Trends & consumer’s behavior in midst of a global crisis

As China was dealing with the virus, long before it came out in public (Dec 2019) according to the lancet scientific journal, the world was… too busy analyzing the threat, it was the end of the year, so no one bothered to really dig deep and find out what was really going on in the last empire of autocracy!

Now, ironically as it may seem the echoes of late dr. Li resonates worldwide, as we are in midst of the 2nd wave, markets are plunging in an unprecedented way, all due to human negligence and ideology of absurdity!

Initially, C-19 caused havoc in the Chinese province Wuhan, and then spread all over the world, instead of fast-tracking, warning and precautions, Chinese authorities..were caught in the depth of autocracy, countless procedures, and confusion, that led to a very late response towards the virus contentment, and the world ended embroiled in pandemics!

Today, we are still in midst of the unknown, as the economic situation keeps worsening, along with our mental health, production, and about everything in our life is simply…confusing!, as we are just emerging from long months of isolation and despair, only to find out one thing for certain, LIFE IS NOT back to normal…far from it!

The virus has changed the way we dress, eat, travel, work, and run our everyday businesses. The Paradigm shift — some good, most just dramatic! as we are all struggling to know, just what the next day will bring, all hopeful that a vaccine will save us, or the virus will fade away and we’ll get back to…some kind of normality!

According to Bloomberg, global lockdowns forced millions of consumers to rely on online resources for everything, that alone brought significant changes on how we live, (do business as well as go on with our everyday life, whilst radically transforming Consumer’ behavior worldwide, and changes, on how the two biggest economies adapted new innovative measures, in midst of a global crisis!

On the very depth of all the changes, the internet tends to play a pivotal role in providing our society a safe refuge, work, production & supply in midst of crisis, thus trends keep changing, whilst innovation thriving, one of the key changes that influenced the consumer's behavior is;

Entertainment online!

The movie industry & theatres found themselves at the first line of consequences due to changes that were imposed in order to curb the infections…as the pandemic started to spread globally, transforming the movie industry fundamentally, people found themselves in a dire state of escaping the grim reality of isolation and despair, while no alternative left in the horizon, Consumers turned towards online streaming moves, that leads us to;

NETFLIX [ Nasdaq NFLX] According to BBC‘s business research Netflix gained a massive valuation and substantial rise of subscribers worldwide. Cinemas & theatres suffered a huge loss, amid masks & social distancing new rules, with no ending in sight, Netflix safely continued surge in stocks and revenues and is about to reach a milestone, while investing in broader content of movies, documentaries, and cartoons to offer wide specter of entertainment

Credits info: Netflix Design Team

As a consequence, we have an unrelated domino effect, and the next industry was devastated by the pandemic, and that is ;

Travel industry / Global Tourism

Estimated to be one of the most affected sectors during the COVID-19 crisis, Traveling/Tourism completely shut off!

According to McKinley tourism recovery will take time, based on expert’s research on 10- biggest economy of the world forecasts a cumulative drop $3 trillion to $8 trillion before tourism expenditure returns to pre-COVID-19 levels.

That said, recovery will be slow, painful, and driven by the underlying dependencies countries have on domestic travel infrastructure!

Even though China, has seen a revival of the industry after undertaking the most comprehensive, strictest, and thorough control and prevention measures since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

credits McKinsey Global Inst

On the other end, we have new trends emerging, as consumers behavior shifts towards the new trend, found in isolation without the possibility for traveling abroad, demand surged for alternative mobility and outdoor activity, amid lifestyle changes imposed by the lockdown, boosted bike sales across the globe, up to 150% increase only via online orders

As expected, bicycle sales saw shares soar by 28%. And all of a sudden biking became a global trend!

Cities around the world, have been freeing space for bicycles, in response to the coronavirus lockdown. In the city I live in, Pristina, Kosovo we have a brand new cycle lane that stretches across the main boulevard, while in other European metropoles such are London & Paris new cycle lanes have been marked and expanded on hundreds of kilometers, with a sole purpose to promote a healthy lifestyle & alternative commuting, thus as a consequence leading to a new trend and a shift in the mobility industry!

credits; Statista Inc.

New trends and consumers adaptability, will mark the year 2020, as the year of a paradigm shift, as Tesla and the Electric vehicle phenomena changed the;

Auto industry

Tesla, the brand of change, innovation like no other, came into full force during this time of uncertainties, as the consumer's behavior adapted to the mission and vision of Elon Musk for zero carbon emission electric vehicles that become a global trend and the most valuable automaker in the world according to Bloomberg

Necessity, out of global pollution and mass deforestation of our planet….led to rising demand, especially in the Asian markets, that become a trend to own a Tesla electric vehicle

Credits; Bloomberg

China, among the first countries from the EMERGING MARKETS endorsed the open policy and tendency for change of the whole automobile structure from diesel to electric and introduced Goverment subsided start-ups NIO & Xpeng

As a consequence we saw Tesla gaining new heights, production & revenue-wise C-19 proved a blessing in disguise for Tesla that saw a jaw-dropping 400% rise ever since the virus started to spread globally!… Tesla currently working on the introduction of new enhanced batteries and production expansion EU & Asian Market.

Soon after all the big Corporates started to shift their production and prioritize the Electric vehicle to their loyal consumers base while reducing diesel;s engine vehicles, and with the aim to halting all production of new petrol & diesel car [as per BBC’s chart below]

Credits BBC Academy


Our civilization has experienced crisis & catastrophic event in the past, but no event was more hyped then Coronavirus, due to the widespread use of the internet and lack of censorship

Under these conditions of isolation, our daily lives would be much more complex, disorganized, and strange without access to the most powerful tool, connecting people worldwide sharing information & other benefits to the extent that, we can very well live, work, entertain ourselves without leaving the comfort of our homes!

Ambiguity of all things, on how exactly we shall balance the changes, after the virus fades away, os the vaccine is emerging from the lab!

Do we look back, as it once always was or that will be too little too late for our society and we are already in the transformation process and when we look back towards 2019 many things will look as distanced past, nothing will be as it once were, not at least the cinema, gastronomy, shopping & travel industry, and with an increasing role of AI & Robots our structural core is shifting, thus

The fundamental issue arises, can we harmonize our co-existence with A.I in order that, our Civilization reaches new heights of exploration, longevity, and prosperity. or

… we’ll end up in a circle of depression, inflation that will tighten protectionism policies, which could lead us to an endless ecological and humanitarian crisis!


Fintech heterodox & Innovation writer/ Author (SALFORD/ IFLAS Alumnus)