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    Experiences Will Be the Top Priority for Consumers in 2022


    Everything you need to know in less than 50 words

    Americans are now valuing meaningful experiences over products or items. As reported by Microsoft Ads, that’s the case for 74% of Americans. This new data suggests that the country is actively undergoing a mental shift, and moving away from materialistic ideals will ultimately impact our economic and cultural landscape.

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    Our culture and economy have been moving toward an experience-centered market, taking the place of the goods-and-service-based market we have developed. However, Americans have become more focused on experiences and actively doing something rather than buying material items in a recent societal shift.

    According to Microsoft Ads analytics, there has been an uptick in experiential trends in online searches in 2022. People are inquiring more about activities and events they can attend and experience rather than items they can hold, which the internet search data reflects.

    Searches for tours and tourist attractions have gone up 45% and 19%, respectively, since 2019. Clicks for music festivals and concerts are back to their pre-pandemic levels, and click rates for shows, events, and cultural attractions have increased by 86% year-over-year.

    According to new data, Americans are actively undergoing a mental shift, and moving away from materialistic ideals, which ultimately impact our economic and cultural landscape.

    Aside from events like concerts, consumers are also eager to take vacations. “Wellness tourism,” a new subcategory of travel, has been consistently growing, likely due to our increased focus on self-care. People are looking to take relaxing vacations to beaches, spas, or resorts.

    This trend has even crossed over into our gift-giving. Traditionally, Mother’s Day gift clicks primarily included clothing, jewelry, footwear, flowers, and accessories. Spas and dine-in restaurants saw tremendous growth between 2020 and 2021, indicating that we are not only looking for experiences for ourselves but for others, too.

    This shift is likely due, at least in part, to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine period. Americans were unable to go out and have the experiences that used to be commonplace. So, with the loosening of COVID_19 restrictions, people look to take full advantage of what they missed. 

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      In addition, people have reassessed how they want to spend their time and money. Recent Microsoft Ads studies indicate that people are more likely to spend money on experiences than materialistic items.

      The millennial generation has pioneered this mental shift, but each age group has followed suit. Consumers are looking for things they can do rather than items they can purchase, hold, and set on a shelf. 

      The most-searched-for type of experience is travel. Luxury Traveler reported that 57% of Americans now actively save money for a trip, with millennials doing so at an even higher rate of 65%. This data explains the increased clicks for travel and tours that have recently been so prominent. 

      Consumers have shifted their focus and are in the process of creating an experience-based market. They have restructured their priorities, and in the new hierarchy, experiences and events are taking the top spot.



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