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Connecting the dots

Our crystal-ball view of consumer trends for 2021

We’ve crunched the latest numbers and plucked out the trends that matter. Here’s what you need to know about the year ahead.

01
No place like home poster image

There’s no place like home

Many predicted that COVID-19 would mean the death of the city. If you can work from home, why not move to the countryside? But actually, most countries are still urbanizing, with cities in the West evolving, not dying. Night-time and service economies have been badly hit, but city dwellers will come to value other aspects of their environment, from the local neighborhood stores to their home interiors.

The big city appeal

% of urbanites who would choose to continue living in the city

  • India
    90%
  • China
    88%
  • Brazil
    83%
  • Germany
    79%
  • UK
    74%
  • France
    71%
  • USA
    70%
02
No place like home poster image

All work and
no play

Almost overnight, office-acclimated workers had to set up camp at home and get working. Now bosses are torn between pulling the troops back in or continuing with remote working. The latter may be the smarter decision. Not only can it whip up business performance during an uncertain time, but may also boost productivity and employee satisfaction – when combined with flexible working.

How have working arrangements changed since 2019?

Office staff are…

Icon of home

32% more likely to be allowed to work from home

Icon of flexibel time

5% more likely to work more flexible hours

03
Lockdown blues poster image

More than lockdown blues

What a year. The pandemic in 2020 put just about every bit of our lives out of whack. Sadly, the effects of this health crisis will usher in another one in 2021 – a mental health crisis. Businesses will need to take the same proactive approach that they used in the early stages of the corona meltdown.

What are consumers more concerned about?

Mental health
and wellbeing
31%
COVID-19
vaccine
29%
04
Lockdown blues poster image

It’s a kindness magic

As the COVID-19 crisis develops, businesses must think through their responses beyond short-term crisis management. Like building new ways of doing business that bake in kindness and empathy at their core. Serving up PPE and sanitizer worked well at the time, but next year will need more focus on individual consumers and how to support them during times of hardship.

Due to the outbreak, I want brands to put more focus on the following…

  • Supporting people during COVID-19
    Donut chart of 56% 56
  • Being eco-friendly
    Donut chart of 51% 51
  • Offering value for money
    Donut chart of 49% 49
  • Producing high-quality products
    Donut chart of 49% 49
  • Treating staff fairly
    Donut chart of 44% 44
  • Supporting social causes
    Donut chart of 41% 41
05
Green awakening poster image

A green awakening

The first wave of lockdowns had an unexpected upside: we began a new chapter in our relationship with the environment…or so it seemed. Sadly, any gains look set to be wiped out as normality returns. Cynicism is also making a comeback. Consumers have gone from seeing a bright future ahead to feeling pessimistic – and this backlash will ensure our green values remain a hot topic through 2021.

The environment will get better in the next 6 months

Map graph of change in agreement levels with the above statement between Q4 2019 and Q1 2020
06
Coming of age poster image

Coming of age

Many have called 2020 a “generation-defining” year. This is especially true for the mature age groups. Generation X and baby boomers have increased their reliance on the internet and online shopping, which looks to be permanent. As many populations are aging, the older groups’ market power is soaring. So their decisions and behaviors will be more impactful than you might think.

Online grocery shopping among Gen X and baby boomers in the USA has grown +57% since Q3 2019

07
Storefront poster image

The digital storefront

The explosive growth of TikTok, the rise of influencers, and the need for brands to distinguish themselves online. Three trends that will converge in the world of “livestreaming commerce”. Already popular in China, livestreaming commerce will be a new battleground for retailers and may bring community and entertainment to online shopping – elements it currently lacks.

What do online shoppers want?

% of internet users in 7 countries who say the following would encourage them to buy a product online

Graph of % of internet users in 7 countries who say the following would encourage them to buy a product online Graph of % of internet users in 7 countries who say the following would encourage them to buy a product online
08
Privacy poster image

Data for good

The hot topic of data privacy seems to be cooling off. In the recent past, scandalous exposures have fueled an ever-growing concern among consumers. But with the advent of contact-tracing apps, consumers are more accepting of data as a public good. As Google prepares to kill off the cookie, publishers might just have a new way to influence consumers with the value of first-party data.

I am concerned about the internet eroding my personal privacy

% change in agreement levels with the above statement between Q4 2019 and Q1 2020

Graph of change in agreement levels with the above statement between Q4 2019 and Q1 2020 Map graph of change in agreement levels with the above statement between Q4 2019 and Q1 2020

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