Trend-Monitor has compiled a useful Post-COVID Trend Map for the UK Home Improvement Sector summarising how consumer behaviour has changed. Here Trend-Monitor research director Jane Blakeborough highlights the top 5 priorities consumers now have for their homes.
No.5 – Quiet Homes
Noise is very much an invisible pollutant as many layers of sound can build up over time. Whereas previously we may have been able to ignore these layers of sound, working from home, and in particular when on Zoom or in virtual meetings, has made us extra sensitive to the amount of noise we have going on around us in our homes.
Spending more time at home during lockdown has emphasised the detrimental effect of being constantly surrounded by noise from domestic appliances, technology and poor acoustics. This is turn is impacting on our mental health and energy levels.
Quiet Mark, the international consumer champion award programme associated with the UK Noise Abatement Society charity, is seeing an increased interest in products that ensure that acoustic design is as important as visual design.
No.4 – Clean Air at Home
Concerns over the quality of the air circulating through our homes were rising prior to Covid, and the amount of time we spent at home during lockdown only served to reinforce these concerns.
Research by Blueair found that seven out of ten people, across all generations, worry about the air that they breathe indoors as we become more aware of the risks of indoor air pollution and in particular how it affects children. Bacteria and viruses have long been top of the list of air pollutants we are concerned about, and the pandemic along with government warnings against socialising indoors did nothing allay these fears
And it’s not just indoor air pollution that we are worried about. City living no longer holds the attraction it once had, and estate agents are reporting changing priorities for home purchases putting rural locations with an outdoor space and a fresh air flow top of our property wish list.
No.3 – Voice Activated Homes
Voice technology was already a strong growth trend prior to Covid, but has seriously accelerated as the pandemic has made many people very uncomfortable with touching buttons and screens.
With the convergence of technology, necessity and demographics (Gen Z tend to find it more natural to talk to devices), voice tech will not only become increasingly popular but will be the dominant user interface going forward.
No.2 – Curated Homes
The huge choice of products we are now offered for our homes is both a positive and a negative for consumers. Being able to make choices for ourselves is a requirement for happiness and the lack of choice during lockdown was shown to be detrimental to our mental wellbeing. Yet, having more choice isn’t always a good thing as there is a strong risk of 'decision paralysis' which happens when we are faced with too much choice and simply cannot decide, compounded by a greater chance of regretting the decision we do eventually make.
This, coupled with the developing consumer mindset of prioritising things that matter to us, while cutting back on those that do not, has led to us towards being more selective, to invest in fewer, but better products and experiences.
In 2022, forward-thinking businesses will adopt a policy of using data to generate true insights about the products and services that really appeal to their target market, thereby making choosing products easier and more pleasurable for their customers.
No.1 – Easily Sustainable Homes
COVID has raised awareness of the impact we as individuals are directly having on the future of the planet and sustainability was found to be a key consideration for consumers throughout 2021
Recycling, water efficiency and reduced food waste are at the top of our list of sustainability goals for our homes, yet research by Trend-Monitor into consumer behaviours in the home found that although we say we want to adopt more sustainable habits, we very quickly fall back into our old ways if these habits are too difficult or inconvenient.
Trend-Monitor predicts that 2022 will be the year for well-designed products that make these sustainability goals easier to achieve.
These trends have been taken from the Trend-Monitor Post-COVID Trend Map for the UK Home Improvement Sector. This trend map puts consumer behaviours into context by starting at the top with global megatrends that have been gathering pace long before COVID. These filter down into a range of macro-trends that have since been impacted by COVID and will have a long term influence on our behaviours at a more local level, in our homes and on our high streets. View the full trend map here.