Pinterest Predictions For 2021: How The Pandemic Has Influenced Trends

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Pinterest is leveraging its search data to look ahead to the biggest trends of 2021, and marketers should pay attention. After all, 8 out of 10 of the social media company’s 2020 predictions were correct, and that’s true even after the giant toxic wrench of a pandemic that was thrown unexpectedly into the mix.

Here’s an overview of the trends outlined by Aya Kanai, former Marie Claire editor-in-chief and current head of content at Pinterest, and Larkin Brown, head of core research, during a press call on Thursday.

Pinterest trends for 2021

“In 2020, Pinners turned to Pinterest for guidance and inspiration on navigating their lives during the global pandemic — from food to fashion to fun DIY projects and activities — they came with open minds and left filled with ideas to try at home,” according to a statement from Pinterest. “From this historic year will come new behaviors picked up along the way, that we predict, will have lasting power for years to come.”

Well-being: Alternative healing and beauty sleep

Pinterest predicts that people will prioritize their mental, physical and spiritual health, with New Age wellness trends making a comeback and alternative healing methods becoming more mainstream. One of the most intriguing findings is that sleep care will be the new self care with people prioritizing a good night’s rest and how to get there.

“Bedtime routines will be more luxurious than ever,” said Kanai. “From home goods just for sleep, like sleep diffuser blends, to bedtime exercise routines, like sleep yoga, people will bring intention to more restful regimens.”

There has been an increases in searches year over year for:

Travel: Outdoor exploration and cars as “third space”

2020 kept most of us homebound and under lockdown, we’re all itching to start planning our vacations for whenever this pandemic is truly under control. People are beginning to look to abroad travel, but more than ever, Pinners are embracing more outdoor exploration, with searches for RV camping and star gazing on the rise.

Pinterest also found that people will be looking for ways to make their cars more comfortable and serviceable, as local and national travel will see an uptick next year.

“Next year, cars will become more than just the escape route. They’ll become the escape space as Pinners use their vehicles for everything from date night to survival vehicles, and cars will become the new ‘third space,’” according to Kanai.

Increase in searches year over year for: 

Food: Keeping up that quarantine creativity

Both out of necessity and boredom, more people than ever before probably took to the kitchen during 2020. Many have found that cooking is actually a pleasurable means of experimentation and creativity, as well as a way to feed yourself and your family. Plus, if you can’t go to the restaurant, the restaurant-quality food has got to come to you.

“In 2021, Pinners will experiment with new flavors, techniques and cuisines at home,” said Kanai. “We’ll see the rise of more spiced up recipes and intense flavor profiles.”

One particularly tasty trend to emerge is that Pinners will entertain differently, with a new take on charcuterie boards, replacing cold cuts and cheeses with breakfast or dessert spreads.

Food and entertaining increase in searches year over year for:

  • bread art +130%
  • food garnishes +55%
  • food plating +105%
  • Basque burnt cheesecake +10x 
  • tea recipes homemade +60%

Home: Double duty spaces and Japandi decor

“The role that the home plays in many of our lives will continue to expand in many ways in the year to come,” said Kanai. “It will continue to be the workplace, the gym, the school, the movie theatre and more.”

People will be looking for creative ways to both define separate spaces in their homes while customizing with their own personal aesthetics. Pinners are transforming spaces to work double duty: Think “cloffice” or closet/office, and bookshelf dividers.

Japandi will also be the next big thing in decor. It’s Japanese design meets Scandinavian aesthetic, which looks like sleek lines, neutral color schemes and calming set-ups.

Increase in searches year over year for: 

  • Cloffice ideas and modern mud room +2x
  • Home library design +7x
  • Computer gaming room +6x
  • Bookshelf room divider +150%
  • Japandi +100%
  • wooden bed design modern +5x
  • neutral color palette earth tones +3x 
  • minimalist bathroom design 4x 
  • modern minimalist kitchen +115%

Fashion: Loungewear, but make it fashion

“In 2021, people will take athleisure and add elegance,” said Kanai. “Enter ‘athflow’ with flowy jumpsuits and silky pants that you can also exercise in.”

In other words we’re keeping the sweatpants and never donning heels again, but sure, throw a blazer on top for that chic, comfy work-from-home lewk. Even Facebook gets it.

Pinterest also predicts that high fashion will see us swaddling ourselves in fabrics, with ‘cocoon sweater’ searches seeing a 155% increase and ‘slouch socks’ seeing a 55% increase.

According to Kanai, we’re also going to be seeing a continuation of the quarantine trend of DIY personalization via painted-on denim and custom hoodies. Tie-dying will also likely continue, with celebs from Kendall Jenner to Ashley Tisdale to Olivia Culpo sporting the retro trend in 2020.

Fashion-focused increase in searches year over year for: 

  • home dress women 2x
  • oversized outfit 3x
  • soft outfits +185%
  • cotton jumpsuits for women +160%
  • co-ord outfits two pieces +30%

Beauty: Skinimalism and statement colors

As Queen Bey once sang, “I woke up like this. Flawless.”

Minimal skincare is predicted to be the new glow up, with people trading in complicated contours and cake face for natural beauty and upgraded skincare regimes.

Increase in searches year over year for: 

“At the same time we have our Gen Z Pinners who are turning to indie beauty, bold brows and much more statement-making styles with these big pops of color,” said Brown.

Parenting: Mindful education and sustainable learning

“Parenting has taken on a new meaning this year for those of us who have unintentionally become teachers as well as parents,” said Brown.

Parents are looking for more mindful ways to approach their childrens’ education, replete with moral lessons, real-world teachings and social-emotional learning. They’re also looking for more sustainable ways to play with cardboard toys and outdoor activities. Strangely, there’s also been an increase in searches for different types of pets, like lizards, frogs and snails.

Increase in searches year over year for: 

Finance: DIY Entrepreneurship

“Pinterest is a key platform for small businesses,” said Brown. “It can act as a source of inspiration for entrepreneurs who want to launch their business, but also as a way to reach new customers and to grow.”

Branding ideas, podcast tips and small business ideas will all be high in demand this year — perfect for experts looking to create new content!

Increase in searches year over year for: 

  • small business ideas +90%
  • branding your business +105%
  • podcast design +130%
  • accounting basics +150%
  • entrepreneur motivation +2x

Celebrations: Reinventing festivities

What with the large proportion of yuck that this year has brought, it only makes sense to try to balance the scares with more and different celebrations. Think smaller and more unique festivities like ‘monthversaries’ and adult slumber parties.

Couples who managed to survive quarantine together and still want to get married have had their relationships forged in the fires of Mordor. No need for a big wedding to compensate. And just as we all realized that traveling for work meetings is kind of unnecessary, so we are realizing that large, expensive weddings are also perhaps nonessential, not to mention unsafe. Bring on the low-key weddings and no-frills elopements!

Increase in searches year over year for: 

  • small backyard wedding +160%
  • desert elopement +55%
  • wedding jean jacket bride +130%
  • simple wedding cake small one tier +2x
  • courthouse wedding outfit +2x

Hobbies: Hands on activities and digital decor

Pinterest was almost designed for the pandemic, such is the nature of providing inspiration on its platform. Hobbies has always been a big part of Pinterest, but next year, researchers predict an upward trend for more tactile activities, like embroidery and leather-working.

“What’s also neat to see is that Pinners will be exploring globally inspired activities to absorb new cultures in a different way,” said Brown. “Especially since not many of us are traveling right now, they’re experimenting with many things like Japanese carpentry or ancient Egyptian architecture.”

As we all spend more time glued to our screens, people might want to design their digital spaces with the same intention as their homes next year. People will be more thoughtful about smartphone wallpapers, widget designs and lock screens.

Increase in searches year over year for: 

  • laptop wallpaper aesthetic high quality +30x
  • playlist covers photo aesthetic +24x
  • funny lock screen wallpaper +3x
  • gaming background wallpaper 2x
  • get off my phone wallpaper +180%

Some quick Pinterest stats

The demographics of the trends report represent the whole Pinterest community, which now includes 442 million monthly active users, reaching 6 in 10 U.S. women, 70% of U.S. millennial women and 1 in 4 U.S. men. Over 240 billion pins have been saved and nearly all users say that Pinterest provides inspiration for their lives .

For this trends report, which can be explored through this Pinterest mood board, Pinterest organized over 150 trends into 10 categories with a few key themes in order to show how consumer behaviors are shifting, as well as representing what people around the world are willing to try.

“In a year we’re all clamoring to get back to normal, next year Pinners will be reinventing those norms and forging their own paths,” said Brown.

How can marketers use Pinterest predictions?

“Pinterest insights can give brands a peek into the future and reach Pinners while they’re in a discovery mindset, where they welcome content from brands because it helps them in their planning,” said Pinterest spokesperson Amanda Switzer via email. “McCormick, for example, saw indoor activities up 13x early in the pandemic and found new creative use cases for their product with this DIY window clings Pin and this sand slime Pin. These became two of their top saved Pins this year.”

The discovery mindset is key here.  According to a recent McKinsey & Company consumer insights report, customers today are more willing to try out new brands, especially ones that are local, sustainable or offer an essential service.

“With continued pressure on household income, customers are trying new brands and channels, seeking both better value and convenience,” the report reads. “For the upcoming holiday seasons, more than half of consumers plan to shop at different retailers than last year, with concern for safety being the most important reason driving this change.”



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