10 THINGS WE CAN EXPECT IN 2021
A challenging but nevertheless exciting year is ahead of us. The big question is whether brands are ready to address and respond to new consumer expectations in 2021, or if they’ll be sleepwalking into a ‘back to normal’ fantasy.
One of the key shifts to have emerged from the Covid19 pandemic is the dramatic and irreversible increase in online shopping, and not just for the familiar segments of grocery shopping or fashion – but now impacting practically every type of consumer good or service – from healthcare to mobility, to entertainment and more. But is that it?
Here are the 10 things we can expect in 2021 –
(Even More) Personalization – Consumers’ expectations will only continue to rise. Personalized product recommendations or data visualization will be key for driving engagement and keeping your customers engaged over time.
(Even More) Experiential – for those maintaining physical locations, it’ll be key to distinguish themselves from online retailers by providing unique in-store experiences – and having the opportunity to provide value by strengthening customers’ relationship to the brand. If used correctly, physical retail can complement its online counterpart to bring a brand to life and give it an edge against competitors.
(Even More) Increased focus on Personal Health and Self-Care – spending habits extended well beyond the first wave of the pandemic, as lockdowns increased all over the world. That causes a massive rise in the focus on consumer health.
2021 is the year of Social Commerce – shopping experiences on social media platforms. Users can make purchases right from the social media app or site. Instagram, Tiktok, and Facebook can cater more directly to brands than they have in the past.
Omni-channel experiences – nothing is certain nowadays. It’s difficult to know with any accuracy where consumers will engage with your brand – it’s never been more important to provide consistent on-brand experiences across email, mobile, website, social media, and beyond.
Scrutinized Authenticity – successful brands will prioritize authenticity, focusing on unique content that highlights education, entertainment, and the viewer experience. From a media mix perspective, the video will be 2021’s most important medium for presenting brand authenticity.
Millennials are attracted to Ethical and Values-Based Brands – transparency, values, and ethics have never been more important to shoppers — which means brands need to prioritize them ASAP.
More AR-Powered Shopping Experiences – Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are here to stay – they have gone from a nice-to-have to an essential part of retailers’ e-commerce offerings. Touch-free technology will definitely become mainstream.
Pop-up shops and off-line spaces – many digital brands are opening stores to enable better interaction with consumers. While COVID-19 has undoubtedly slowed the openings of new brick-and-mortar stores, many off-line experiences will continue to in 2021.
Using Smart Speakers as a communication tool – a massive number of consumers currently own a smart speaker — and they have become key tools for many online shoppers, especially as we have all spent more time at home during the pandemic – they can be easily used for shopping activities, such as ordering products, conducting product research, or tracking deliveries.
How can we help?
Understanding how consumers’ purchase journey and retail expectations have changed due to COVID-19 can provide clients with better use of resources and more intelligent targeting, more impactful messaging content and tonality, and leverage competitive advantage.
At ADK Insights, we continuously continue to monitor market trends emerging and translate their impact on consumer behaviours, providing insights to help businesses future-proof their innovation.
To find out more about our dialogue with consumers worldwide and how we help our clients navigate these challenging times, please contact Nimrod, Rob or Dam at ADK Insights.
About the author:
26 years market intelligence experience. Specializes in bespoke solutions design, with focus on qualitative approaches, product clinics, and in-depth & creative result-oriented output.