Toilet paper and hand sanitizer get most of the attention surrounding COVID-19 pandemic consumer trends. However, marketers and brands should look at the long-term consumer landscape.
Certain trends emerging in the pre-coronavirus world only accelerated under a worldwide lockdown.
The question is, which will stand the test of time after the pandemic passes? Here are seven possibilities.
1. Telemedicine and Virtual Caregivers
Prior to COVID-19, smart home devices were growing in popularity – especially as tools to help seniors stay safe while maintaining their independence.
You also saw telemedicine popping up, such as online contraceptives, blood testing, and virtual therapy.
In a post-COVID-19 world, expect to see more virtual caregivers driven by artificial intelligence. Telemedicine as a whole will also become part of the new normal with virtual doctor appointments, therapy apps, and personalized apps for patients with Alzheimer’s.
2. Remote Culture
As people shift out of the office and into their homes, they’re asking, “why couldn’t I work remotely in the first place?” Businesses will also ask themselves the same question when they see how much money they can save without building and operational costs.
Before coronavirus, 3.6% of the labor force already worked remotely at least part-time. The growing remote culture will supercharge markets for virtual reality collaboration tools, ergonomic home office items, and even remote worker provisioning services.
You’ll also see people deck out their homes with comforts and necessities. Remote smart fitness, already a growing trend, has been thrown into the spotlight during the pandemic as well.
3. Personal Sanitation
People are aware of their health and sanitation now more than ever. In a pre-COVID-19 world, you already saw emerging trends like phone sanitizers and air purifiers.
In the aftermath of the pandemic, look for cleaning products designed specifically for travel settings. Bacteria-bashing travel robots, self-cleaning hotel rooms, and purifying travel mists will be everywhere.
4. Autonomous Education
Nine out of ten children worldwide are out of school. As others have shifted to digital classrooms, the entire education system has been thrown into question. Online courses were popular among adults prior to coronavirus but you’ll see the trend grow with school-age children in a post-pandemic world.
Things like AI-powered learning robots, storybooks, and interactive education speakers will become increasingly common.
5. Delivery Only Restaurants
Coronavirus has devastated the restaurant industry. Sadly, an estimated 200,000 restaurants in the United States – 20% – won’t recover.
Those determined to stay afloat have made the shift to takeout or delivery only. Before the outbreak, food delivery services like Grubhub, Postmates, and UberEATS were already growing rapidly along with meal delivery services like Blue Apron.
However, you can expect to see new restaurants open without so much as a table. Delivery-only will become a new norm. As consumers become more aware of their personal sanitation, they’ll embrace this trend.
Social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation. As consumers find themselves stuck indoors away from gatherings, they’re creating new ways to connect.
You’ll see more watch party features appear on streaming apps as people realize they don’t have to be in the physical presence of friends to spend time together.
Capitalizing on Post-Pandemic Trends
It’s important for marketers to consider the socioeconomic landscape as well. Consumer confidence is down as millions of people are out of work. An uncertain future could push people to continue investing in themselves and their communities.