Like everyone else, I’ve been in reflection mode during the one-year “anniversary” (for lack of a better word) of the COVID-19 pandemic’s start in the U.S. It was a transformative and grief-stricken 365 days that challenged every aspect of our lives. For creators and entrepreneurs, COVID-19 swiftly impacted our professional lives, either forcing businesses to close or people to quickly adapt to the times. Though the arrival of a vaccine signifies brighter days ahead, the undeniable truth is that we are still in a health crisis and must remain vigilant—social distancing, face masks, hand-washing. You know the drill.
The crowd-sourced review site is constantly tracking and analyzing trends among its users and after one year of record-breaking business closures and varying stay-at-home orders, these somewhat surprising insights are actually encouraging. If you’re a content creator who monetizes your work or an entrepreneur at any stage, the report could arguably become a tool that helps you zero-in on topics that people want to read about.
Let’s start with the surprising data.
New Businesses are Opening in Impressive Numbers
According to the one-year COVID report (and in line with its methodology), an impressive number of businesses actually opened over the past year; nearly half a million, to be exact.
“Of the newly opened businesses, 76,051 were restaurant and food businesses, down by 18% YoY. With people spending more time at home and in their cars (as many people opted for road trips instead of air travel) 286,879 new professional, local, home and auto businesses opened – on par with the year prior, down by only 1% YoY.”
Of course, we know female business owners face an unfair amount of pushback compared to their male counterparts. However, seeing these numbers should at least provide encouragement to keep going, regardless of what kind of business you own. To that same point, a lot of those same businesses have reopened too.
“Between March 11, 2020 and March 1, 2021, 260,852 businesses reopened in the U.S. Of all reopenings, 85,446 were restaurant and food businesses and 36,199 were professional, local, home, and auto services businesses.”
Outdoor Hobbies are on Everyone’s Minds
Now, in “painfully obvious” news, consumers are pining for the outdoors. After being stuck in the house for extended periods of time, people are eager to not only socialize but make better use of their surroundings by picking up new hobbies. This is an opportunity for lifestyle and travel creators to flex their skills with content that speaks to this demand. Glamping, anyone?
“Consumer interest in drive-in movies (up 329%) and outdoor movies (up 99%) spiked as Americans looked for socially distanced activities, along with skate parks (up 75%), disc golf (up 73%), racetracks (up 71%) and horseback riding (up 41%),” says the report. “The average review mentions per million for “glamping” increased 53% (see Yelp’s top glamping destinations).”
Social Distancing Will Have Lasting Impacts on Consumer Interests
But as expected, all of that indoor action is impacting how we live and shop. We’re putting more effort into home decorating, customizing our workstations for comfort and maximum productivity, and staring way too long at ourselves. According to Yelp, the “Zoom face” phenomenon may not be as fleeting as we assume.
“The average review mentions per million for the cosmetic procedure known as ‘lip flips’ increased 120% during the same timeframe,” it says. “With more time than ever in our homes, average review mentions per million for home offices and bathroom remodels and renovations increased 75% and 80%, respectively.”
If you want to use this data to your advantage, the potential content ideas aren’t in short supply. Get ahead of the game and start planning your summer calendars now.
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