Future of digital study

New research highlights digital opportunities for brands

COVID-19 has catapulted the world into the future of digital. With all eyes online, customer expectations have fast-forwarded. Many changes we expected to see by 2030 happened virtually overnight.

In April 2020, Slalom Research began an ongoing longitudinal study to explore how thoughts, perceptions, and behaviors are changing during this unique moment in global history. We reached out to thousands of Slalom employees in the United States, Europe, Australia, and Japan.

This research reveals compelling trends in how people are living, moving, shopping, and staying healthy—and identifies exciting opportunities for brands to adapt and win.

Download the full report

How people live

Our respondents demonstrated impressive adaptability during the immediate crisis. They remain cautious about venturing outside the house, with only an 8% increase from April to June. They're finding other paths to social bonding—but they want more. We heard eagerness for new forms of connection and entertainment, including extended reality experiences.

How people move

Consumers are slowly beginning to travel again, primarily by car to visit family and friends. They’re demanding new safety signals, like seals on hotel room doors and contact-free journeys. We also noted a trend toward near-term booking, suggesting that people want brands to demonstrate responsiveness to safety concerns before they book further out.

 

How people shop

In general, people are spending less than they did pre-COVID, but spending on non-essential purchases increased 16% from April to June. As expected, delivery and pickup are surging. However, the majority of our respondents are doing most or all of their grocery shopping in person. This seems to be related to poor online user experiences and fuels high demand for touchless experiences.

How people stay healthy

Staying healthy means eating right, exercising regularly, and doctor’s visits, but we found mental health to be top of mind for most of our respondents. Most had tried telehealth at least once, and 85% said they were satisfied with their experience. Many were still searching for a "new normal" approach to exercise, but 64% found wellness apps or services useful.