Consumer Trend 2021: Remote Remains Rampant in Our Daily Lives

2 min read | Dr. Audrey Guskey

Today, January 1, 2021 Consumer $ense is launching our series of Consumer Trends for 2021.  Check it out over the next week to see what our Dream Team is predicting for the New Year.

The pandemic has rewired the way consumers live.   Pre-pandemic, the U.S. culture was outwardly-based by personal interactions with family, friends and strangers.  Work, school, shopping, worship, recreation, and entertainment all centered on being with others.  The devastation and drama of Covid has consumers shying away from most forms of normal social contact.  Fear and uncertainty have caused hibernation and isolation that triggered consumers to do a 180-degree turn and create a haven of safety at home.  Homes have been converted to offices, classrooms, churches, stores, gyms and yoga studios.  We at Consumer $ense predict this trend will continue through at least the first half of 2021.

According to the 2020 Gartner Consumer Behaviors and Attitudes Survey, 64% of consumers believe they are at risk of exposure in public places, and 77% say that socializing the way they did pre-pandemic is no longer comfortable.  The translation to consumer habits means that spending, working, worshiping, and working-out will continue to be done remotely.  Online shopping with curbside pickup is a convenience consumers crave.  Yet, many of us long for the days of strolling through a mall and picking up merchandise in a store.  Working from home has become routine with the added benefits of no commute, no need to dress professionally (at least waist down), and less need for daycare.  But we miss our buds at work.

Doing yoga through zoom or Facebook Live has created a Zen effect in the family room.  I enjoy the relaxation during my yoga classes privately from my home.  And I love doing yoga remotely and reconnecting with an amazing yogini who introduced me to yoga and who now practices in Texas.  (If you are looking for a challenging primary series class checkout Wyndham Bailey on Facebook.)   But I really miss working out at a gym.  Running and stretching outside takes me back to nature and is great.  Running fields in the summer and fall was fun.  However, running below 30 degrees isn’t ideal.  And many people can’t afford or don’t have the room for a fitness center in their homes.

Teachers and students have struggled with remote learning and pray for the day that we will be back in the classroom.  I know it was difficult for me and for my students to stay motivated and have the most effective teaching environment.  Sadly, churchgoers went from in-person services to sipping coffee watching the Mass online.  Hopefully this trend will reverse in the near future.  Or are we just going to get lazy and stay at home because it is just easier?

While convenience has increased with the new remote home routine, much of the fun is taken out of work, school, fitness, and shopping. I know as a teacher, the grind of grading remains but the interaction with students just isn’t there. Watching a church service online isn’t the same as being with and receiving the Lord.  During one of the online Masses I watched, a priest shared this story.  Father Chris had asked a homeless man, who was stopping at the church for lunch, how it was going.  The homeless man movingly said, “It is going, it is just not coming back.”

What trends do you see sticking around for the long run in 2021? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @consumersense on Twitter.

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