Home renovations have been on the rise in recent years as people seek to
emulate the projects they see on Canada’s many home improvement shows.25
As Canadians incorporate work, school and vacations into their living spaces,
they’re increasingly undertaking DIY fix-ups to help their homes double as
offices, classrooms, gyms and playgrounds. In July 2020, household item
spending was up by 20% year-over-year, with spend increasing sharply at
do-it-yourself construction stores.26
In backyards and on balconies, people are installing raised beds for gardening
and adding lawn furniture.27 The indoors is just as busy as workers graduate
from improvising desk space to building out ergonomic home office setups and
cordoning off areas for exercise.28
As people increasingly work and play in their own spaces, they’ll be asking more
of their homes—and going to greater lengths to tailor them to their needs.
After 30 million rural residents gained internet access in 2020, connectivity
in India hit an all-time high.29 However, almost half the country’s population is
still offline, and many of those people are looking to get online. Stay-at-home
orders have intensified the need for broadband access—and for stronger
bandwidth among those who are already connected.
At home, those with an internet connection are replacing in-person shopping
30 and they’re streaming more movies31 and digital television.
They’re also using web conferencing at unprecedented levels to work and attend
school remotely. A survey conducted in August 2020 reported that more than
two-thirds (68%) of connected consumers had worked from home in the past
four weeks,32 and the traffic driven by work and educational technology was
putting a strain on the available bandwidth.33 One student made headlines for
studying on her roof to attain a strong connection.
Given how much is moving online, the country is facing an urgent need to
increase access to connectivity to help all residents access remote education
Cash has long been the payment method of choice in Mexico, but digital banking
is picking up steam. After the country passed its first law to regulate financial
technology in 2018, the number of Mexican fintech companies expanded by 14%
in just a year,34 enabling more of Mexico’s estimated 42 million unbanked
residents to adopt mobile wallets, credit cards and other quick and secure
digital banking programs.35
Many are enrolling with neo banks—digital banks that have no physical branches—
which allow people to use digital currency for everyday activities like shopping
and streaming. Since money management is new to so many, these digital banks
are also providing education tools to help people build financial literacy around
saving, budgeting and credit.
Customers are also seeking out safer digital-first shopping options, and many
businesses are adopting cashless payments. This may lead to lasting changes in
how people bank and purchase: One study predicts two-thirds of Mexicans will
reduce their cash use in the future
Compared with other countries, Australia has been slow to embrace online
shopping, since the country’s geographic spread makes deliveries hard to fulfill
efficiently. But since Amazon entered the market in 2017, interest in e-commerce
has grown significantly.37 That interest is intensifying as shoppers discover the
convenience of deferred payment plans and rapid delivery where they can find it.
Between March and April 2020, e-commerce spending increased 29% month
over month as people sought out necessities online,38 and nearly half of Australian
online shoppers reported using at least one new digital shopping platform for the
first time between July and August 2020.39
Among new shopping trends taking off are subscription boxes, which supply
people with new selections of drinks and snacks, beauty products and vitamins
each month.40 In a time when people’s schedules and surroundings are otherwise
predictable, unboxing these deliveries provides some much-needed serendipity.
Australians are taking care to select online retailers who are able to serve their
regions efficiently, and many prefer click-and-collect programs, which enable
shoppers to pre-order and pick up their purchases at a local store.41 Out of
necessity, Australians are quickly forging a hybrid shopping experience that fits
their needs online and offline.