As a marketer, are you feeling cautiously optimistic about 2021? Can 2021 be a hopeful year of economic rebound and societal healing? Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, the agency’s futures think tank and innovation unit, believes so. Their findings are presented in the agency’s annual Future 100 report, which helps lift the lid on trends that will shape the coming 12 months.
Mel Edwards, Global CEO, Wunderman Thompson says, “At a time when gaining a competitive advantage has never been more important, the Future 100 report reveals the key trends that will shape consumer behavior and define the way ambitious brands engage with their customers during the coming year. These insights will help marketing leaders inspire growth for their organizations and move forward into 2021 with confidence and optimism.”
The wide-ranging trends look at creative innovations set to go mainstream along with shifts in consumer behaviors across 10 different sectors. The one hundred trends in the report are drawn from the culture, technology, travel, branding and marketing, food and beverage, beauty, retail, health, plus the business and finance sectors.
For the first time, the report also looks at work trends, as the dual forces of a mass shift to home working and the rise in unemployment fueled by the pandemic, change our professional lives dramatically.
Developments under the spotlight include:
- Micropreneurs: Move over side hustles, there is a startup boom in the making, fueled by the pandemic and rising unemployment
- Immunity wellness: The world has never been so interested in how our immune systems can be boosted and the coming year will see numerous experts telling us how
- Unbiased banking: Inclusivity is on the rise in banking with the help of online-only “neobanks,” including Simba and Greenwood, which address the frequently overlooked needs of minority groups
- Cloud gaming: As video games become the latest media to get Netflixized, major players, including Amazon, Google, Tencent, Microsoft, Sony, and Facebook, are betting big on cloud gaming
- Multigenerational travel: Extended families, forced to spend so much time apart in 2020, are increasingly likely to opt to vacation together – often a practical choice as well as a caring one
- Ethical scoreboard: A rise in the number of platforms that monitor corporate behavior, as more people make purchase decisions influenced by brand purpose
- Ghost kitchens: Influenced by the growth of delivery-first dining, this new restaurant concept sees off-premises dining prioritized
- Foraged ingredients: The emergence of new skincare brands made with wild-harvested plants and promising potent result
- Intersectional beauty: Independent brands are now leading the way in championing intersectional beauty, such as LGBTQ+ advocate We Are Fluide and indigenous-owned Prados Beauty
- Live commerce: Retail-tainment is moving online with engaging, tailored shopping experiences using video streaming to demonstrate and sell products and interact with customers in real-time
Live Video Shopping Is the New Advertainment
With people shopping from home in record numbers today, the “Live Commerce” trend spotted by Wunderman Thompson is one I want to focus on. Why? This is why: According to Livescale founder Virgile Ollivier, the conversion rate for its clients’ shopping events averages 9.5%.
“We discovered that bringing engagement and livestreaming together, offering the capacity to interact with the host, and providing a seamless checkout experience were the key elements of success in Asia,” said Ollivier.
Ten percent of eCommerce is now conducted via live video shopping. L’Oréal Group brands including Urban Decay, Lancôme, NYX Cosmetics, and It Cosmetics have been offering shoppable livestreams on their brand sites in North America during the pandemic.
Estée Lauder Companies works with Swedish platform Bambuser, while social networks have also seen a surge. In addition to Instagram Live, brands are starting to become active on TikTok’s live streaming feature, which allows users to buy virtual “gifts,” hinting at a future with e-commerce functionality that is already offered on its Chinese counterpart Douyin. Facebook Live is also being adopted by brands, as well as TV shopping networks QVC and HSN.
Whatever products you’re selling in your online store, livestreaming that features a spokesperson or influencer can help you move your products in 2021 and beyond.