Is your brand ready to meet the new demands of our vaxxed population?
Nearly 55% of Americans are fully vaccinated and everyone appears to be anxious to get back to their pre-2020 level social calendars. Concern over the health and economic consequences of the pandemic decreased by more than 15% month-over-month in June. One in four Americans believe the economy will fully rebound to normal by August. These and other market research indicators* are making it easy to say consumers are breathing a sigh of relief—and in some cases squealing with excitement—as they step out and open their pocketbooks for dining, attractions, and travel.
Here are a few predictions we see for the remainder of the year.
Hybrid Shopping Experiences
E-commerce will stay steady as consumers have fully embraced the ease of “to your door” delivery for consumer-packaged goods as well as food, dining, even imbibing. However, many are excited to get out of the house and look forward to in-store browsing and shopping. We predict in-person leisure shopping will have an uptick while online “convenience shopping” will flatten. A new hybrid between e-comm and in-store will evolve before the busiest time of the year transpires with the holidays. If you’ve built a business model around e-commerce, “free shipping” will be key to sustainability post-pandemic. It’s not seen as perk, it’s an expectation. Thanks, Amazon Prime.
Top categories to see the shift back to in-person shopping will be groceries, clothing, banking, and electronics.
Shifts in brand loyalty
A full third of Americans is more likely to purchase from a brand showing support for social or civic justice. This is not a new trend; it is the new standard. If your business doesn’t have an authentic purpose or have a charitable tie-in to an organization that supports one, your brand is less likely to be chosen over a competitor that does. While many saw this trend as something that only swayed Millennials, the pandemic has bridged that gap across generations.
Step in line: in-person experiences
Summer and Fall attractions and events will continue to see an increase in attendance. People are eager to get out and enjoy experiences and create new memories with family and friends… without their masks. Crowds are no longer a concern for a majority, so expect to see a significant uptick in foot traffic to live music events, restaurants (especially local and neighborhood favorites), and leisure attractions. For many of these, the concern will be staffing and finding enough trained workers to open businesses doors back to full capacity and meet the expected (and sometimes raised) hospitality standards.
Businesses and consumers alike should be mindful of how this will be an evolving process, and we need to work together to support our favorite businesses while the kinks are being worked out. We all want to be VIPs again, but let’s be patient!
Leisure + business travel
Crossing state lines for leisure and business travel will continue to increase and the itch to travel abroad is greater than ever. A majority of Americans who enjoyed annual leisure travel prior to 2020 will have traveled across state lines, at least once, for a minimum of a long weekend getaway by Labor Day. Airfare, hotels and AirBnB bookings will continue to increase… and so will rates. Booking in advance will not be a luxury anymore, it will be a necessity. Many businesses are still trying to recoup lost earnings from 2020, so deals and specials may be harder to find. Revenge travel is here to stay through 2022. We’re all doing our part to surge the economy, right?
*Research source for consumer sentiment is from Resonate’s COVID-19 and Emerging Trends Consumer Flash Study, Wave 16, June 2021.
Need help planning your marketing communications to meet the needs and wants of our vaxxed population? We’re here to help, drop us a line in the contact form below.