The world has changed in little more than a decade and half. Back then, around 30% of people living in developing economies lived in extreme poverty.
Today that figure is less than 15%. In 2000 only 14% of people owned a mobile phone, compared to 65% today, while Facebook – now boasting around 1.5 billion users – hadn’t even been launched.
The ways in which consumers think, live and shop have all been revolutionised by these changes, and the rate of change is only going to increase. On the back of this shift Novello Search has had to realign its focus away from the traditional core areas and has aligned itself at the cutting edge (the future) with Tech-Consumer focused candidates and companies in the following sectors:
Subsectors we can supply in:
- Consumer Products
- Entertainment & Sports
- Apparel and Luxury Goods
How we see the future of one sub sector, retail.
It’s too difficult to reliably predict what this sector will look like in 10 or 15 years’ time but there is one guarantee; the pace of change will accelerate as consumers looks for a better buying experience and as technology backs this up. We have covered retail as we believe that the five outcomes below will affect all consumer subsectors at some point.
The reinvention and remodelling of the terrestrial store
Real-world ‘bricks and mortar’ stores will need to play a different role in the future but there will be a role for them, one which is more focused on the customer experience. Technology is increasingly being used to enhance the consumer journey by bridging the gap between the digital and physical, making the experience more pleasant and more efficient for shoppers.
Shops are also looking for new ways to use technology to showcase their products. New stores will have an element of AI, holographic sales tools and a real focus on creating a bespoke experience that is unique to everyone.
All businesses will become an Internet of Things (IoT) business
Virtually every company will need to become an Internet of Things business as the physical and digital worlds become ever more merged. Improving products’ life cycles and seeing they are connected 24/7 and 365 days of the year will greatly increase their value, requiring businesses to turn from the old product-centric model to a more service-based one.
Operations which depend on single sale products will become obsolete as consumers become more focused on experiences over products, and this shift will fundamentally change how businesses operate, make money and interact with their customers.
Businesses will need to recognise that the Internet of Things is not about the ‘things’ themselves but about services and experience and how this makes the end user feel – engagement if you like. Those who adapt to this new model will find they are able to tap into new revenue streams and will thrive in an increasingly connected modern world.
The rise of robotics
Many retailers are now turning to robotics and automation to deliver digital transformation both front and back of house, improving operational efficiencies and lowering costs in the process. This will become the norm as retailers try to beat the cost of rising goods and maintain affordability of their products.
Flexible working practices
Agile working spaces are now becoming the norm in many organisations, and the challenge now is for retailers to implement this across their businesses. Retailers will have to respond faster to the constant changes in consumer demand, and e-commerce businesses have an advantage in this regard as many will have adopted agile working from their very inception. The bigger more established players may face more of an uphill struggle to change.
Voice and commerce
While critics are divided over the use of Voice User Interfaces (VUIs), retailers continue to experiment with them in order to make their customers’ lives easier. Those against, focus on their limitations, while those in favour point to the fact that they’re a more intuitive way of engaging with the digital world.
Whether 3D printing for personal use will take off remains to be seen. It is likely, it probably will. With many products being purchased off-plan and printed at home. While 3D printing is already widely used on the consumer market and printers are now available for under £800, experts are divided over whether this is a flash-in-the-pan trend or a longer-term one.