It’s been a tough 2020; the pandemic shifting how we, as consumers, feel and behave. Here are a few interesting facts and statistics about consumer behaviour trends for 2021 and how they relate to how the pandemic has influenced this change.

Black Friday Sales

With the shift to online it was probably not unexpected that Black Friday Sales would be larger than ever…

In a blog post on 1st December, Amazon revealed that sales performance on Black Friday weekend, which includes Cyber Monday, has helped the 2020 holiday season become the ‘biggest yet’ for the company.

Black Friday promotions saw third-party sellers grow their sales by 60% year-on-year, surpassing $4.8 billion worldwide. Econsultancy

Working From Home

The pandemic has enforced a major overhaul of our working arrangements.

The change to working from home has not only saved in commuting time, but also led to the take up of new habits.

Source Global Web Index

Without the need to travel, cooking has become the “new commute”, according to the report by The Grocer, providing a ritual that separates work life from home within the same four walls. Some 74% of those polled said cooking provided a break between ‘work time’ and ‘home time’.

We are more likely to spend time cooking than before the pandemic 38.8%

27.2% are more likely to drink alcohol at home than they were before the pandemic. Attest

Support for British Produce & Standards

The pandemic and Brexit have shifted consumers focus, the following consumer behaviour trends look like to continue in 2021:

The poll of 2,000 people across the UK of “all ages”, including non-Waitrose shoppers, found more than half would only buy meat from British reared animals in the event of a trade deal with a country outside the EU. Meanwhile, searches for British produce on Waitrose’s website have risen 160% amid trade negotiations, according to the report. “The appetite among the British public to support homegrown produce is high – standards and value are no longer an ‘either/or’ but part of the same package,” says Waitrose executive director James Bailey in the report. The Grocer

Online Shopping

During the pandemic online shopping became a necessity for anything not sold as an essential item. Stats indicate that this movement to online is here to stay:

A new report by Alvarez & Marsal and Retail Economics, estimates that 17.2 million British consumers – about 25 per cent of the country’s total population of 66.6 million – plan to make permanent changes to the way they shop.

Waitrose’s poll found around three-quarters now do at least some of their shopping online – up from 61% in 2019.

Impact on Consumer Vices

Gov.uk undertook a survey of 5,000 people, the survey revealed that 2020 and the impact of the pandemic saw people’s behaviours change, including:

  • 29% of smokers agreed they smoked more since the second national lockdown, attributing the change to being worried about their physical and mental health (42%) and having money worries (41%)
  • 23% of drinkers (at least 1 unit a week) claimed that their alcohol intake has increased since the second lockdown – this is reflected in a 28% increase in take home alcohol sales compared to the previous year.

Consumers Trying Something New…

The pandemic has provided people with the opportunity to try something new according to Attest.

Social Media

The pandemic created an environment that has turned more consumers to social media than ever.

In July, the number of social media users reached 4.57 billion (which equates to half the population), as predicted by Hootsuite and We Are Social, with 346 million new users joining in the 12 months prior. Econsultancy

A massive 73% of consumers say they’re spending more time on social media than they did a few months ago. The most popular platform is Facebook; 43% of people say they’re spending more time on it. Campaignlive.

Direct to Consumer

Since the pandemic, 19% of people have signed up to a new subscription service. Meanwhile, when starting an online shopping mission, 20% of people aged 18-40 prefer to head directly to a brand’s website, rather than using a marketplace or multi-brand retailer. Campaignlive

The D2C (direct-to-consumer) market has been growing rapidly, with double-digit rates for several years. It is projected to maintain a further 19.2% growth in 2021 Good Rebels

Health & Fitness

“The overall impact of the pandemic has led to an increase in the adoption of virtual fitness,”

“A recent MINDBODY survey showed that in 2019, 7% of MINDBODY users used live streamed workouts compared with 80% during COVID-19.” Kisiblog

Many people stay in shape during the lockdown period with running, walking, fitness exercises on their own or free digital services. Of these, a proud number of 73 % intend to maintain this alternative training in the future. Ipso

During 2020, Strava’s community grew by about two million new athletes each month, with more than 1.1 billion activities being uploaded to the platform in the last 12 months. Amid the chaos of the health crisis, the love of fitness and wellbeing prevailed. Elle (Strava is an internet service for tracking human exercise which incorporates social network features.)

Revenue in the Fitness segment is projected to reach £562m in 2021. Statistica

Consumer Expectations on Business

2021 will mark a turning point. The business landscape has fundamentally shifted. Success will depend on firms’ ability and willingness to harness disruption to drive meaningful change:

25% of brands will see ‘statistically significant advances’ to their CX quality in 2021 source Forrester Predications

72% of British shoppers think that retailers should offer more promotions in a time of financial uncertainty

Seventy-two percent of British shoppers think that retailers should offer more promotions in a time of financial uncertainty, such as the pandemic, according to a December report from XCCommerce, ‘Promotion at the speed of customer demand’.

A quarter of UK consumers say they want their favourite brands to make them feel “valued and special” right now. A further 25% want brands to make them feel “inspired and motivated”. Campaignlive.co.uk

Predicted Lifestyle Changes

An England-wide survey of over 5,000 adults found that 80% of people aged over 18 have made the decision to change their lifestyle in 2021 Gov.uk

Compared to last year, almost half of the population (43%) feel more motivated to make changes to their life in January. Around 6 million adults aged 40 to 60 plan to:

  • eat more healthily (40%)
  • lose weight (39%)
  • exercise more (41%)

Potentially consumer behaviour trends that consumers have every New Year! However, the pandemic may have realigned priorities….

Dry January

“30% of UK adults intended to take part in Dry January, according to research The Drinks Business did in December. By 1 January that figure had dropped by 17%. The most recent poll, conducted on 5 January shows that only 25% of those who actually attempted Dry January are still going strong. Source the drinks business .

This year I also decided to give it a go ‘prior to learning about the lockdown’. I intend to soldier on; for as long as home schooling and working allows!

I hope you have enjoyed our blog and the stats overview from a broad range of market research sources about changing consumer behaviour trends in 2021. This year will certainly be a year to monitor and predict how our consumption, behaviour and motivations change this year.

If you would like to find our more about market research and how it could help you redefine your strategy for 2021 please visit Consumer Research or contact us on [email protected]