15th December 2011
Five key trends that will dominate next year
From location-based services to new mobile payment systems, increasing take-up of smart TV and record e-book sales, 2012 will see the emergence of key digital developments that will have a significant impact on consumer behaviour.
Through strategic consumer research the Intersperience team has produced a special New Year Trend Forecast which identifies five key trends we recommend businesses pay close attention to next year to keep in step with their customers.
1. Location-based services
Expect a major focus on location-based services in social networking and mobile services in 2012. If there was any doubt that the technology big guns are turning this way, Facebook’s recent purchase of the development team of Gowalla, experts in location-based services, should dispel it. Dubbed SoLoMo (for Social, Local, Mobile), it has massive implications for social networking, retailing and marketing and also for research techniques. Intersperience will launch a mobile research app early in 2012 with a full location-based toolkit.
For more on location-based services see the latest blog from Paul Hudson: Location, Location, Location!
2. Mobile payment services
Momentum is gathering on this one, but will customers be keen to use these new systems? Some will, but don’t expect to be knocked over in the rush as there is still reluctance among consumers worried about security. However, mobiles will exert a powerful influence on the way we browse and purchase and the ramifications for retailers and marketing will be huge. Look out for our Internet on the Move project, which begins in January, for fresh insight into how mobiles are changing the way we consume products and services.
3. Smart TV
Google and Apple are both vying for a lead in this space and YouView – a partnership between broadcasters and communication firms to create an open internet-connected television platform – is set to launch in the UK in early 2012. This is the beginning of the next big development of the internet and the impact will be felt in every home. Our Digital Selves and Digital Futures projects will explore the implications of this shift and report from the living rooms of early-adopters.
We predict that 2012 will be the year that the book industry is forced to wake up to the onslaught of the e-reader. We forecast the Kindle will be the top techno gift this Christmas while global e-book sales are forecast to rise to more than £6 billion by 2016. The only way is up for this digital trend.
5. Customer service goes back to the future
Social media may seem to be the future but the majority of consumers – even under-25s – still want to contact organisations through traditional channels: phone; email and letter. If you want to keep customers happy and loyal in 2012 you need to ensure that these channels are first class. It is tempting to focus huge efforts on social media because it is new, influential, visible and measurable but it is not the only way consumers interact with your brand.