Covid Was A Time Machine For Digitalisation, We’ve Fast-forwarded 7 Years.

Within the first few months of the COVID pandemic, the way we lived and worked was turned upside down.

In-person interaction vanished overnight. And for over two years, most of our lives happened online, whether we were meeting friends and co-workers on Zoom or doubling down on our next Netflix binge.

So it’s little surprise a McKinsey study has revealed that, because of Covid, the adoption of digital tools advanced by seven years in a matter of months.

What does that mean for digital consumer habits moving forward?

Let’s take a quick look.

How have consumer habits changed since Covid?

When given no other option, it’s unsurprising how quickly the average consumer adapts. The question everyone was left asking was:

“Will these new habits persist?” By the look of it, they will. In fact, we’re seeing growing evidence that both personal and professional lives have changed for good, and it’s all down to Covid-19.

Here’s what’s different.

We’re all shopping more online

Online shopping became the default for many once lockdown set in. In parts of the world, it was the only option.

That’s why Google saw a 100% uptick in online searches for ‘How to buy online?’ which goes some way to revealing that both young and old were making the switch. In the U.K., online shopping rose by 36% in the first month of the pandemic alone.

That’s something of a meteoric rise in such a short space of time. And even now that restrictions in most parts of the world have eased off, we’re still seeing subdued footfall on most high streets.

A surefire sign that online shopping habits are here to stay.

People are more open to trying new online services

While eCommerce saw a boom during the pandemic, retail therapy wasn’t the only way we cured our boredom.

People started taking online classes, attending virtual pub quizzes, and even bringing the gym into their homes with products like the Peloton (although the company’s recent struggles suggest gym-based spin classes still have a place).

But what’s important to note is that, as people get more comfortable doing more things online, they’ll explore what else they can do without leaving their front rooms.

Remote work is here to stay

Most of us have dreamt of working from home at some point in our careers. And following covid, most of us got to experience what that’s really like.

Now — some businesses are trying to encourage workers back into the office. But for the majority of workers, there’s a degree of flexibility about where we do business. Hybrid setups are now standard, with workers splitting time between the office and home.

Some 16% of global companies are fully remote, while 85% of managers believe having remote workers on their teams is the new normal. Given that 62% of employees aged 22 to 65 already work remotely on occasion, it’s safe to say… 

Remote work is here to stay.

Digitalization can only be good for crypto

With more people shopping and working online, trust will only grow in the quality of online services. And as it does, people will start to feel comfortable interacting with once-foreign technologies, including cryptocurrency.

You see — a major barrier to crypto adoption is a fear of the unknown, with 51% of people saying a lack of understanding stops them from touching digital assets. But just as it took decades for the internet to take hold, it will take time for the world to wake up to crypto. 

That said, one thing’s for sure. Covid has shortened the adoption timeline by at least a few years.