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Estudio CKS, comunicación, marketing y diseño. Sitios web Wix, Wix Studio, Wix Agency Parters, Latin América, Estados Unidos, España.

The changes in consumption in 2021 that the pandemic has left us

The pandemic has changed the way we work, travel, communicate and shop, but which of these aspects will stay forever?

There is no doubt that it has affected practically every area of ​​our lives. Some behaviors have been involuntary and sudden, such as social distancing or the use of masks, but others have simply accelerated the adoption of behaviors that were already gaining ground, such as the digitization of shopping or banking.


Leaving aside the first half of last year, the trends stemming from the pandemic have favored big brands, which for years had suffered from the avalanche of more agile startups. Consumers have returned to buying from longtime brands, and retailers have chosen to work with multinationals that could ensure sophisticated supply chain management.



Causes of behavior change

According to consulting firm McKinsey & Company, we have seen new behaviors emerging from eight different areas. The causes of the changes in consumption for 2021 are the following:


  • Work: It is due to the increase in unemployment, the decrease in purchases on the fly and the adaptation and generalization of teleworking.


  • Education: Spending on professional education increases and online training is promoted.


  • Communication and information: There have been changes in media consumption. The digital consumption of information has increased and face-to-face actions are decreasing.


  • Travel and mobility: Tourism spending and travel retail has plummeted, although local and domestic tourism has increased.


  • Shopping and consumption: We are experiencing the rise of electronic commerce, and it is one of the changes in consumption that will continue to be present in 2021. Given the uncertainty, users prefer to opt for buying from well-known and trusted brands. On-the-go and impulse purchases are down. Consumers shop less frequently even though they fill their baskets more. They opt for proximity stores, closer to home and there is a greater concern for sustainability.


  • Life at home: The consumer spends more time at home and makes more life at home, increasing the general consumption of online activities.


  • Games and entertainment: Preference for digital entertainment, changes in entertainment channels, for example, from cinema to streaming.


  • Health and well-being: Greater concern for health and hygiene, as well as physical activity. The demand for e-pharmacy and online doctor consultations is increasing.


Accelerating digital transformation

On the one hand, many of these trends are accelerations of past behaviors. For example, the increase in online shopping that was expected to happen in ten years has happened in eight weeks. Telemedicine has also multiplied by ten in fifteen days and telework by twenty in three months.


On the other hand, in China alone there were 250 million students who in two weeks switched to online education and online entertainment has advanced seven years in five months. Disney Plus has achieved in two months what it cost Netflix seven years.


New types of consumers are born

These changes in consumption for 2021 respond to the need to adapt to a new environment full of uncertainty. The current context is characterized by cautious consumers with new interests and needs. Brand communication has become much more emotional to deal with these new groups. According to the EY Future Consumer Index study, we could divide them into five:


1 # Affordability

They are those consumers who seek to live within their means and their budget. They put brands aside and look at prices and product functionality. Do they really need it? Around 32% of the population is found in this group.


2 # Health

According to the EY study, this group comprises 25% of consumers. Protecting your health and that of your loved ones is your top priority. To do this, they choose to buy products and brands that they trust and have already tried. Premium security and minimize any risk when making purchases.


3 # Sustainability

16% of consumers prioritize sustainability and recycling that minimizes environmental impact when buying a product or choosing a brand. Its decisions are based on the environment and its consumption is guided by these principles.


4 # Common good

This group represents 15% of the population. He is very socially involved and believes that working together is essential to achieve a greater good. For this reason, when buying they opt for companies that they consider to be transparent and that are based on this belief.


5 # New Experiences

Given the uncertainty and tragedy that the pandemic has spread around the world, 12% of consumers believe that it is time to live life. That is, to try new experiences, enjoy every moment to the fullest and not miss anything. This, when consuming, results in being open to new products and brands.


What do they look for in brands?

According to Deloitte's "Consumer year I AD" report, there has been an increase in the appreciation of the purpose and social commitment of brands, as well as a greater sense of responsibility in consumption and distribution of information. Consumers have adopted a greater perception of the strength of the group and its capacity for mobilization. Also, as we have commented previously, there is a great awareness of the impact on the environment of commercial activity.


On the other hand, the pandemic has affected the psychology of people, impacted the economy of families and modified our day to day.

The global economic crisis supposes a foreseeable redistribution of public investment and the Administration focused on the digitization of its processes. Finally, we are experiencing an acceleration of eCommerce, together with a setback in globalization, a redistribution of our consumption mix and a change in the way we consume it.


According to this same report, the great challenges for companies today are the following:


  1. Have a brand purpose

  2. Get to know customers in a new way

  3. Humanize the digital and physical relationship

  4. Reinvent products and services

  5. Redesign of processes and organizations to serve the customer




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