Startup Opportunities Driven By The Pandemic And A Stay At Home Consumer

While the pandemic has caused major disruption in most people’s lives and habits, consumers are without a doubt shifting their mindset on several key aspects of their lives, which will affect some trends. Whether it is how consumer’s grocery shop, work from home, prepare their food, get their exercise, travel more locally and have a renewed focus on what “clean” means, behaviors and attitudes have changed, some permanently.

Of course, as we learn and understand how consumers are acting in the present situation of the pandemic, we must also anticipate what the future may hold after the pandemic. And, as consumers continue to adapt and change their way of living, marketers and potential startups, especially small businesses, are challenged with figuring out what actions will last long after COVID-19 is over and the economy has re-opened. Stay-at-home may be temporary, but their effects on society and consumers will last far longer. Below are several emerging trends worth keeping a close eye on as we get past the pandemic. 

Food shopping and meal prep. Was it just yesterday where most people ate out and on the move. Now you cannot even find bread flour in the grocery aisle or online. Two big trends here that will continue is grocery-shopping services and prepared “meal kits” which will take us closer to better healthy meal options.

Fitness at home. That extra bedroom or garage just became a fitness studio. Local hikes are growing in popularity and connected devices linked to exercise like Peloton will be the norm. Smaller pieces of equipment that are more multi-functional and flexible will drive a renewed home fitness marketplace.

Home office. What once used to be a luxury is now becoming more of a standard. As major companies weigh their workforces working remotely, consumers are considering room conversions, office makeovers, and perhaps a lifestyle change, which will entail people moving to destinations that better support a lifestyle and allow people to work remotely.

Cleaning services and products. What we used to think was clean, well, it has to be cleaner. Consumers are now really paying attention to cleaners that are more natural, sustainable and still get the job done. Specialized cleaning services will rise and offer a higher level of cleaning using several new modern technologies like fogging and UV light.

Local travel. With the travel, airline and hotel industry severely impacted, consumer s are turning to local getaways and that may be a tremendous opportunity for local small businesses within two hour ranges of urban areas. Simple one to two day getaway packages will become more popular, perhaps bundled with a local experience or hike as well. Local marketing should flourish.

Electric bikes and pets. Look outside and you will probably see more people walking their dogs and riding bikes than ever before. Okay, maybe the pandemic is causing shifts in behavior that will go away once the pandemic is over. But the “dog business” continues to grow and electric bikes appeal to an aging population and a younger commuter and that will not go way.  

Virtual get togethers. The restaurant, neighborhood brewery and especially the events marketplace are severely impacted. Will some of this last past the pandemic? Not sure. But this does create an opportunity for virtual get togethers that hopefully are far superior to Zoom.  Will these be 3D or virtually rendered rooms? Maybe. If you look at the rise over the past ten years of communicating online and dating services, it’s not a stretch to see some innovation here.

Subscription rising. It’s not just ecommerce that is rapidly growing. It’s subscription-based products and services that provide needed products, services or entertainment. While Netflix might look like the gorilla in the room in this marketplace, there are a host of other opportunities including Simple Loose Leaf Tea. It is available in subscriptions that tailor to your tea preferences, like herbal tea, black tea, green tea and more.

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