Consumer behavior in 2020 driven by coronavirus lockdowns brought about some big changes that paved the way for new trends to emerge in 2021.

Two Ps: People and Planet

Advocate groups and environmentalists have always been concerned about the impact of business and corporate realms to the world. Things changed last year, as more people found time to reflect on their consumption and its impact to society and environment.

Global market research company Euromonitor International projected that consumers will be more concerned about company morals and ethics in 2021.

Companies are expected to lean towards pleasing consumers by initiating "purpose-driven initiatives" and projects that consumers deem are significant to the call for a more environmentally friendly business world.

Euromonitor also said in its report that almost 70% of professional workers believe today's consumers are likely to have more interest in sustainable products and services due to the realities that pandemic year raised.

Consumer Activism

As more people think of how they can help make the world a better place, activism is expected to prevail this year.

Consumers are expected to demand more humane and empathetic actions from large companies. The demand for increased and more transparent actions in addressing social issues will also be felt in 2021, analysts predicted.

Last year, some big companies were revealed to have had lapses in protecting the health and safety of employees as COVID-19 clusters were detected in the workplace.

The latest reveal was the exposé about Malaysian glove manufacturer Top Glove and the world's largest medical grade glove maker, wherein the company was accused of not doing enough to provide safe living and working conditions for its laborers.

It is expected that consumers will continue to join activist calls regarding working conditions, adequate pay, and other issues involving blue-collar work.

Major Shift in Priorities

Consumers were shaken by the pandemic, especially when lockdowns were announced, and people were forced to stay at home.

As jobs were cut and the economy started to plunge, consumers established a mindset that focuses on priority purchases. For 2021, experts believe consumers will continue to prioritize products that tend to their daily and health needs.

Scarcity was made apparent by the pandemic. Buyers started opting for durable products, shelf-safe food, and convenient options in purchasing.

To survive the trend, companies are expected to roll out campaigns proving that their products or services are of the best value both in quality and affordability.

Virtual Options at All Costs

With potential lockdowns looming and the possibilities of stricter movement control orders being announced during the most unexpected times, consumers will be tied to virtual demands in 2021.

While digitalization has been rolling well over the past decade, the fast-paced shift of companies to virtual options was felt throughout 2020.

Consumers are expected to demand improved digital options this year in grocery purchases, flight bookings, payments, study, and even in getting their ordered products delivered at the door.

Contactless transactions are expected to continue throughout 2021, and companies are expected to continue making investments in improving their digital offers.