The Quarantined Consumer
While most of us are working from home doing our best to flatten the curve, we begin to wonder if things will ever go back to normal. With so much uncertainty, we must do our best to manage expectations, set priorities and begin to build our “new normal”.
Consumerism has already been drastically changed due to the pandemic. People are shopping based on fear and anxiety and are looking to brands for “safety, security, community, and healing.” By mapping our emotions, we can better navigate the market moving forward.
Mapping our Emotions
Coping with anxiety can be difficult under isolation. Companies like Kiehls, are promoting self-care with DIY facials, while others are focusing on mental well-being with apps that provide guided meditations and even therapy. Taking on new hobbies, such as painting, can also help ease anxiety while learning a new skill.
Due to the heightened risk of exposure, consumers are becoming more cautious when purchasing products in stores. Online ordering is on the rise and contactless delivery is practiced by companies like Postmates, to limit exposure. With more environmentally friendly packaging, the future of delivery may turn to drones and autonomous vehicles.
The “homebody economy” seems to be flourishing in our current state. Consumers are looking at their homes as “wellness sanctuaries, workplaces and entertainment centers.” Technology plays a supporting role in our day to day lives. From streaming services such as Netflix, to workout programs via Peloton to educational classes through Zoom. These programs all help the consumer to feel more grounded and provide a sense of normalcy in these uncertain times.
With so much negativity seen on the news, it is nice to see communities and companies come together to lift each other up and show empathy in such trying times. Companies like AT&T are waiving cell phone bills for 3 months to all health care providers. While volunteers from C19 Health squad help families and businesses receive food, supplies, transportation as well as financial support.
Better together is a statement that rings true in our current climate. More than ever people are connecting through virtual platforms, whether it is for happy hour, playdates or even weddings! There have been countless videos that have gone viral showing people on their balconies applauding essential personnel during hospital shift changes or parades of people in their cars coming out to celebrate a loved one’s birthday.
Together with empathy and support from businesses and consumers alike, we can begin to heal our nation. Companies such as Amazon are hiring over 100K employees to help with the high demand of online orders. Although the stock market began to plummet towards the end of March, we already see an upswing. Hopefully, this is an indication of things returning to normal.