogarty forecasts that Australians will move away from the bedroom as a place solely for rest and relaxation, as rooms become multi-functional. Australians will move to other areas of the house to read, relax and nap.
He predicts more of us will invest in accessories usually associated with bedrooms such as pillows, cushions, throws and candles for living rooms, decks, rumpus rooms, studies or outdoor living areas.
4 Self-care will become a priority. Fogarty expects more Australians to prioritise their mental health and self-care needs to de-stress and reduce anxiety over the next year. Consumer demand for products and services that deliver on comfort, wellness and happiness will grow in 2022.
Consumers will seek physical products that provide relaxation and a means of ‘escape’, along with experiences and services such as spa treatments in and out of the home.
5 Online shopping will grow steadily. Fogarty says more consumers and retailers have moved online over the past two years. While the growth will slow this summer, retailers will increase their investment in the online shopping experience in 2022 and more shoppers will remain online.
“I expect continued growth in ecommerce and social commerce, and more brands will embrace different platforms to attract new customers and sales. Viral social content designed to convert sales will grow, particularly as apps such as Tik Tok rise in popularity. Influencers will also continue to be a powerful tool for brands to drive sales online.”
6 Outdoor activities and social gatherings will grow in popularity. More Australians have been embracing outdoor spaces, which are less affected by lockdowns and present lower infection risks. Since March 2020, a third of Australians have prioritised their physical health and 89 per cent engaged in activities to improve their health.
Fogarty says this trend will continue in 2022, along with a demand for outdoor equipment and products. Identifying this trend some months ago, he decided to acquire Outdoor Play, a US-based company specialising outdoor equipment and activewear.
7 Nights in will be the default. While more Australians will enjoy the outdoors during the day, nights in will continue in 2022. Australians became accustomed to staying in during the pandemic, improving their homes to increase their enjoyment at home. Renovation spend increased by 83 per cent in 2020, while Australians also invested more in revamping kitchens and outdoor spaces, such as patios, terraces and decks.
As a result, Fogarty forecasts more Australians will shift their focus to entertaining in the home. He says home entertainment and homewares will also be heavily invested in rather than spending on social outfits and nights out at restaurants.
8 Younger generations will gravitate towards ecommerce entrepreneurship. Fogarty predicts a growing appetite among young Australians for entrepreneurship, particularly in the ecommerce world. He says barriers of entry are shrinking.
“It is easier and more affordable than ever to start an ecommerce business. Entrepreneurs used to spend a lot of time and money creating ecommerce stores and apps. However today, creating an app and ecommerce store is now as simple as the click of a button.”
9 More brands will accept crypto. Cryptocurrency gained significant momentum this year and Fogarty predicts it will become an accepted payment method by more businesses in 2022 and beyond. One of his own brands, Pupnaps, now accepts crypto payments and more Davie Group brands will follow next year.