Words by MPDClick’s Future Trends Researcher.
In a recent consumer insight report, MPDClick predicted the top five consumer trends for 2013, exploring each theme and the implications for the business and retail sector.
As predicted, this coming year sees the rise of an increasingly sophisticated consumer who seeks to reconnect emotionally with products and their makers, changing the purchasing and cultural landscape of 2013 and beyond. It will be a year dominated by consumer empowerment, creative collaboration, intelligent communication and reverence of expertise.
MPDClick have predicted:
Serendipitous travel – Back in 2011, we predicted that a trend for ‘serendipitous discovery’ would change the face of tourism. We noted that with an estimated 800 million extra travellers by 2014, cultural tourism would come into force, with ‘behind-the-scenes discovery’ and ‘deep’ travel allowing visitors to go beyond the realms of standard tourism and discover something new. As predicted, consumers are re-evaluating their approach to travel, favouring trips that offer them real experiences and emotional connections over traditional tour operators that merely skim the surface. The travel sector is now experiencing a rise in demand for personalised experiences, serendipitous behind-the-scenes discovery and location-based apps that encourage spontaneous connections.
Makernet Era – As predicted in MPDClick’s spring/summer 13 trend Modern Artisan, new tools are about to turn manufacturing inside out. The rapid acceleration in technologies is breaking the traditional rules of creating, marketing and doing business. At the heart of this trend is the revival of traditional artisan skills paired with new technologies such as 3D printing. A consumer-centric ‘open and available to all’ ethos and ‘do-it or download-it-yourself’ design principle is key. Designers and retailers can act as tastemakers for open sourced products, capturing the ‘anything is possible’ consumer mindset. Here, brands can provide a dialogue that initiates emotional connections by engaging the consumer in the creative process. This can be achieved by facilitating customisation and personal production into their product offering. Readers can search all blogs relating to Modern Artisan here, while subscribers can click for our full forecast here.
Big Data and ‘The Internet of Things’ – A trend for the decade, ‘Big Data’ and the ‘Internet of Things’ links to the way devices are connected and the way that we can predict all kinds of things from shopping to dating. 2013 marks the year when new companies and applications will finally bring the long-held vision of the Internet of Things closer to reality. In business terms, this can be used for tracking stock, managing customer relationships and improving efficiencies in business operations and supply chains (think about how RFID is already enabling product tracking in the fashion and lifestyle industries).
Curated Subscriptions – Many brands have already capitalised on the concept of ‘serendipitous discovery’ as a means to attract consumers through special mobile apps or localised experiences within their stores. In 2013, we note a continued trend for curated subscriptions. Subscription based-models are taking a more cultural route, with stand-out examples including Amabam, which provides individuals with specialised hobby boxes that can teach them new skills, Hammock Pack, which send a surprise box filled with goodies for a surprise getaway, and Destination Dinners, which provides users with a virtual travel experience with all the ingredients, fun trivia and even music needed to immerse themselves in the local distinctiveness of a place you have chosen.
Space squatting and creative collaborations – In keeping with MPDClick’s autumn/winter 13/14 trend Expression ‘No Longer Empty’ movements are transforming vacant commercial spaces to revitalise our high streets. This incredible proliferation of spaces not only injects excitement and camaraderie into our dwindling town centers, but also brings about enormous opportunities for brands. By adopting new approaches and collaborating with emerging talent, brands can not only offer their products in a new, changeable setting, but can also maximise profits by sharing space and facilities with other companies.
Further predictions included shopping without spending and exchange platforms, the e-learning revolution and artisan luxury.
The full report is available to all MPDClick subscribers here.
Image source: Destination Dinners