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10 key consumer trends to help marketers plan for 2021

What do UK consumers want to hear from brands right now? How have their priorities changed? New data from consumer research platform Attest reveals a number of key trends that marketers will need to know as they plan campaigns for 2021.

10 key consumer trends to help marketers plan for 2021

The data, from a nationally representative survey of 1,000 working age consumers, was presented in a recent webinar, hosted by Campaign's commercial editor Suzanne Bidlake, alongside Charlotte Langley, brand & communication director at flowers-by-post company Bloom & Wild and Tom Shannon, head of new business at Attest. You can catch up on demand here.

But if you’re short on time, we’ve rounded up the top ten most important consumer trends to know ahead of Q1.

1. Consumers want to feel valued and special
A quarter of UK consumers say they want their favourite brands to make them feel “valued and special” right now. A further 25% want brands to make them feel “inspired and motivated”.

2. Good news is the order of the day
Brits are still interested in coronavirus, but messaging from brands needs to be upbeat. Just over 45% of consumers are receptive to receiving good news and inspiration around the pandemic. Only 18% of people are bored by COVID-19 related messaging from brands.

3. Wearing masks in marketing is preferred
More than half of UK shoppers (54%) say they would prefer to see our current norm depicted in marketing images, meaning people wearing masks and respecting social distancing guidelines.

4. People are spending more time on social media
A massive 73% of consumers say they’re spending more time on social media than they did a few months ago. The most popular platform is Facebook; 43% of people say they’re spending more time on it.

5. Online shopping is king
The opportunity for e-commerce has never been bigger; 69% of Brits are more likely to shop online compared with before the pandemic (including 31.5% who are “much more likely”).

6. Store safety is a priority
Brits rank “making stores safer” as the top priority for retailers, ahead of reducing prices and improving online offerings. This indicates a desire to get back to the shops but a reticence to do so out of fear.

7. Consumers are trying new things
A quarter of Brits say they have taken up a new hobby since the start of the pandemic, 22% have shopped with a new brand and 22% have started learning a new skill, representing more of a willingness to try something new.

8. People are worried about the environment
Of all the social causes and issues currently dominating headlines, sustainability is the topic UK consumers are most interested in. Nearly 71% of people are interested in the environment, while animal welfare is also highly important.

9. Brits are more interested in their home environment
After spending weeks at home during lockdown, nearly half of Brits agree they are now more likely to spend money on items for their homes or on home improvements. People aged 18-40 are especially likely to do this (57%). 

10. Direct-to-consumer is on the rise 
Since the pandemic, 19% of people have signed up to a new subscription service. Meanwhile, when starting an online shopping mission, 20% of people aged 18-40 prefer to head directly to a brand’s website, rather than using a marketplace or multi-brand retailer. 

To get the full picture of changing consumer behaviour and attitudes, check out Attest’s free-to-download report ‘Top UK Consumer Trends for 2021’.

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