Dara Busch, who was recently named CEO of 5WPR, tells Doug Simon that the agency's 2022 Consumer Culture Report highlights several shifts that are impacting where consumers are spending their money.

"Some of the things that we have found include looking at electronics and technology, which continue to be a fan favorite for splurges," Busch says, as well as "the way that people buy, retail versus e-commerce."

She tells Simon that "there's a feeling of wanting to get back in front of stores, in front of merchandise—to touch, to feel. There is a real push to want the advice of a sales clerk." Equally important is idea of shopping being "an outing again."

When it comes to promoting the in-store shopping experience, Busch says that "stores know they have to double down, especially stores that do things like exclusivity pop-ups." She also stresses the importance of linking online platforms with in-store experiences. "It is all connected," she tells Simon. "It forces you to follow social channels, go in-store, connect with the sales folks, it’s really changing the face of retail."

Another change she notes is a different take on consumer loyalty. "It used to be that, you know, you're a loyalist to a store and you're only going to shop online in that store. And that is just not the case anymore."

She also says that "brands have to market every single piece of what they do today. It's not just about price anymore, it’s not just about location, it all matters. And I think that folks are also really wanting to shop local. Shopping local is really big, and there's a really big push to want to go and shop in your own community."

A focus on being ethical and sustainable is also a must, she says. "We've got a lot of brands that want to double down in the space of being ethical, whether it's in the way they package or the way that they source materials, whatever those pieces are."

The gaming world is another spot for marketers to focus on. "Brands are so interested in connecting to video games. It's a whole new world where gaming and retail collide. Brands are dipping their toe in that water to see how successful they can be."

Download 5WPR's 2022 Consumer Culture Report here.

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