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Consumer habits transformed by COVID-19 and upcoming generations

IDC predicts that by 2027, blockchain technology will enter the mainstream, touching more than 70% of common consumer activities - such as gaming, content creation, and eCommerce - and defining consumers' functional expectations.

This is just one of IDC’s predictions unveiled in its latest report IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Future Consumer 2023 Predictions - Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) Implications.

The pandemic lockdowns limited the ways consumers normally spent on the types of in-person entertainment, travel, dining, transportation, and other expenditures, IDC states. Meanwhile, gaming, streaming, and content generation flourished during the pandemic, bringing into focus the sharp differences between different generational groups.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic also drove consumers to radically change how they viewed their homes. The home evolved into an office, a gym, a creative studio, a school classroom, and a home theatre for entertainment, driving the purchase of devices and services to convert their homes to serve all these different purposes.

Seng Keong Low, Research Director, Digital Native Business, IDC Asia/Pacific, says, "Pandemic driven behavioural changes, combined with the mainstreaming of the unique habits of Gen Z and Millennials, have given rise to the Future Consumer.

"Understanding the distinct habits of generational cohorts, building relationships with these younger consumers, and developing offerings that resonate with them will be key for a successful consumer business."

IDC's top ten future consumer predictions identify the most important trends and related areas of opportunity in APeJ:

Prediction 1 - Privacy drives brand choices: By 2025, one quarter of Asian-based consumers will screen out brands based on the transparency and quality of their privacy policy, forcing brands to adopt an easy-to-understand permission-based approach.

Prediction 2 - Device-as-a-service gains momentum: By the end of 2025, more than 10% of Asian-based consumers worldwide will have begun using device-as-a-service subscriptions for their personal electronics and smart home needs instead of buying devices outright.

Prediction 3 - Independent content creation spawns opportunity: In 2026, Asian-based consumer spending on online independent content creator content will top $20 billion, challenging the hegemony of legacy media companies.

Prediction 4 - Blockchain flourishes, defines consumer expectations: By 2027, blockchain technology will enter the mainstream, touching over 70% of common consumer activities - such as gaming, content creation, and eCommerce - and defining consumers' functional expectations.

Prediction 5 - Voice-led shopping: In 2023, more than 40% of Asian-based smart assistant (SA) users will use voice platforms to shop or purchase something online, driving an increase in online sales of up to $30 billion in Asia.

Prediction 6 - Progress towards the metaverse: By 2028, 5% of the top rated 1,000 Asian-based universities will be running a persistent, large-scale digital twin (DT) project for the benefit of university students, faculty, and local business interests.

Prediction 7 -Off-premise dining flourishes: By 2025, younger diners will help drive 65% of restaurant orders to be for takeout (delivery, pickup, or drive-thru), accelerating growth of kitchen-only locations and third-party food ordering apps.

Prediction 8 - Electric vehicles gain critical mass: By 2025, electric vehicles (EVs) will double their share of new consumer vehicle registrations, reaching 10%, accelerating mainstream acceptance, transforming rideshare, and driving public policy.

Prediction 9 - Payment wallets go mainstream: By 2027, more than 60% of urban transit users will integrate mobility services into their digital payment wallets, moving more hesitant consumers to embrace the technology.

Prediction 10 - Smart sets drive content: By 2027, 30% of consumer flagship phone buyers will use a Smart Set (smartphone, watch, and earwear) for entertainment and getting around, pushing leading brands to build content for Smart Sets.

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