COVID-19 Survey: 2020, A Year in Review

January 2021

As the year comes to an end, this report captures the evolution of the sentiment, preparedness, impact, reaction and future measures taken by businesses during 2020 in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, while also looks ahead to predict consumers’ shifts in behaviour using insights from professionals working in companies spanning industries and geographies.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

With COVID-19 cases and deaths still on the rise, disruption in the economy, lifestyles and businesses continues to be inevitable in 2021 with businesses raising the bar on health and safety precautions and protocols.

The economic recession is expected to increase unemployment, increasing economic and social inequalities and reducing consumers' spending , with government extending support measures to boost the recovery.

Online retailers and businesses offering flexible and remote working will navigate the storm better, with digital innovation playing a key role to address new consumers’ needs as we slowly approach a new normal.

Purpose, transparency and automation will be essential to regain trust, improve efficiencies and maximise profits while minimising negative social and environmental impacts.

Looking ahead, e-commerce, digitalisation, working from home and the higher attention paid to social issues are here to stay. 

Businesses expect effects of the COVID-19 crisis to be felt in the longer term.

COVID-19 survey snapshot 2020
Partial recovery from global recession expected in 2021
Increasingly polarised consumer markets
Most and least impacted industries
From extensive to moderate business impact
Retail sales showing signs of recovery
“New normal” emerges as consumer behaviour shifts amid the crisis
Despite growing fears of disrupting normal business…
… companies are learning to live with COVID-19
Optimism is key to navigate the months ahead
Unilever’s successful response to the new normal
H&M adapting to the new normal for shopping
Companies embracing remote working
Flexible working: From Luxury to essential
Productivity impacted less than expected by remote working
More investment and flexibility to enable remote working
North America less keen on a work-from-home economy
Weighing up the pros and cons
The future role of the office
ABN Amro rethinking its office space for its people and the planet
Digital transformation front of mind
Digital investment is now essential for most businesses
Apple launches digital fitness subscription service
Tata Group to introduce e-commerce super app
ShopLive recreates in-store customer service at home
ABB Group collaborates with IBM to digitalise supply chain procurement
Pandemic redefining the status quo on sustainability
Social purpose is here to stay
P&G supporting social purpose in the sports industry
COVID-19 set to shape the world’s response to the climate emergency
COVID-19 offers a sustainability reset in aviation
Bio-based materials fit in the circular economy
Circular business models gaining momentum in the recovery phase
Online shopping habits become more permanent, stores invest in safety
Zalando collaborates with wholesale and store-based brands
Lasting impact on social lives as staying in becomes the new going out
UCook teams up with chefs to bring the restaurant experience home
Spending priorities focus on consumers’ homes and health
Haier COVID-19-driven innovation taps into air quality at home
Public transport loses out to non-enclosed, safer and eco-friendly options
Metro Africa Express bike hailing turns electric
Staycations here to stay for a while
Hotel At Six pivots to focus on staycations
Companies are facing an uphill battle against COVID-19
The focus is on people and the economy
15 ways to futureproof the business
COVID-19: Reshaping the world beyond 2020
Messages from 2020
About Euromonitor’s Voice of the Industry series


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