Getting the world’s adult population to “roll up their sleeves” was never going to be easy. However, real progress has been made around the world. The Global Web Index (GWI), a leading audience targeting consultancy, has been tracking 47 countries currently vaccinating their populations. Their study has revealed that it is the USA, UK, Israel, and the UAE that are leading the way. Israel and the UAE deserve special attention; they imposed fewer shutdowns, and quickly began vaccinating their citizens. So what can we learn about what’s been described as the “post-vaccine mindset”?  

Here are some of the study’s findings 

There is encouragement for hard hit sectors such as hospitality, travel, concert and sporting venues. The appetite for eating out has returned, and people are honing their queueing skills as interest in travel grows. New “vaccine passports” increase the possibility of holidays and air travel, as well as the return of large-scale sporting events. Covid rules have meant that families couldn’t always get together, so there is no surprise that families and friends now want to re-engage – but post-travel quarantine or uncertainty over where they can safely visit is holding many back.  

The “Post Vaccine Mindset” is more confident and willing to spend more 

GWI’s study revealed that 56% of adults were confident about their country’s economy in quarter 1 of 2021, compared to 46% in the same period last year. As a result, consumers are now more willing to put their hands deeper into their pockets as they become less price sensitive. Holidays are one example where people want “once in a lifetime experiences” – so price is less important. 

Some old favourites will still be around 

Family Zooms and games nights may disappear, but large-scale e-commerce use such as online supermarket shopping, or the convenience of having your favourite meal delivered to your door at a reasonable price may well become permanent fixtures. Livestream events continue to grow in popularity even with some easing of restrictions. It looks likely consumers will look for virtual events to continue in parallel with in-person ones.  

Vaccines bring more peace-of-mind 

Those who live in countries with robust vaccine roll outs are likely to feel less anxious and more positive about the future. They are also less likely to experience work pressures to the same extent as those still under restrictions. 

Consumers want to go out and have fun, but peace-of-mind will be a key part of it 

Any return to “normality” will be a slow burn. As countries battle to progress their vaccine programmes there will be clear differences. Collective herd-immunity remains elusive. Variants have posed additional concerns and delays as scientists seek to understand and predict their behaviours.  

Cautious optimism 

People coming out of this pandemic are not the same people who went in. Priorities have changed. Data from Israel and the UAE are that consumer confidence is returning and this could be the boost that businesses are so desperately in need of. Yet there is lingering discomfort around any overly celebratory attitude. Advertisers are maintaining a low profile, preferring to amplify their community support and investment in safe working conditions rather than a full-blown upbeat campaign. This fragility may linger for a while, but signals from those emerging from the pandemic are positive. 

We may be closer to life as we once knew it, but most of us are being more deliberate about where we spend and invest our money. We see increased action among fund managers who are challenging the decisions and reporting practices of major corporations.  

Here are some extracts from Dimensional Fund Advisers 2020 Annual Stewardship Report:

This constructive approach to ensuring corporate reporting and practices are clear and fair drives the stock selection of our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) tilted True Wealth’ portfolios – interest in which continues to grow. We have access to Dimensional’s full 2020 Stewardship Report – for those who wish to have a copy, the link is HERE.