The rapid progress of technology is increasingly digitising our everyday activities, spanning shopping, entertainment, and social interactions. At its core, the megatrend “Digital Living” speaks to how consumers can now effortlessly navigate both physical and digital realms across all areas of their everyday lives. Consumers’ propensity to spend on products and services related to the Digital Living megatrend is expected to grow by more than 10% in per capita terms in the next 10 years.
Consumers’ reliance on digital technology drives “Always On” demand
Nomophobia, or consumers’ fear of being detached from their smartphones, has now become a common theme in today’s world.
By 2040, close to 90% of the world’s population will have internet access and over 99% will own a smartphone
Source: Euromonitor International
The excessive dependence on always wanting to be connected (“always on”) has shortened attention spans and heightened consumers’ expectation of instant gratification for products or services, driving growth in on-demand services and reshaping the way consumers can access goods and services. Services like ride hailing and food delivery to home repairs and virtual consultation have transformed how business operates, bringing instant gratification and convenience at the touch of a button.
With the consumer always being connected, companies can now collect an abundance of user-generated data, taking connectivity and convenience to the next level. In many modern households, more appliances and products are being connected, from smartphones down to the simplest light bulb. Consequently, it is projected that each person is producing 2MB of data per second, valuable information companies can use to inform innovation and translate into better consumer experience and shorter turnaround times for customers.
Hyper-personalised experience is a must to keep consumers engaged
Today’s consumers crave more tailored experiences that offer efficiency and uniqueness and make them feel important to the business. This bring us to the “Story of One”, which speaks of consumers’ asymmetric power in creating a product story. Consumers now have a more significant say, often placing businesses in a vulnerable position when it comes to shaping the narratives of their products. As these stories will reach millions of consumers to help them make decisions, it is crucial for businesses to interact with consumers at all stages of the shopper’s journey, connecting on digital platforms such as social media or in-game to engage consumers and acquire insights to shape their stories and inform future innovation and strategy.
There are many ways companies can provide unique and customised experience leveraging increasingly digital lifestyles; for example, live streaming and live shopping, which saw a surge of viewers during the pandemic.
Over 40% of respondents use live streaming as it helps ease understanding of product features
Source: Euromonitor International
Consumers are also more confident in their purchases when they can see live feedback from other buyers and ask host questions live.
“The metaverse” is enabling businesses to create immersive and realistic experiences for consumers online
As the line between physical and digital becomes increasingly blurred, consumers are replicating their real-world life online in the metaverse. There is an expectation for virtual experience to be a fully immersive one that feels “real and genuine”. The metaverse offers this, giving consumers a digital realm where they can “travel” around the world, watch pop concerts, shop with friends remotely, even get a medical diagnosis, all from the comfort of home.
The concept of the metaverse itself is still relatively undefined and many pioneering companies are trying to have the first-mover advantage in shaping the future of digital living.
Over the next 12 months, 43.2% of industry professionals expect their companies to invest in AR/VR to replicate physical experiences online, similarly with purchase transactions
Source: Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Industry Survey 2022
Like consumers themselves, businesses have also been creating their “digital twin” in the metaverse, using artificial intelligence to handle customer service requests, fulfilment and logistics, and product development, as well as retailers selling through digital twins of their stores in the metaverse. The consumer’s avatar can now shop in digital stores for physical goods to be delivered to their home in a short time. While the metaverse is still in its evolution and will face many challenges ahead, its ability to help consumers effortlessly navigate both physical and digital realms will be the biggest selling point for more adoption in the future.
Read Megatrends: Digital Living – A Framework for the Future for the complete report on Digital Living.
Read our article 10 Megatrends to Watch, for discussion on megatrends.