COVID-19: The new reality for socialising as lockdown restrictions are eased

The new reality for socialising as lockdown restriction

Linda Ellett outlines three phases in socialising that we can expect as we move from recovery to the new reality.

Linda Ellett

Partner, UK Head of Consumer Markets, Leisure & Retail

KPMG in the UK


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“The future of socialising was already changing. Whether that was digital dating, better home entertainment, or health trends meaning people were drinking less alcohol and socialising through exercise. COVID-19 has accelerated these trends.”

Lockdown has had a huge impact on the way we socialise. We're becoming used to virtual dinner parties and quizzes. But as restrictions ease, what will socialising look like and what can consumer-facing businesses do to adapt?

In our new reality video, Linda Ellett, Partner, UK Head of Consumer Markets, Leisure & Retail, outlines three phases as we progress to a new reality in socialising:

At home entertainment

With people socialising more from home, we’ll continue to see YouTube yoga classes and virtual movie nights. There’s an opportunity here for innovative meal and drink delivery kits to enable better experiences at virtual dinner parties.

As we start to venture out

As restrictions are lifted and, especially the young, venture out more, we’ll need to strike a balance between providing fun experiences and ensuring safety and hygiene.

The new reality

The new reality will continue to involve virtual socialising alongside a lot of new innovations – for example, we could see heated bubbles outside restaurants, digital menus and robots delivering food.

To prosper, businesses will need to recognise the opportunities and adapt quickly - with more cash strapped consumers, market share will be key. Some of the key questions to be thinking about are:

  • Is there new technology that could be used to help diversify products and services?
  • Does customer journey mapping need to be reviewed in light of social distancing measures?
  • Can you identify the cost savings to invest in any necessary change?
  • Are you being agile enough to experiment and learn?

Continuing to be innovative and adopting a positive crisis mentality will be key for success for months to come.

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