Last week, I held a webinar on the impact of Covid-19 on Ho.Re.Ca. and Retail for the Italian-Czech Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

While going through the data available, analyzing the different aspects and channels, it was quite clear that there were some similar patterns.

We are witnessing an unprecedented global crisis that has brought disruption in all our habits. We have stopped doing given things and started some new.  

Thinking about it, this is what usually disruption does, it puts on fast track emerging trends that we could already see on the way up and it pushes down the drain those that were on the way down.

Even though most of us are living a pretty similar lifestyle these days in lockdown, it would be wrong to think that this situation has standardized our lifestyle. We are still very different when it comes to consumer profiles (e.g. 2 extremes being the panic consumer stocking up flour, yeast and toilet rolls and the ones continuing life as if nothing happened).

From spirits brands donating millions of dollars and liters of hand sanitizers to NYC restaurants reinventing themselves as bottle shops; from friends gathering over an online happy hour to sommeliers doing wine tastings on zoom; From the rebirth of small corner shops to modern retailers expanding their online presence;

What do these actions have in common? These are the 10 macrotrends that have shaped the last few weeks and that are here to stay as a legacy of Covid-19:

  1. Rethinking privacy: working from home as reached mainstream during these days. We have all witnessed how those open space living rooms with kitchen corners don’t work when the family is all at home. Did we also mention balconies? Time to rethink homes.
  2. Repurposing life: back to basics, have you seen those emptied yeast and flour packs shelves? From people baking bread at home to single people spending hours preparing a nice meal for themselves, there has been a rediscovery and a return to basic needs of self-expression focusing on small things and on what matters the most.
  3. Repurposing business: from NYC restaurants reinventing themselves as bottle shops to mixologist doing masterclasses on Instagram live. Players have repurposed their business almost overnight and, of course, the ones ready to change and already digitally enabled were the most successful.
  4. Glocal belonging: people attending concerts from a balcony, DJ Dnice starting a live set on Instagram for 200 friends, growing to 150k people connected around the world dancing alone at home around the clock. People really felt the need to belong to something bigger, understanding that we are all in this together.
  5. Corporate and social responsibility: big brands felt the need of communicating even more in this time. With sales targets becoming unreachable and marketing freezes, brands have sometimes communicated in a rush, just focusing on being seen the donors of money and hands sanitizers, or just sending emails of “being close to consumers in these tough times, without a thought-through strategy. Marketing and Communication teams need to step-up.
  6. Simple and human messages: from Prime Ministers to CEOs, during the emergency we are re-evaluating a direct way of communication, no frills, very granular directions and simple and honest messages that bring a sense of empathy.
  7. A sense of community: from people ordering food deliveries to support their local favorites to those photos with queues to order takeaways from your local restaurant make us think of how much we value our local neighborhood. Your favorite burger joint might not be there after lockdown.
  8. Give back to society: from restaurants cooking for first responders and hospital staff to those serving food to homeless. People bringing food to neighbors in quarantine. A growing sense of looking after those in need.
  9. Convenience (On and offline): during lockdown convenience is king. Online retailers have been now tried by everyone able to operate a smartphone. What about for those who cannot? Well, for those the small grocery shop is back, winning customers over far away hypermarkets in shopping centers, that now feel like cathedrals in the desert.
  10. Health, hygiene and sustainability: from small gestures such as washing hands (trying to hunt hand sanitizers) to the importance of knowing where the products we eat come from, we all realized how fragile human life is and how important is to rethink the role of humans in the planet ecosystem.

What has been the common denominator of all these trends during the last weeks? they all shared one enabler: digital transformation. 

The situation is still very fluid, such trends are not carved in stone, some of them will grow and some will fade out but what is clear is that digital transformation will be the enabler of change, during and after Covid-19.

Businesses have started repurposing themselves and digital enables a risk diversification for the future.

Of course nobody could foresee a change of such a vast proportion but the players that were future-proof have are coping much better with the change.

at has been the common denominator and enabler of all these trends during the last weeks? Digital transformation.

Of course nobody could foresee a change of such a vast proportion but the players that were already prepared for “a” change, managed to grasp the opportunity brought by such a revolution and succeed.