C. Wonder's Edward Munz uses a mobile point-of-sale device at C. Wonder at Tysons Corner in Vienna, Va. All its stores are mobile.(Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY)
As 2012 draws to a close, Ericsson ConsumerLab has identified the hottest consumer trends for 2013 and beyond. For more than 15 years, ConsumerLab has conducted research into people's values, behavior and ways of using ICT products and services.
Michael Björn, Head of Research at ConsumerLab, says: "Our global research program is based on annual interviews with over 100,000 individuals in more than 40 countries and 15 megacities. Over the years we have amassed a huge database of consumer trend data - and we see that the pace of change is currently more rapid than ever"
Here are the 10 hottest consumer trends:
- Cloud reliance reshapes device needs. More than 50 percent of tablet users and well above 40 percent of smartphone users in USA, Japan, Australia and Sweden appreciate the improved simplicity of having the same apps and data seamlessly available through the cloud on multiple devices.
- Computing for a scattered mind. From desktops, files and folders to flat surfaces, apps and cloud services, consumers are increasingly turning their backs on a computing paradigm for the focused mind. Tasks are handled at the spur of the moment - as we stand in a shopping line or talk to someone at a café. Purchase intent is higher for tablets compared to desktop PCs, and for smartphones compared to laptops.
- Bring your own broadband to work. A total of 57 percent of smartphone users use their personal smartphone subscriptions at work. Personal smartphones are increasingly being used for work, to send emails, plan business trips, find locations and more.
- City-dwellers go relentlessly mobile. By relentlessly accessing the internet always and everywhere, consumers are now an unstoppable force making internet truly mobile. Total smartphone subscriptions will reach 3.3 billion by 2018 and mobile network coverage is one of the most important drivers of satisfaction for city life.
- Personal social security networks. As a result of economic turbulence, trust in traditional structures and authorities is decreasing and consumers increasingly trust their personal communities. Personal networks online serve as a safety net and social media is shaping up to be a serious contender to the traditional job agency.
- Women drive the smartphone market. New figures clearly show that women drive mass-market smartphone adoption. No less than 97 percent of female smartphone owners use SMS. A total of 77 percent send and receive photos, 59 percent use social networking, 24 percent check in at locations and 17 percent redeem coupons. The figures for men are lower in these areas.
- Cities become hubs for social creativity. City center dwellers have significantly more friends online than people in suburban areas. 12 percent of people that live in cities say that the main reason for using social networks is to connect and exchange ideas with others, making it the third most common reason for social networking after staying up-to-date with friends and keeping them updated.
- In-line shopping. A total of 32 percent of smartphone users already shop with smartphones; they now start to combine in-store and online shopping aspects. They want to see products, get information and make price comparisons, and make purchases immediately without having to que up at the cash register.
- TV goes social. A total of 62 percent of viewers use social forums while watching video and TV - and 42 percent of those who use social forums or chats while watching discuss things they currently watch on a weekly basis. Over 30 percent are more likely to pay for content watched in social contexts. The majority of video and TV consumption on mobile devices takes place in the home.
- Learning in transformation. Learning is transformed through both internal and external forces: Young people bring their personal technology experience into the classroom, driving a bottom-up pressure for change. Simultaneously governments and institutions look for new ICT solutions in order to be more efficient. Connectivity changes the outlook for children on a global scale. In India, around 30 million of 69 million urban children aged 9 to 18 own mobile phones.
Ericsson ConsumerLab gains its knowledge through a global consumer research program based on interviews with 100,000 individuals each year, in more than 40 countries and 15 megacities - statistically representing the views of 1.1 billion people. Both quantitative and qualitative methods are used, and hundreds of hours are spent with consumers from different cultures.