The Impact of Digital Convergence Across Consumer Demographics

The Impact of Digital Convergence Across Consumer Demographics

In this blog, we’ll discuss IDC’s predictions about the Future Consumer, as well as why businesses need to adhere to these changing trends to ensure they’re able to cater to the masses.

The spread of COVID-19 has helped to close the digital gap across age groupings. On the one hand, it compelled the silver generation customers (those over the age of 55) to embrace technology as their major mode of access to information, healthcare, including consumption. According to IDC, 60% of silver-generation consumers who utilized digital throughout COVID-19 will remain to do so, bridging the digital gap in technology acceptance across age categories.

But, on the other hand, technology has become much more ingrained in the lives of millennials. These tech geeks are more connected, have a heightened sense of collective understanding, and are more willing to act on that knowledge. 

Customer digital transformation (DX) would only further empower millennials to live more purposeful lives through the 4Cs of consumption — being aware of how their vote of wallet affects their collective group, shifting cherished values away from societally defined yardsticks of achievement, curating consumption that represents one's identity, and conducting thorough, independent research prior to consumption.

The report published by IDC further predicts that by 2024, 40% of younger millennials/ older Gen Z would place a premium on the 4Cs (aware, treasured, curated, and cautious), influencing how businesses employ technology to market to them. 

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In this blog, we’ll discuss IDC’s predictions about the Future Consumer, as well as why businesses need to adhere to these changing trends to ensure they’re able to cater to the masses. 

IDC’s Forecasts About The Future Consumer

Social media's emergence and growth altered both legacy technology and customer behavior. Previously employed to take photographs or record movies for personal use, the camera has evolved into the lifeblood of each and every major digital service. It has transformed ordinary users into content producers by enabling them to share aesthetically stunning photographs with their friends and supporters across several platforms. 

Since then, social media has become associated with visual material, and users increasingly depend on those pictures to shape their lives and influence their purchasing decisions. Everything including personal style and interior decorating to event organizing and gift-giving is being inspired by social media platforms. As social, visual, and e-commerce continue to intersect, businesses will deploy technology that facilitates this new mode of purchase.

IDC's top ten forecasts for the Future Consumer give insight into how consumer technology usage, habits, and expectations will develop in the future years:

1. Micromobility Soars: In 2022, micromobility continues to thrive as more APeJ users adopt electric scooters and motorbikes for short journeys, with private e-bike sales continuing to grow after a major increase in volumes in 2020.

2. Robo Advisers Expand: By 2022, 35% of new Gen Z customers in APeJ will use Robo advisors, which are algorithm-based services that reject conventional brokerage procedures and fees, further upsetting the financial services market.

3. Silver Generation Regresses: By 2022, 40% of silver generation (>55 years old) customers in APeJ who utilized digital during COVID-19 would return to traditional modes of consumption, generating chances for new CX experiences.

4. VR Reinvention: By 2023, APeJ customers are willing to spend more than $2.5 billion annually on VR headsets and games, propelling the medium into the mainstream and compelling content producers to reconsider the medium's potential.

5. Online Fitness Takes Off: By 2023, 35% of APeJ families that previously had a monthly fitness center will have switched exclusively to an online fitness program that allows them to work out at home using wearable or interconnected gym equipment.

6. Meaningful Lifestyle: By 2024, 40% of younger millennials/older Gen Z in APeJ would prioritize the 4Cs (aware, treasured, curated, and cautious), influencing how businesses employ technology to market to them.

7. eSports Betting: Between 2020 and 2024, total legal customer betting on esports events will more than treble to even more than $5.7 billion in APeJ, with the majority of that expenditure on self-wagered games of skill.

8. eWaste Reconciliation: By 2025, the tech sector will face a reckoning as abandoned gadgets, batteries, and packaging accumulate, with 15% of APeJ Millennials and Generation Z refusing to consider businesses having a negative environmental effect.

9. OTT Continues to Expand: By 2026, OTT will account for 40% of APeJ consumer subscription expenditure on video and television, as major media firms' commitment to direct-to-consumer distribution accelerates the collapse of traditional pay-TV.

10. Wearable Technology Saves Lives: By 2025, wearable gadgets will directly contribute to the saving of more than 75,000 lives annually APeJ, as more people use technology to manage their fitness and nutrition journeys.

Why It's Critical To Consider Customer Behavior And Digital Convergence

Since the mid-1990s, digitization has maintained a consistent development in the technology sector. Numerous new goods, apps, and services have significantly increased the use of cutting-edge technology at ever-lower rates.

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Simultaneously, consumer behavior has shifted dramatically as a result of ubiquitous and unrestricted internet access, social media, and content-to-hardware networking. In a very short period of time, the enormous desire for smartphones and smart TVs has fundamentally and sustainably altered the way music and television or film are consumed and distributed.

Changes In The Multimedia Sector's Structure

Demand for multimedia goods is now in a state of severe distress. Due to the enormous demand over the last several years, the market has been saturated, and manufacturers have been forced to foot the cost for the last two years.

On the one hand, a big number of devices are nearing the end of their useful life, which implies that the customer often does not perceive any extra utility or buy-in for a replacement purchase as a result of minor or even poorly communicated advancements in traditional items.

Smart TV Dominated CES

The momentous annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas provided a ray of optimism, with the industry showcasing a slew of advances. However, the emphasis was again on Smart TVs with larger, clearer images.

The television market is, of course, a critical component of the broader multimedia industry, and the dramatic increase in sales in recent years is really remarkable. Moreover, with the growing demand for OTT platforms and their integration in Smart TVs, the need for Smart TVs has increased tenfold.

Smartphones With All-In-One Functionality

Without a question, the smartphone is the driving force in the multimedia space. The consistent rise was attributed to the absorption, which was not yet saturated, as well as product advancements between 2015 and 2016. This area's turnover was only slightly offset by declines in other multimedia categories.

In the near future, the reverse is likely to be true, despite advancements in new gadgets with longer battery life. The growth tendency may slow in the future as a consequence of reduced telecom provider subsidies and often reaching minimal utilization.

Unstable Photo Market

The whole picture and video device industry are on the verge of collapsing, as smartphones rapidly replace traditional cameras with ever-improving camera features.

As CES demonstrated, the industry's innovations and ideas are likely to resurface in a variety of locations with fresh views. Particularly intriguing are 360-degree film cameras used in conjunction with virtual reality glasses, as well as small film drones used in conjunction with or in substitute of action cameras.

Audio Renaissance

In terms of sound, it seems as if high-quality audio is undergoing a resurgence. Consumers are rediscovering the importance of sound quality thanks to high-resolution audio. Both audio players and headphones with the highest resolution guarantee an unmatched audio experience that transports the music lover to new realms. This kind of development not only enhances the effectiveness of the sound environment but also results in the creation of new, appealing items.

Simultaneously, the audio-home market benefits from sustained demand in the streaming and multi-room categories, which increased by 8% and 5% in value terms, respectively. This tendency will continue to rise in the future as a consequence of ongoing development and the addition of new providers.

Taking A Bet On Smart Home Technology

The term ‘smart home’ is becoming a ubiquitous buzzword. Although the phrase is as wide as it is unintelligible, it seems that everyone can envision anything connected to home networking. Additionally, the spectrum of products and technologies addresses the key demand for safety, energy conservation, and control over all types of home appliances and equipment.

The manufacturer’s task is to provide consumers with simple, dependable devices that can be installed and used quickly and accurately at a reasonable price. Simple benefit communication and intelligible advertising are also critical.

In Closing

The convergence of social networks, visual content, and e-commerce is driving this change in consumer purchasing behavior, creating tremendous opportunity. The secret to winning is influencing those choices via the use of graphics and the creation of holistic experiences that integrate social media, images, and purchases. 

Businesses that seize this opportunity by employing graphics to assist customers in making a purchase immediately upon being inspired – regardless of the platform – will ultimately be the most successful, while brands that fail to respond to this shifting environment may be left behind.

Mansi Dhorda is a Marketing Technology Consultant, helping clients and businesses achieve their objectives. You can connect with her at LinkedIn .

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