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Zenith Optimedia identifies six future trends for the next 25 years

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Zenith Optimedia identifies six future trends for the next 25 years

Media network Zenith Optimedia has released a report on the transformation of high street retailing “from the place where we buy products and services to a hi-tech world where we experience and interact with brands and products, in both real and virtual environments.”

The report, “2038:Six trends for the next 25 years”, is part of Zenith Optimedia’s global “2038 futures progamme” – which was launched to mark the network’s 25th anniversary, and looked at how the world might change over the next 25 years – and assesses the changes the next quarter century will carry for the economy, society, technology, and entertainment, and the impact of those changes on consumer behavior.

The trends encompass “The age of the i-Street”, where future technological development will see retail stories being developed into ‘experiential lounges’, offering consumers sensory experiences, and where the high street will become the ‘iStreet’;  “The rising markets phenomemon”, whereby the BRIC markets – Brazil, Russia, India, China – will generate half the world’s GDP by 2030 (World Bank) and the second tier of emerging markets the CIVETS – Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey, and South Africa – will continue to grow, ultimately becoming rising rather than emerging markets;  “Collectively Responsible Consumerism”, where by consumers, businesses and governments will work together for collective wellbeing; “Welcome to the social cooperative”, whereby consumers will possess collective influence and bargaining power with companies and organizations, and the latter will adopt social media as a fundamental part of their business model; “The Internet of Everything”, whereby the internet will will extend to many different physical objects, resulting in a smart, integrated system of sensors, data and internet-enabled devices that help people manage their lives, and whereby wearable devices – and even chips implanted under the skin – will become common place; and, last but not least, “Democratisation of Content Creation”, whereby consumer-created and curated content will evolve to stand shoulder with professionally produced news and entertainment content.

From the six macro trends from its 2038 futures project, ZenithOptimedia has identified 10 specific changes in consumer behaviours – fuelled by technological developments –  that it believes will emerge and develop during 2014: “the journey to self discovery”, where people will seek to escape mass consumerism to create and curate their own experiences; “measuring personal success”, whereby wrist devices to measure health and fitness are set to increase in popularity in 2014; “community consumption: rooted in self-interest”, whereby more consumers will join together to negotiate discounts and share advice under economic pressures, and whereby peer-to-peer technology companies will facilitate this collective work; “photographic timeline: the smart showcase of self,” where the process of snapping photos of everything and sharing with everyone will shift to smart and selective photo showcasing; “creative collaborators:unleashing unique talent,” where user-generated content will migrate from simple self-expression to the creation of valuable information and entertainment; “death of piracy: rise of on-demand content”, whereby content subscription is on the rise; “the immersive theatre: multi-faceted screens,” whereby the living room is transforming into an immersive digital theatre where people can enjoy and share content, participate in hi-tech online gaming and create experiences on a big screen; “biometric pursuit: making sense of emotions”, whereby 2014 will see biometric technology move into the mainstream; “intimate ads: opting-in top shop”, whereby  digital ads will improve as people’s mobiles get to know them better; and “high street to iStreet: reinventing the in-store experience”, whereby mobile devices will increasingly be used in-store to research products, and in-store sensors will identify known customers and facilitate interaction.

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