Technology has a decisive role in the consumer decision making and in the business’ readiness to respond. This change of paradigm fostered shifts in the consumer expectations and inspired new business models digital-first.
According to McKinsey research “The top trends in tech” (2021), in the field of applied artificial intelligence, 75% of all digital-service touch points will see imporved usability, enriched personalization, and increased conversion.
This report foresees in 2030 80% of global population could be reached by 5G coverage. In this connected world consumers have access to more information and easier and more convenient processes. Connectivity is transforming the competitive landscape, challenging traditional industries, and leading new business models.
“With the progression of the pandemic consumers rapidly transferred their tasks (work, school, leisure) from face-to-face to digital”, reminds Ana Roncha, visiting Professor of Porto Business School and Course Director for the London College of Fashion’s master’s in strategic Fashion Marketing, in the MBA Networking Event, on September 24, promoted by Porto Business School, in collaboration with IESIDE Business Institute. For two days this event gathered MBA students from Porto Business School and IESIDE Business Institute to foster the exchange of experiences, best practices, and knowledge.
The global rates of digital adoption boosted by the pandemic allowed to progress decades within a couple of months. According to the report “The five digital consumers trends in 2021” published by Euromonitor, telemedicine appointments increased 10 times only in 15 days. In just two weeks 250 million of students adopted online learning.
Ana Roncha highlighted “many of the technology trends accelerated by the pandemic will keep influencing digital consumers in the future”. If the goal is to be competitive in this new ecosystem, strategies and practices aligned with a constant monitoring of the trends is a vital move.
In the transition phase (we hope!) for a post-pandemic future it is possible to identify five technology trends that are redefine trade that are presented in the report “Top five digital consumer trends in 2021”, by Euromonitor:
1. The Digital Balancing Act
During the pandemic, and for a variety of activities end consumers opted for digital. Consumers, who already had the habit of buying online, they started to buy even more, and the number of first-time digital consumers increased.
In this uneven context, the business challenge is to find the balancing point where they can respond to the consumers from both extremes.
2. Commerce your Way
Trade is about meeting the consumers exactly where they want to be, but digital revolution creates a more complex and fragmented scenario; a challenge for retailers, consumer brands and hospitality operators that had to diversify the ways they might reach a consumer.
It can be said digital consumers have a distinct profile because they buy what they want, click and collect and subscription services are just a few of the available options.
Companies are not only accelerating their digital transformation, but they are also trying to discover, as fast as possible, how to attend their consumers in the exact moment they desire to be reach. According to the report “Top five digital consumer trends in 2021”, 74% of global industry professionals working in retail industry expect the crisis-inspired boom become permanent.
3. Virtual hits Mainstream
Pandemic shifted consumers buying patterns. It also increased the number of businesses that experimented virtual immersive experiences and that will become standard after the pandemic, as digital becomes the preferred channel.
The “Top five digital consumer trends in 2021” report shows 51% of the professionals expect AR/ VR to be most used to replicate the physical experience.
4. From livestreaming to live selling
During the pandemic crisis livestreaming conquer space as a shopping medium with the ability to create the emotional connection like in person shopping. With 63% saying to make a purchase in the last month, China already led this trend before the pandemic. However, in 2020, live selling increased exponentially due to the limitation of capacity in commercial spaces.
5. The Great Reset on Last Mile
Rising last mile delivery costs and environmental concerns amplified by the crisis inspired e-commerce boom are forcing retailers and foodservice operators to explore new delivery and collection methods.