This report looks at how the Shopping Reinvented megatrend has evolved during the last 12 months. It examines the impact of developments in the key drivers of megatrends – shifting economic power, technology, population changes, environmental shifts and pressures, and changing consumer values – and explores future scenarios and the implications for business.
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5G is likely to accelerate the adoption of new technologies – both consumer facing and back-end – used by merchants to deliver seamless, personalised and experiential purchases. 5G is likely to support efforts to serve buying – perhaps via greater capabilities for predictive analytics and the Internet of Things – as well as shopping – possibly via improved experiences with VR/AR. 5G roll-out timelines and technologies will vary by market, but its introduction is expected to have ramifications across many categories and geographies.
Consumers’ expectations for a shopping interaction have increased in recent years. These expectations have proved challenging for large companies to meet, and the challenges are even greater for independent businesses with less financial and technological resources. New services have emerged to help businesses bridge these gaps, such as online goods delivery platforms and third party loyalty programmes. As key elements of Shopping Reinvented increasingly become essential, however, businesses will need constantly to be innovating and improving the shopper experience to compete.
As brands seek to engage directly at the same time that new versions of intermediaries are emerging, questions are emerging about who will own future shopper relationships. Social media sites moving more into online purchasing, such as Instagram and the rise of super apps, such as WeChat and Go-Jek, are examples of the expansion of intermediaries into retail purchases and other types of transaction. While these platforms give a variety of advantages to consumers, particularly regarding convenience and personalisation, brands which depend too heavily on these services risk losing control of the relationship with their customers.