The coronavirus pandemic will continue to shape how businesses operate, according to Yelp.
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In the food service industry, Yelp’s forecast found that digital technologies used widely by businesses amid the pandemic – such as QR code menus, curbside pickup and contactless delivery or payments – will still be prevalent in 2021. More than 160,000 restaurants registered on Yelp have reportedly added these health and safety measures.
Other restaurant predictions include the adoption of in-restaurant "grocery" offerings, as well as meal kit offerings, catering services and takeout promotions to bolster sales.
When it comes to customers, Yelp observed an increase in kind reviews, too. The platform claims there was a 32% uptick in reviews showing gratitude throughout the pandemic and expects this trend to continue into the next year.
For the beauty industry, Yelp predicts there will be a demand for corrective services, since some consumers dabbled in DIY treatments while salons and spas were closed. In hair salon reviews, Yelp noted there was a 29% increase in the mention of color-correcting services.
The review website also said consumers are seeking skin-fixing treatments for acne and melasma to get rid of blemishes and discoloration, perhaps worsened by protective face masks. Spas and salons will likely have safety measures like temperature checks, plexiglass dividers and digital check-in systems.
A phenomenon known as “Zoom Face” was mentioned as well — "Zoom Face" being the term for increased desire for cosmetic procedures and surgeries amid the COVID-era, probably sparked by more frequent video conference calls.
In the wellness sphere, Yelp predicts sporty activities, too, will rise in popularity. Consumer interest in tennis is up 14% nationally while interest in biking is up 90% and interest in golfing is up 37%. Roller-skating and skateboarding has increased as well, according to the report.
Meanwhile, Yelp predicted travel will continue to see growth in destinations involving outdoor activities. National and public parks reportedly saw more visits in 2020 with consumer interest up by 85%, and this trend could hold true in 2021. Similarly, consumer interest in glamorous camping (aka glamping) was up by 73%.
The review website said it expects day trips to local wineries to become trendy next year since tours are generally held outside. It also indicated that RV and boat dealers or charters may experience moderate growth with consumer interest at 17% and 33%, respectively.