Trends predictions for a post-COVID world

A pandemic wasn’t on our list of predictions for 2020 -- but it’s our reality. Here’s where we think the business world will go next.


June 4, 2020

There’s a reason that the “my plans vs. 2020” meme lit up Twitter like a pinball machine: No one could have seen that 6 months into the year, we’d be facing global crises on such a grand scale.

Our Trends analysts pushed to find the 2nd- and 3rd-order effects of the pandemic — to anticipate what will resonate with consumers in a reimagined world.

We also asked our Trends subscribers, a talented group of entrepreneurs, to predict the hottest products and industries of the future. Read 27 of their best takes here.

And if you want to know where other big opportunities might lie, these themes are a good place to start.

Tech will shape our social lives

Our Facebook group pondered the question: What will it mean to be part of a community when school and work no longer dictate where you live and who you socialize with?

The opportunity: Businesses that build loyalty through digital communities will reap the rewards.

The Lego Group created the Lego Ideas Community: a place for enthusiasts to interact with each other and crowdsource ideas for new products. Another example: The Nomad List for digital nomads.

Commerce won’t look the same

Historically, 3 roadblocks have prevented ecommerce from eclipsing brick-and-mortar shopping: tradition, pricing, and the in-store experience.

The pandemic is eroding those roadblocks. The online shopping boom will create more competition, driving down costs for consumers relative to traditional retail. Think of a world where free same-day delivery is the norm.

Post-COVID-19, the only in-store retailers that will survive will be those that focus on the value of the physical experience.

The opportunity: Retailers will benefit from turning their physical locations into flagship stores and “experience hubs.” This Nike store, described as a “powerhouse of experience-driven retail,” allows consumers to try on their shoes and test them out in simulated sports venues (think basketball courts, enclosed soccer fields, and treadmills).

‘Local only’ might be the new ‘local first’

You’d think a pandemic, which confined billions to their homes, would inspire people to fly the nest as soon as possible. That won’t be easy — global supply chains are a mess, and travel could take a long time to recover.

So local experiences, local tourism, and locally produced goods could rule the day.

The opportunity: Consumers have shown that they are willing to pay a premium to support local businesses. Brands that focus on this value proposition will win, with the added benefit of independence from global supply chain challenges.

Daily briefings, straight to your inbox

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

Join over 1 million people who read The Hustle

Psst

How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

Join us, it's free.

Look, you came to this site because you saw something cool. But here’s the deal. This site is actually a daily email that covers the important news in business, tech, and culture.

So, if you like what you’re reading, give the email a try.