The pandemic is expected to remain a challenge to the consumer goods sector as employers of gig workers struggle to adapt to frequent changes on Covid-19 related restrictions.

Listed below are the key macroeconomic trends impacting the gig economy in consumer theme, as identified by GlobalData.

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The pandemic and associated movement restrictions severely affected ridesharing and accommodation sharing. Its impact was more varied with regard to consumer product sharing platforms. Food and grocery delivery, for example, thrived as consumers limited visits to public spaces and restaurants were forced to close.

Food and meal sharing propositions, however, were already faced with health and safety hurdles but must now contend with consumers’ heightened hygiene expectations and scepticism towards food handling and freshly-prepared meals. The resilience of these platforms will depend largely on their ability to instil confidence in consumers and assure them that health and safety standards are not being compromised.

Acceleration of ecommerce

The steady and predicable growth of ecommerce was accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which prompted new segments of shoppers to purchase products online to maintain physical distancing. The familiarity and acceptance of online shopping will prove key to fostering growth in sharing platforms. This is particularly so for platforms that involve consumer products, to dislodge entrenched in-store shopping behaviours.

Platform integration

Larger platforms will seek to diversify or consolidate their core businesses to maintain or build on their market position or curb the fallout from Covid-19. Uber branching out into meal delivery and more recently groceries is indicative of the likely pathway for the market-leading services. It will, however, lead to platform monopolies or oligopolies that undermine the peer-to-peer foundations of the sharing economy.

This is an edited extract from the Gig Economy in Consumer – Thematic Research report produced by GlobalData Thematic Research.