Popular consumer Trends in 2021
The year 2020 has been one rollercoaster ride – so much has happened, and so much has changed in the world that directly affected consumers. But against all these uncertainties, life must go, and we’re here to add some clarity and perspective. We’ll cut through the noise and come to the topic – like how consumers are changing concerning behaviors, and which are the main drivers behind them and what it means for your business. Let’s dig into some key trends to watch out for in 2021:
Working remotely is the new normal
The pandemic taught us how to work efficiently just sitting at home, and working online. From now on, a more flexible working schedule will be a key driver in employee productivity, satisfaction and the future of work. Brand purpose has occupied a Centre stage these days. For getting engaged with consumers and build loyalty, brands must go back to basics and focus on supporting consumers, and baking empathy into everything they do.
The e-commerce boom is here to stay, and the last year’s pandemic has only made it more popular. But when everyone is online, how do businesses differentiate what is good, average, or bad? Corona pandemic affected all of us in 2020, and we had no option but get used to it. New practices and habits came into vogue, and how do we behave, spend and consume will never remain the same. The pandemic created, influenced and expedited some of the biggest trends and Euromonitor International rightly identified the top ten trends that are all set to gain traction in 2021.
Focus on Sustainable Living
This will be a dominant trend where consumers will demand that companies must think beyond considerations such as revenue, and profit; they no longer perceive businesses as profit-obsessed entities. There are expectations like protecting the health and wellbeing of society and the world. Businesses are now supposed to play a role in reshaping the world in a more sustainable manner, leading a shift from a volume- to a value-driven economy and putting the focus back on social inequity, and environmental damage.
Consumers now prefer the convenience of the pre-pandemic world that got upended by the unprecedented pandemic. Now, companies are under tremendous pressure to quickly adapt their operations to develop a flexible customer experience while maintaining convenience. Businesses must ensure the swift and seamless shopping journey across all channels.
Businesses have also embraced social media channels in a big way to engage with customers. While they prefer established channels such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to send their messages across, some of them also use upcoming channels like Helo, Vero, and CoNnEcTd to remain in touch with consumers.
Issues such as health threats, indoor meetings and movement restrictions, and the rise of remote working results in consumers turning to an Outdoor destination for leisure and recreation. There are few who are even considering moving from densely populated urban areas to small cities. Businesses introduced advanced health measures and shifted events outside so that consumers could reconnect more safely outside. Companies should plan their product development strategy to surround the serenity of rural living in urban environments to better satisfy city folks.
Embracing Virtual Reality
Post Covid 19, people need to make a balance between physical and virtual worlds where consumers can seamlessly live, work, shop and play both online and offline. Digital tools have empowered consumers to remain connected while at home, but they should be prepared to re-enter the outside world safely once economies reopen. Companies should seriously think about integrating virtual processes into their physical spaces to give consumers options of either comfortably staying at home to venture out instead. Delivering virtually enabled at-home experiences is crucial for growing e-commerce sales, and gather data.
Playing With Time
Consumers have now realized the need to be more creative with their time to get everything done. Therefore, onus is on the businesses to provide solutions that address the consumer’s need to maximize time, offering increased flexibility, especially with products and services that can be accessed from or near the home.
Safety is Primordial
Safety concern is the new wellness movement. The fear of virus and increased health awareness has created abundant demand for hygiene products, pushing consumers towards contactless solutions to avoid exposure. Businesses should adopt enhanced safety measures and innovations that target concerns to reassure consumers.
Life beyond pandemic
Corona pandemic has turned our daily lives upside down, testing mental resilience, restricting experiences and provoking economic shocks. Consumers are getting used to new realities post Covid 19, and their place in the world in search of a fulfilled, balanced and self-improved life. Companies, therefore, must provide products and service that support mental wellbeing and to help Shaken and Stirred consumers.
Switch to value-added products
Consumers have now become cautious and smart than ever before. Non-compulsory spending is declining because of the uncertain economic environment. Consumers now prefer prioritizing value-added and health-conscious products and services. Companies should shift their focus towards value for money propositions, offering affordable options without compromising quality.
Workplaces in New Spaces
Being out of office got a new meaning in 2020. Operating from New Spaces had a rippling effect on consumer life, from lifestyle choices to technology spend to eating habits and beyond. There are new ways to define the beginning and end of an average workday, as consumers struggle to manage their time. Businesses need to ensure work-life balance, productivity and communication needs. Understanding the benefits, and challenges of working remotely helps companies to bring the best of the office into the home.
How should companies respond?
Looking at the long-lasting changes in consumer behaviour because of the COVID-19 pandemic, identifying these trends has never been more important for businesses. Brands should concentrate more than ever before on affordable, value-added products and services. Just as consumers have had to adjust to the new reality of working from homes, brick-and-mortar stores must reimagine their physical spaces to find new ways of doing business while providing the safety and convenience consumers expect.
It’s time to invest in technology and virtual experiences that are critical to facilitate engagement with consumers both online and in person. Objective-driven initiatives will resonate with consumers in 2021. With so much of social unrest around, consumers want the facts and expect brands to act accordingly. The key lies in communicating with compassion and support mental wellbeing as these are critical attributes to drive brand loyalty.