They say that it takes 30 days to develop a new habit. Well, this year many of us have had the better part of 8 months to take up a new hobby. Chances are, that hobby is a new skill you acquired during the quarantine, and you likely acquired that skill digitally. Digital skill acquisition is the new norm, and it's the beginning of a virtuous cycle that shapes people's purchasing behavior.

It all begins with inspiration. The half-life of social media trends is shorter than ever - take Dalgona coffee for instance. Short videos on TikTok and Instagram led Youtubers to create the "Dalgona Challenge". Celebrities the likes of Alton Brown jumped in on the fun, demonstrating how to create the whipped coffee treat. The key ingredient to a Dalgona is instant coffee, and sales of instant coffee rose in the early days of the trend. Instant coffee imports by South Korea, where Dalgona coffee was popularized, surged 65% in March to $8.5 million from a year ago, according to Bloomberg.

Also trending: bowls, whisks, and forearm cramps.

Alton Brown taking the Dalgona Coffee Challenge

Alton Brown: Dalgona Coffee Edition (Source: Youtube)The DIY Era isn't confined to arts and crafts. The phenomenon spans generations and generational interests. Today people have become their own stock broker, real estate agent, bartender, and interior decorator. Self-service in the DIY era is disinter-mediating access to capital markets and creating the opportunity for professional consumers to become professional producers. These makers are now creating products of their own, building audiences of their own, and developing into enterprises. DIY is the fossil fuel powering the Passion Economy.

These effects can be observed, and eventually, predicted. With tools like we can actively track billions of consumer searches across the internet, predicting the growth of new trends as they move from inspiration to education; and ending in consumer participation. That participation - a purchase - signals to astute consumer brands the opportunity for vertical product differentiation and assortment. It also signals the shift away from reliance on in-store personnel in the traditional retail model. Digital skill acquisition now results in digital customer support.

All of this and more is unpacked in our newest report - The New DIY: Retail Opportunity in the Passion Economy. We hope you enjoy reading it and we hope that you gain the wisdom and understanding that you'll need to future-proof your business.

Commerce is the great connector, as we all rely upon the exchange of goods to thrive in the modern global economy. Because Commerce connects people, we believe that it can change the world. We hope that this report helps you to understand how to do that on a more human level.

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