Consumer economy

We're moving from a generation which values ‘things’ to a generation that values ‘experiences’.

Nowhere else is this trend as evident as in our buying habits. Not so long ago, we prized our possessions and took care of it – it was intended to last several years, and ideally, a life time. Not anymore. Today, it is all about seamless experiences that are nothing like we have seen before. Case in point is Amazon’s vision for shopping with Amazon Go – you enter into a store where you pick up what you need and leave, without having to wait in a checkout line or pay your bills.

Of course, you are billed, it is completely automatic. Multiple cameras track your movement, including your eyes and help provide feedback to make the experience more relevant than ever.

Buy from anywhere, anytime

Buying – of any kind, was once an activity that used to occupy a specific time on one’s schedule. Today, with ubiquitous mobile devices that provide you a mind-boggling array of choices from sellers across the world, that is no longer true. Buying is now a 24/7 24-hour, 7-day a week activity. Apps make it easy to snap a photo of something you like, obtain the best price online, and have it shipped to you, sometimes on the same day. Drone deliveries are not appearing like science fiction anymore. New business models are emerging with unconnected digital platforms like Uber providing the ability to have your product or food picked up and delivered to you. Digital integration will yield even more such use cases which will forge new, unlikely partnerships, but also optimize costs and transform the buying experience. But it does not stop here.

No more touch and feel

Virtual reality and augmented reality are further transforming the buying experience, making obsolete the most fundamental of human buying behaviours – touch and feel.  Coming soon are connected devices that talk to smart sensors all around us, can suggest purchases in real time based on our location, shopping cart, wish list, and even our mood. 3D printing is today making the production of even a single unit of an esoteric product economically viable, and this can happen in your home.

AI and the Internet of Everything

Today, a business knows more about its consumers than ever before in the past. Virtually any new powered device one can buy can connect to the internet – be it a refrigerator, television set, or even your air conditioner and light bulb. This is feeding a wealth of information back to manufacturers, who can then mine this treasure trove of usage data to produce even more relevant products and services. In effect, the customer is the product designer. Powerful algorithms discern patters in our buying behaviour, and recommend us to buy even more – often, to great effect! More than a third of Amazon’s $150+ billion e-commerce revenue is from their algorithm powered recommendations.


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