With the UK kicking off 2021 in a seven-week lockdown, Britons are setting goals differently this year. Quantcast set out to explore how restrictions on gyms, social engagements, and travel have impacted UK search behaviour. We discovered many interesting trends that reflect the consumer mindset in 2021.

Here are five key highlights, but to see the broader picture and additional trends, download the full piece here.

  1. New Year, Same Me
    With the onset of a new year, we always see an uptick in the number of people searching for New Year’s resolution ideas, but when looking at search data from the two weeks after Christmas 2020, we are seeing this search behavior down 47% year-over-year. This could be a sign that with this year being so unpredictable, people feel less empowered to make resolutions, or more hopefully, that people are putting less pressure on themselves and are more willing to enjoy the simple pleasures in the coming year.

  2. The Home ‘Happy Hour’
    January is usually the time for bold resolutions to give up drinking and take up cleanses. But this year, searches for “dry January” are down by 12% year-over-year. We are also seeing an 85% increase in people browsing sites related to alcoholic beverages. This trend is largely led by Gen X and boomers.

  3. Comfort Connections
    Interest in relationships is up across the board from 2020, but not always in a good way. “Relationship support” and “marriage advice” have seen a huge spike year over year, with an overall 89% increase. There has also been a 7% increase in family and parenting searches. With Gen Y being most interested in these topics, this trend may be largely driven by a combination of newer marriages and the stress of young children.

  4. Escapist Mentality
    With travel currently restricted and trips from the couch to the kitchen becoming the norm, an escapist mentality is present in full force. Gen X and Boomers are dreaming of getting away more than ever, with online browsing of honeymoons and getaways content up 21% year-over-year. Meanwhile, Gen Y and Z have turned to escaping through reading, leading to a 38% spike in content consumption around books and literature.

  5. Investing for the Future
    After a significant change in consumer habits over the past 10 months, we’re not seeing the usual focus around getting finances in order at the start of the year. Instead of planning, people are thinking about investing, with this topic being 23% more popular compared to the same period in 2020. This could be a sign that consumers saved and have more to invest, or it could be that with more time to research and understand the stock market, there are more people interested in investing than ever before.

Want more?

For a complete look at Quantcast insights, download our 2021 UK Lockdown 3.0 Insights Report or check out the UK Lockdown Infographic.

For more information on how Quantcast can help your brand understand online consumer behavior in real-time, get in touch here.