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Digital Services

  • 12 Jan 2022
  • 5 min read
  • by Theo Jorcke

The Top 5 Digital Trends for 2022

Junior Marketing Analyst Theo Jorke predicts the important trends in the digital space for the year ahead.

2021 was a year of transformation: from the Great Social Media Resignation, where Gen Z workers quit their “toxic” jobs on TikTok and Instagram in masses, to the rise of shop local and the introduction of the metaverse (formerly Facebook).

Lockdown restrictions meant that businesses had to find new ways of working and the recent adoption of digital technologies has transformed how we use online channels.

With that in mind, here are 5 digital trends that we are looking forward to in 2022.

1. Mobile Gaming

So far 1.8 billion people have downloaded a game for their smartphone (Medium), that’s over 20% of the world’s population. But making good mobile games is hard, so what makes a game stand out?

Mobile gaming set to be a trend in 2022

With Covid-19 the social element of gaming has become even more important. Remember the success of Animal Crossing during the first lockdown?

When talking about successful mobile games in 2022 it’s hard to ignore Among Us.

Among Us has seen a quick rise in popularity and I’m struggling to think of anyone who hasn’t tried it at least once, but I accept that maybe I am biased. It’s a truly unique game with an interesting asymmetrical multiplayer, it’s easy to learn and it’s (almost) free on a variety of popular platforms, including PC, Nintendo Switch, and mobile. But most of all, it’s a game that explores new territory: communication and cooperation versus sabotage and deception. We certainly expect to see more interesting mobile games in 2022.

2. The Continued Rise of #ShopLocal

Two-thirds of UK customers are now more likely to shop in their local communities than they were a year ago (retail-insider). Last March when the pandemic surprised us all, small businesses across the country had to close and many retailers quickly realised the importance of having a digital strategy (empiread).

Shopping local means recommending and sharing your experiences with your family and friends and helping local businesses grow. The power of a personal referral is unmatched - businesses are built on online reviews and the (online) influence of their local customers.

Shop local in 2022

Instagram recently launched a "Support small" sticker for Stories, which allows you to tag your favourite businesses in a story with a clickable link (likeablelab).

And while the easy access may be dangerous for those who shop compulsively already, Instagram’s new shopping feature makes it easy to explore and purchase products made by small brands through the new “View Shop” button.

3. Effortless Eco Friendly

A good product is no longer enough - customers want more. A study found that 1 in every 3 consumers stopped purchasing from certain brands or products because of sustainability concerns (Deloitte).

But how can we be more sustainable without greenwashing?

For brands, this means that it is important to show consumers how they tackle everyday problems with sustainability.

What not to do: In 2018, Starbucks released a new straw-less lid, as part of its sustainability program. However, this lid contained more plastic than the old lid and straw combined (

What to do: Patagonia, one of the earliest defenders of environmental ethics in the industry, was also one of the first to use recycled materials and switch to organic cotton (thegoodtrade).

But when it comes to eco-conscious shopping, customers don’t want to trade quality for sustainability. Businesses should think about incorporating sustainability into existing values, rather than positioning it as a bonus feature. Try listing sustainability alongside other product benefits, so that they become a cohesive part of the brand experience.

4. Personalised Marketing

A recent McKinsey survey suggests that a whopping 70% of consumers actually expect personalisation, and those companies that are tip-top at personalisation could see revenue as much as 40% higher than those average players.

Companies are pushing the boundaries of personalisation.

“Hi {name}” isn’t quite cutting it anymore.

Who didn’t love their Spotify Wrapped report? We bet you weren’t in the top 0.1% of Taylor Swift listeners… no judgement here.

With personalisation, perhaps there’s a cookie-shaped elephant in the room. We know that personalisation does not and should not invade privacy, and Google Chrome’s end to third-party cookie support personalisation will rely on first-party data given directly by the customer.

This certainly makes 2022 an interesting turning point for smarter personalisation.

5. Website speed - We want it all, and we want it now.

It’s 2022 and convenience is King. If your weekly grocery shop can be delivered by drone in 15 minutes, anything is possible… right?!

Today, buyer patience is at a record low and speed is more important than ever. So much so that recent Hubspot research identified that 82% of consumers expect an immediate response when they have a marketing or sales question.

Here at Leith, some of our colleagues tested this out last year with The Famous Grouse’s Gilbot for Father’s Day. We actually found that Gilbot achieved a conversion rate 3x greater than that of chatbot-less ads - check it out.

website speed is sure to be an important trend for brands to keep up with in 2022

The key takeaway for us is that 2022 will be another year for change. With Google planning to phase out cookies by 2023, we expect to see some interesting changes in how businesses will gather data and interact with their audiences, with an increased focus on privacy.

Theo Jorcke

Theo Jorcke

Marketing Analyst