Good news for online businesses as shopping habits go virtual

March 23, 2021: Online shopping is truly a part of every day life with one in three leaders (32%) saying it will be the shopping experience of choice post lockdown. Around one in four (26%) also say that focussing on mental health and wellbeing is now a top priority according to The Pulse Business’ Senior Leaders Qualitative Study conducted on behalf of the National Hair and Beauty Federation.

The Study asked six questions to a select group of 60 Senior Leaders representing a range of industry sectors on what the road ahead looks like in 2021.

As the grocery universe steels itself for more disruption, one Director cited online shopping was now just part of our social fabric because it is – “Easier, faster and zero risk – so why not? I think we’ll also see a quickening demise of the so-called high street.”

The results showed to a heart-felt desire to see friends and family with 75% saying this is what we have missed the most. One Director said, – “People are generally sociable creatures so the loss of contact with others, especially loved ones, has, I believe, been the most difficult issue for most.”

57% indicated we can expect more flexible working practices, fewer face to face business meetings and easy access to the company boss once we shuffle off the last 12 months of living quieter lives.

60% suggested they believed companies will become less obsessed about where their employees are based, a welcome insight for tired and stretched working families who have survived home-based working. A Marketing Leader in the Trade Association sector observed – “The idea of a fixed office where everyone must be for specific hours in the day will disappear.”

As for flexible working practice and employee support systems, one Independent Consultant said, – “Office moves are deliberately not having enough space for all staff, the mental health employer awareness levels have kicked in, and employers are recognising the importance of values more and more in their communications and planning.” One Senior Industry leader added, – “Virtual meetings can be almost as productive if it’s a clear project with actions. Planning and brainstorming is not easy and people that need to spark off colleagues are struggling to perform.”

A Senior Director working in the retail sector offered another upside to flexible working – “With little or no commute time, people have seen the ability in their day to spend time on other things, whether that’s exercise, eating with their family, hobbies etc.”

Imogen Osborne, Founder of The Pulse Business, summed up – “We know that flexible working has finally been given its rubber stamp thanks to the pandemic as employees can be trusted to get on with it, even if they can’t be seen all the time. One of our Pulse Leaders stated that the ‘where’ you do the work is now actually irrelevant. It’s the ‘how’ the work can be done that’s the eye opener; a great opportunity for continued innovation which must surely connect to people’s happiness and wellbeing.”

The Road Ahead Pulse ran in late February 2021.
Sample size: 60 Senior Business Leaders based in the UK.

If you would like to join our Senior Leaders Pulse, please email .


About the Pulse Business
The Pulse Business delivers real time insight to companies on fast track growth curves. We design and deliver incisive Pulse questions that enable and elucidate varied views on many topics. This unique insight is used by our clients to grow and improve their businesses.


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