The world changed for good, and bad, in 2020. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic affected us all, and we acclimatised. Emerging habits accelerated, and how we now behave, spend and consume will never be the same. In 2021, we are adjusting our actions, which can differ amongst consumers and sometimes conflict.
Resilience and adaptability are the driving forces behind the top global consumer trends in 2021. The pandemic created, influenced or accelerated each of these 10 trends, forever altering consumer behaviour. Despite the hardships faced in 2020, consumers have not given up. They continue to find their voice and push forward to advocate for a better tomorrow.
Global market research company Euromonitor International reveals the trends that will define consumer behavior and influence business strategies this year in a new report, ‘Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2021’. The COVID-19 pandemic created, influenced or accelerated each trend.
Build Back Better
Consumers demand that companies care beyond revenue, and they no longer perceive businesses as profit-driven entities. Protecting the health and interest of society and the planet is the new expectation, following COVID-19, in order to Build Back Better.
Companies should help reshape the world in a more sustainable way, leading a shift from a volume- to a value-driven economy and turning the tide on social inequity and environmental damage.
Consumers are craving convenience of the pre-pandemic world, longing for the ease taken for granted before daily habits were upended.
Businesses are under pressure to rapidly adapt their operations to develop a resilient customer experience while maintaining convenience. Companies must preserve the swift and seamless shopping journey across all channels.
Health threats, indoor meeting and mobility restrictions and the rise of remote working results in consumers turning to an outdoor oasis for leisure and recreation. Some are even considering moving from densely populated cities to rural areas.
Businesses incorporated advanced health measures and moved events outside, allowing consumers to reconnect out of the home more safely. Companies should pivot their product development strategy to encompass the tranquillity of rural living in urban environments to better satisfy city-scapers.
Digital tools allow consumers to stay connected while at home and re enter the outside world safely as economies reopen. Phygital Reality is a hybrid of physical and virtual worlds where consumers can seamlessly live, work, shop and play both in person and online.
Businesses can integrate virtual processes into their physical spaces to give consumers who prefer to stay home the comfort to venture out instead. Delivering virtually enabled at-home experiences remains imperative to drive e-commerce sales and gather data.
Playing With Time
Consumers are now both able and forced to be more creative with their time in order to get everything done.
Businesses should provide solutions that address the consumer desire to maximise time, offering increased flexibility, especially with products and services that can be accessed from or near the home.
Restless and Rebellious
Consumers are fed up. Distrust in leadership has become the norm. Bias and misinformation are causing a crisis of confidence. Having suffered, put others first and gone without, these self-care aficionados are now rebelling, placing their own needs and wants first.
Companies can cater to the Restless and Rebellious via more precise marketing on social media and gaming, where they can give consumers a voice and pressure social giants to take on misinformation.
Safety Obsessed is the new wellness movement. The fear of infection and increased health awareness drive demand for hygiene products and pushes consumers towards contactless solutions to avoid exposure.
Companies should implement enhanced safety measures and innovations that target concerns to reassure consumers.
Shaken and Stirred
The global pandemic reconfigured daily lives, testing mental resilience, restricting experiences and provoking economic shocks. Consumers have a new understanding of themselves and their place in the world in pursuit of a more fulfilled, balanced and self-improved life.
Businesses must provide products and services that support resiliency for mental wellbeing and to help Shaken and Stirred consumers weather adverse circumstances to gain trust.
Consumers are cautious and frugal. Discretionary spending is declining due to the uncertain economic environment. Thoughtful Thrifters are prioritising value-added and health-conscious products and services.
Companies should pivot towards value-for-money propositions, offering affordable options without sacrificing quality. Premium attributes should be reinforced with a new empathetic story and have a strong tie-in with health and wellness, self-care or mental wellbeing.
Workplaces in New Spaces
Out of office took a new meaning in 2020. Workplaces in New Spaces had a rippling effect on consumer life, from clothing choices to technology spend to eating habits and beyond. Consumers are searching for new ways to define the beginning and end of their workdays, as they struggle to manage their time.
Businesses must support work-life balance, productivity and communication needs. Understanding the benefits and challenges of working remotely allows companies to bring the best of the office into the home.