What social and economical changes 2020 has brought to our lives ?

Sarah Oirdighi
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With the arrival of the global covid-19 pandemic, our lifestyle and consumption patterns have changed dramatically. The year 2020 will be remembered as a global health and economic crisis, which has forced many industries to change completely: from transportation to restaurants and retail, all had to rethink their economic system to adapt to this unprecedented situation.

Faced with all these changes, what about our behavior as consumers? What habits have we revised and how has our daily life been impacted by such changes?

“For many people, grocery shopping was not done online until recently. Video calls have increased and have been used to get in touch with our loved ones. Many people have seen the use of messaging applications increase, but not necessarily to get in touch with businesses.”

Our way of living, working, communicating and consuming is constantly evolving. Facebook recently conducted an analysis of its data to help marketers make the connection between today’s uncertainties and tomorrow’s opportunities, and here are the major trends that emerged:

1. A change towards shopping

Prices and convenience have long been important factors for buyers. But in recent months, an unexpected factor has been influencing what people buy and how they buy: security when they shop. In the U.S. alone, 71% of consumers say that today safety is essential when deciding where to shop (price is still the number one deciding factor, at 79%).
This feeling seems to be confirmed worldwide, with only half of shoppers saying they can’t wait to get back to the stores. Facebook has also seen a six-fold increase in conversations related to contactless shopping in recent months.

People won’t stop shopping, but they think of making safer purchases. Many of these changes are certain to last: for example, 40 percent of respondents worldwide plan to continue shopping online even after the pandemic.

facebook-iq-conversation-shopping

2. A priority for wellness

Individuals were forced to adapt to new lifestyles, including new ways of working, taking distance classes, but also a new way of raising their children. To find quiet time during this stressful period, many had to create the time and space to engage in relaxing activities such as gardening, baking or meditation.

Facebook witnessed this evolution towards awareness and well-being by the download of meditation applications, live streaming of yoga classes and viewing quarantine cooking tutorials. Conversations about sourdough, which is notoriously time-consuming to cook, are becoming more and more frequent.

3. A new way of connecting

Being all together, even when physically separated, has never been more important in these times of crisis. The past few months have transformed the way people connect with each other. We’ve seen people re-imagining Ramadan digitally or office workers from around the world engaging in online meetings through the famous Zoom platform.

The way people connect with businesses has also changed, from branded messaging to receiving care via telemedicine. In the U.S., 79% of people who have recently tried telemedicine said they were doing it for the first time. And half of people worldwide say that being able to send messages to a company makes them feel more connected.

4. A new generation that stands out

In 2020, 41% of the world is under 25 years old. This population is not only too large to be ignored, but it literally represents the future. It is interesting to note that Generation Z is becoming the generation most transformed by the pandemic in many ways. In addition, many of them are reinvigorated by the causes that are close to their hearts.

Compared to the global average, members of Generation Z are more likely to be engaged in a range of activities that have grown significantly during the pandemic, from using e-learning platforms to engaging in hobbies.

Generation Z always had strong values, and the pandemic has reinforced many of them. Members of Generation Z are 1.21 times more likely than average to say that reducing their environmental impact has become much more important because of the coronavirus. And 54% of Generation Z members in Europe say they are more interested in activism and social causes because of the pandemic.

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