Industry Insights | 2 min read

The trends in human behaviour after COVID

20 June 2022

A combination of studies that reveal what is currently happening in the consumer space post-COVID

What has happened to consumers since the COVID pandemic started and since our universal return to normal?  That’s the question that Dion Chang, trend analyst and founder of Flux Trends, posed and helped us understand at a recent Glacier webinar titled Looking into the Future.

What do businesses have to do now?

Life has not been in limbo. It’s not when but how innovation has happened over the past two years. Businesses now are compelled to meet the velocity of change through new technology, new ways of engaging with customers and accepting that the strategy of 2019 has little relevance. The idea of ‘humanising’ business is an important one and must come through in our business communications and culture.

Game-changing trends include:

  • The rise of the contactless economy, which means the rise of at-home consumption.
  • Retail led by genuine influencers – people who are actual experts or specialists on a particular subject, discipline or product.
  • Remote advice and the digital concierge which is a low-tech way of doing things run on WhatsApp
  • Social media selling.
  • The fintech surge in Africa – the number of mobile money accounts in Africa has surpassed 500 000.
  • Service as an experience.

Dion points out that consumer mindsets have changes and will shape how we engage with our clients. So, whatever has changed in two years, is here to stay. 

The life audit

During the COVID pandemic, loss of life was ubiquitous.  Consequently, people are assessing their priorities, how they live and their life purpose. An increase in resignations has been an outcome of this in recent times.   

Other trends include:

  • Revenge travel – people treating themselves to the experiences what they could not have for two years.
  • Widening inequality and an increased number of homeless people.
  • The increase in the fuel price is affecting blue collar workers rather than office-based employees as the latter may have the option to work from home or are in a hybrid working situation.
  • An increase in payday loans.
  • The homebound economy – 60% of groceries stay at home, as restaurants have become unaffordable to most or people are unwilling to venture out of the isolation paradigm.
  • Impatience – people are no longer interested in food or grocery delivery that takes hours.  The trend is 10 to 15 minutes. This trend is impacting retail merchandising and commercial space. In some locations, office space is being converted to a dark store for delivery-only retail.

About the tribes

Dion has also noticed that looking at the Living Standards Measure (LSM) alone tells us very little about consumers or the undercurrents in demographics. Observing tribes gives us a richer picture. Here are some of the tribes he described in his presentation:

  • Polarised tribes – vaxxers, anti-vaxxers, conspiracy theorists
  • Isolationists – people who are happy to stay at home permanently
  • Pet parents – as a result of adoption of pets during lockdown
  • Cord cutters – a rise in the number of people remaining single and opting not to have children
  • Purple community – people with disabilities increasingly representing big brands
  • Gender fluidity
  • Living back with parents (the LBPs) – adult children moving back with their parents
  • Possible move to micro-credentials rather than university or college degrees – young people taking short courses to build and enhance their skills

How do we respond to these profound changes as employers, marketers and financial advisers? What opportunities to they present and how might we pivot our value proposition to accommodate for new tribes?

Glacier Financial Solutions (Pty) Ltd is a licensed financial services provider.
Sanlam Life is a Licensed Life Insurer, Financial Services and Registered Credit Provider (NCRCP43).

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