The Top 2021 Consumer Trends You Need to Know
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The Top 2021 Consumer Trends You Need to Know

January 23, 2021

After an unprecedented year, planning for the months ahead is no simple task — but our latest roundup of consumer trend reports is here to help.

COVID-19, an economic recession, social unrest — 2020 was the most disruptive year in recent history. As a result, we’ve seen dramatic shifts in the way people live their lives: spending patterns, digital habits, activism, self-care — the list goes on. As always, we’re tracking these trends, on the hunt for actionable findings we can pass on to our clients. 

The consumer trend reports on this curated list stood out to us for their marketing, CX, and innovation insights — and we wanted to share. As you put together your 2021 growth strategy, make sure you’re prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the year ahead. 

21 meaningful, trend-driven innovation opportunities for 2021 (TrendWatching)

While many businesses have struggled during the lockdowns, the pandemic has also created opportunities for brands to connect with consumers and help them adjust to the new normal. Microsoft Teams, which will partner with the meditation app Headspace, plans to help office workers structure their day with “virtual commutes,” for example. TrendWatching’s report also reveals innovation opportunities in the accessibility, sustainability, inclusivity, and social justice spaces.

Connecting the dots: a crystal-ball view of consumer trends for 2021 (GlobalWebIndex)

 You’ve probably read some of the real estate articles documenting the exodus of city dwellers to greener pastures. But cities aren’t dead yet and most employees won’t be relocating to the countryside. The vast majority of urbanites in the US, UK, Germany, Brazil, China, and India plan to continue to live in cities post vaccine. The report also explores trends in digital storefronts and the online habits of Gen X and Boomers, as well as consumer attitudes towards the environment and mental health.  

12 growth hacks for 2021 (Material)

To help you understand what could be coming through the rest of the year, we asked experts from across Material to weigh in on what they think will play out, what the implications will be, and what brands across industries can do to get ready. The report covers upcoming trends in analytics, insights, UX/CX, and brand strategy — plus how to start preparing now to drive your growth strategy forward in the months to come.  

3 top consumer trends for marketers to watch in 2021 (Gartner)

The 2020 Gartner Consumer Values and Lifestyle Survey reveals a major transformation in social attitudes, lifestyle, and spending habits. Consumers, who believe life won’t return to normal until fall 2021, feel extremely vulnerable in public spaces — and brands able to nurture those self-protective instincts will thrive. The pandemic exacerbated existing wealth gaps, but consumers with disposable income are constrained by guilt. Equality is now the #1 value for U.S. consumers, who are increasingly focused on social justice and civic engagement.

Customer experience predictions report (CX Network)

The CX world, like everything else in 2020, faced unprecedented change. Now, experts from Google and Oracle highlight customer experience trends and developments to consider going forward. Brands must educate staff on new tech or risk jeopardizing investments and move beyond legacy systems to create seamless digital experiences. The report also discusses how customer experience research can be leveraged, the importance of ethics and fairness, and tips for capitalizing on CX trends.

The top tech trends of 2021, according to 30+ experts (Fast Company)

Leaders at startups, executives at major brands, investors — Fast Company cast a wide net to ask what the biggest tech trends of 2021 will be. Responses cover everything from collaboration services to breakthroughs in medical technology. Especially interesting are predictions around the financial industry. According to the head of global payments at eBay, “COVID has accelerated the need for new payment methods like mobile wallets, contactless payments, buy now pay later, and installment methods.” 

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