2022 Trends SMEs Need to Know

Everyday food delivery, plant-based diets and virtual money are all expected to be bigger than ever as we head into 2022 

Google has predicted that the number of UK active internet users per month will reach 54.21 million people in 2022. Google also reports that the number of Google search queries each second in the UK is about 40,000, which equates to more than 3.5 billion searches per day.

With these mind-blowing numbers, it’s no wonder that digital trends including virtual money and online food delivery businesses are set to grow bigger than ever this year.

Takepayments, a UK card payment solution provider, has launched a ‘Moments in Marketing 2022’ alongside search expert and renowned Futurist, Tracey Follows, to look at the most popular trends of 2022.  This research will help SMEs plan, procure, and market their offerings throughout the year, helping them stay ahead of the curve when it comes to up and coming trends.

Here are some of the insights and biggest trends for SME’s to watch in 2022.

The Metaverse

Augmented retail, or the enabling of customers to engage with brands and products via digital experiences, is embracing the Metaverse. With the help of Facebook (now, Meta) online shopping will increase as well as buying second-hand items on websites such as FB Marketplace. Consumers will soon be provided with spectacles that provide an extra digital layer of playfulness in the pursuit of new shopping experiences. Virtual money for virtual goods that can be worn in the virtual world will continue to absorb fashion fans and move into more mainstream retail categories too.

The health and wellness boom continues

January is always a popular month to jump on the healthy bandwagon after an indulgent festive period, but generally, UK consumers are becoming savvier when it comes to health and wellness. We have seen a shift on our dietary habits over the last 2 years with plant-based diets becoming more popular than ever, and Veganuary is the perfect time to try a temporary change that might become permanent. Fish-free tuna, milk alternatives such as barley or pea and Aquafaba will be on our shopping lists in 2022. Additionally, it is predicted that more sugar-free treats and fruit-based alternatives will be on hand during Halloween this year.

Getting back to nature

With so much disruption caused over the past few years with holiday bookings abroad, this summer, more families will be trying to limit the cost of pre and post-travel testing and the impact of travel on the environment. Holidaymakers will be staying closer to home this year but taking holidays that last for longer. They will be opting for greener, healthier, but cost-effective stays at hobbyist locations. A trend for getting back to nature will benefit UK seaside towns, and activity centres, as well as educative retreats for cooking, writing and meeting other people who are into the same hobbies.

Keeping it local for Christmas 2022

There is no doubt that economic pressure, as well as the inability to travel widely, will mean more people want to stay local for Christmas shopping. Independent businesses will be looking for extra support and running initiatives to encourage consumers to spend with them. Shoppers will be looking for more personal, handcrafted, and personalised gifts that can also help independent retailers. Locally made foods, wines and baked sweet treats will prosper and the small business community will loudly promote each other’s gifting wares. At the same time, teens and gamers will be purchasing ‘digital goods’ as virtual gifts for their virtual friends online.

Less is more when it comes to drinking

2022 drink trends are all about less, not more. Well, known favourites will be remixed as zero carbon, zero sugar and even zero alcohol. Drinks are being ‘purified’ with more focus being put on their wellbeing qualities, infusing them with functional ingredients or presenting them as solutions to alleviate stress and provide pep-up-like tonics.

Online food delivery set to hit the heights

In 2022 everyday food delivery is going to boom. Hospitality businesses and ‘healthy’ meal services set the pace last year, and this year, many different brands will collaborate with each other to bring original combinations and unique propositions to consumers. We are likely to see an increase in subscriptions for plant-based meal kits, cocktails, and toolkits to help people prepare interesting or creatively themed dinners. Even better, most if not everything will be supplied hyper-locally.


Beauty is fantastical

As we spend more time with screens than friends, we are being heavily influenced by extreme visualisations of bodily and facial beauty. These extreme portraits of the ‘self’ have expanded the beauty boundaries in the real world. Consumers will be shopping for bright, synthetic colourways and fantastical effects, as our boundaries are being crossed and ‘transgressive cosmetics’ are going mainstream.  In hair, it’s all about flexibility. Malleable styles such as short long-hair and long short-hair can be made into many different styles depending upon your mood. It’s all about framing the face, given our digital portraits are still so important in a post-pandemic world. Gels, and slicked-back locks to frame multi-coloured made-up looks will also play a part. Side-partings, side-bangs and a side-swept look might also be on the cards.

Sandra Rowley at takepayments limited said: “After living through two years of the global pandemic, the way we live has changed forever. Many of the changes we have made, such as an increase of spending time at home and online, has forced us to change the way we live and work completely.  “What seems to be shifting due to the pandemic is a greater focus on healthy living, which will benefit everyone in the long run. Many of the trends we are seeing in 2022 are balanced between an extremely digital new world and a focus on getting back to nature.”

To discover Tracey’s Futurist trends and predictions by month in 2022 and Google search trends data head to take payments Moments in Marketing 2022 here.