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Commerce in 2040: Blurring the lines between virtual and real

In the below, Michelle Evans, Global Head of Digital Consumer Research, Euromonitor International, shared an extract from the company’s full report entitled “Commerce 2040: Revolutionary Tech Will Boost Consumer Engagement”.

AMEinfo has based the below on that extract.

Fast forward 20 years and the world, and commerce conducted within it will be noticeably different than today.

More residents will work from home or do so from neighborhood co-working spaces.

For the on-the-go consumers, bots will craft individualized experiences. Needing recommendations or directions? A concierge bot could give input through an implanted earbud.

Restaurants might have smart menu boards personalized to each passerby.

Retail outlets will shift into micro experiential centers, helping consumers discover and test products for later drone delivery to home or designated neighborhood spots.

Consumers will routinely layer virtual over reality, gaining more information or engaging in gamification opportunities for rewards or fun.

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And this is where we begin…

Numerous factors are converging to revolutionize the way entertainment is consumed.

As a result of widespread connectivity and social media, sports and music fans can get closer to the action without ever stepping foot into a venue.

At the same time, consumer values are shifting towards experiences, a trend standing to benefit those in the entertainment industry.

The challenge will be delivering a differentiated experience keeping fans engaged and coming back to the venue event after event.  Social media disperses power from brands to individuals.

Platforms facilitating interactivity and the sharing of user-generated content globally created the “second screen” or “second screen experience,” allowing fans to partake in the experience unfolding in the venue from anywhere.

Consumer expenditure on experiences is set to rise from $5.8 trillion in 2016 to 8 trillion in 2030, using leisure, recreation, travel and foodservice as a proxy.

Advanced economy consumers are true experience-seekers, spending 16% of their income on that aim; higher than emerging regions at 10%.

Consumers expect a personalized experience available across the multitude of screens in their lives.

Immersive tech both outside and inside the venue will enable fans to see the world through their idol’s eyes with the fan being able to virtually take the game-winning shot or sing their idol’s hit song to thousands.

The future provides opportunities for entertainment operators to develop a virtual currency scheme where fans earn points for attending events, spending at the venue and promoting fandom on social media.

In turn, fans leveraging these points wager on sporting events to buy equipment for their avatar, receive a boost in a related mobile game or used as a currency for on-site food, drink and merchandise purchases.

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Then we take you home…

The home will be one consumer-facing environment most impacted by the arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT) era.

By 2040, connected appliances will be mainstream, especially in developed markets. Appliances across all price points will be connected as major manufacturers including Bosch, Samsung and Whirlpool announced all of their products will be connected by 2020.

Upon arriving to the home, biometrics will be leveraged to confirm the visitors identify and unlock the door for authorized individuals. Goods awaiting at nearby neighborhood warehouse will be delivered via drone once the home is occupied in an effort to reduce e-commerce theft.

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The journey is no longer just about the end-point—the purchase. The ideal journey provides value before, during and after the purchase, converting a transaction into a relationship. For retailers finding it difficult to compete on price alone, the customer journey can differentiate when done right.

Physical outlets remain a critical part of today’s shopping journey, both in terms of brand engagement or purchase execution and continue to play a role in 2040, though their functions will evolve.

When purchasing physical goods in stores, connected consumers report wanting to see or try on something as the primary motivation, according to the 2017 Lifestyles Survey. Two popular categories are apparel and accessories and beauty and personal care products.

**** all the above graphs are courtesy of Euromonitor International 

While technologies such as virtual reality or 3D imaging mimic the in-person experience outside of the physical outlet, other characteristics of in-store shopping may be harder to replicate.

Stores will exist to sell impulse purchases and irregularly purchased convenience goods. Technology, like wearables and voice, will guide consumers throughout the store.

Products will automatically be added to a virtual shopping cart upon selection, while robots will be leveraged for customer service and inventory management.

Some retailers and brands may charge entry to consumers for certain experiences, tailoring the experience based on the consumer’s interest.

Consumers will be able to test product claims or try a product in the context of its final usage.