In its annual report on consumer trends Euromonitor International says sustainability, convenience and a new “phygital reality” are three developments that will influence business strategies in 2021.
Euromonitor International head of lifestyles Alison Angus said: “2021 will be a pivotal year. Tailoring strategies to these emerging consumer trends will empower businesses to endure the unexpected and overcome adversities.”
Euromonitor said resilience and adaptability are the driving forces behind the trends.
“We want to make the world better – either for our own sake or for humanity. We want new ways to make life both convenient and safe, inside and outside. Where we have the ability, we are balancing our time creatively. Amidst the anxiety and turmoil, we seek holistic, resilient solutions, more thoughtful consumption and, in some cases, ways to fight back,” the report said.
1. Build Back Better: Expect purpose-driven initiatives that support the triple bottom line – people, planet and profits. Nearly 70% of professionals expect consumers to be more concerned about sustainability than before COVID-19.
This is about behavioural reset. Consumers are demanding companies care beyond revenue and businesses be more than profit-driven entities. Protecting the health and interests of society and the planet are the new expectation.
2. Craving Convenience: Desire the ease of on-the-go, impulse and spontaneous occasions and simplicities of pre-pandemic life. Having daily convenience and habits upended by Covid-19 means consumers are looking for ways to find that ease they took for granted. For businesses, this means a swift and seamless shopping experience across all channels is key.
Digital adoption accelerated with the pandemic, with digital commerce allowing convenience without the in-person component.
3. Outdoor Oasis: Reconnect with nature and turn to open-air venues for leisure and to safely socialise.
4. Phygital Reality: Use digital tools to stay connected at home and to facilitate safer procedures in brick-and-mortar outlets. This is when physical and digital worlds collide and consumers seamlessly live, work, shop and play in person and online.
Video conferencing, smart appliances and technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality helped consumers form new habits around working, learning, exercising, shopping and socialising. Smartphones allowed safer protocols in physical spaces and virtual interactions from home.
5. Playing with Time: Gain newfound flexibility, scheduling activities in a non-conventional order to suit individual time demands.
6. Restless and Rebellious: Distrust media and governments, defying misinformation and putting their needs first. In 2020, 29% of global consumers were actively involved in political and social issues.
7. Safety Obsessed: Demand contactless services, exceptional sanitation standards and products that enhance hygiene and immunity.
8. Shaken and Stirred: Reassess priorities and identities in pursuit of a more fulfilled life and improved mental resilience. Depression and mental health had a moderate or severe impact on 73% of global consumers’ everyday lives last year.
9. Thoughtful Thrifters: Budget cautiously and purchase value-added and affordable products and services.
10. Workplaces in New Spaces: Find a new work-life balance, as remote collaboration redefines the traditional office environment. More than half of global consumers previously had a strict boundary between work or school and personal life.