The future of consumer markets
The COVID-19 pandemic has raged on for almost a year and continues to create significant challenges for a variety of business sectors. As countries around the world struggle with crushing multiple waves of infection, new lockdowns and slow vaccine distribution, changes in the way we work, live and shop have become embedded. The long-term effects might be most deep and lasting for consumer-facing companies, which are on the front lines in dealing with the upheaval.
At the beginning of the crisis, many industry trends accelerated as people rapidly adapted their behaviours to meet health and safety requirements. Consumers, many of whom had already embraced e-commerce, jumped onto the internet in even greater numbers, buying more groceries and other goods online and selecting from an array of outside-the-store fulfilment options, such as curbside pickup and home delivery. In one example of just how fundamental this shift has been, the share of e-commerce sales in the retail sector is expected to increase from 13.9% in 2019 to 22.4% by 2023, according to data from Statista. In the first six months of the COVID-19 crisis, it was also clear that a pre-pandemic movement towards more socially and environmentally conscious buying quickly gained steam, as many people increasingly considered not just their own health and well-being but that of society and the world at large. Now, many months after consumers have settled into these and other behaviours, we are seeing the future of consumer markets more clearly. In this paper, we’ll outline the five trends that are already shaping tomorrow, and we’ll give you a plan for overcoming uncertainty and challenges in order to capitalise on opportunities.