robot technology future consumer

You ain’t seen nothing yet.

The plugged-in, on-the-go and ever-more-demanding consumer is only going to become more so in the future, according to a new analysis by creative consultancy Lippincott, which looked into its crystal ball to get a peek at the average 25-year-old in 2030.

Lippincott dubbed this consumer of the future “Dawn” and called its report, “Meet Dawn: How to win the consumer of the future.”

In any guess of what the future will look like, the specifics of which technologies rise and which fizzle will likely be off, but the study maintained that some changes are a sure thing.

“We’ll know more (from artificial intelligence, genomics and smart devices) and we’ll share more (from stories on Instagram to homes on Airbnb). We’ll automate more, monitor more and customize more. We’ll get faster, more flexible and more connected (at least digitally),” said the report.

“We’re confident these shifts will occur. Why? Because they’re led as much by fundamental human needs as they are by new technologies. Humanity has an innate motivation for connection and belonging, which explains why we use one-third of our online time on social media. We seek power and control, which propels the tech-led movement toward cocreation and customization,” the report said.

For fashion, this future will bring much more of some capabilities that are already starting to come into frame and others that are just being talked about including:

  • Biometrics that measure emotions and well-being.
  • 3D printing of everything from sunglasses to dresses.
  • Artificial intelligence that tells people what to wear by scanning the crowds of music festivals.
  • Retail that becomes “an almost blink-and-buy experience seamlessly embedded” in one’s life.

Already, the pace of change in the technological realm is head-spinning. Lippincott said that in just three years, 1.7 MB of new information will be created every second for every person on the planet.

That’s a lot of tech momentum and the sign of a culture on the move.

Dan Clay, innovation senior associate at Lippincott and one of the study’s authors, said companies wanting to keep up have to stay in close touch with how their own consumers are changing, to watch how other industries are adjusting and to adopt a culture of “relentless experimentation.”

“Let’s imagine a future where everything truly was on demand and customers got exactly what they wanted and everything was drone-dropped to their front door within minutes,” he said, describing the type of thought experiment nimble companies need to engage in constantly.

“What would we need to do to stay relevant in that scenario? And what’s an experiment to start doing today in order to stay relevant in that potential future world? You need to contemplate multiple futures for your company and have plans for all of them,” he said.

This is an approach already embraced by the company many brands consider their chief rival.

“One of the most disruptive companies right now is Amazon,” Clay said. “And when you look at their future, it could go one of 50 different directions and they’re ready for all of them.”

If today’s rapid shifts are on an order of those seen in the Industrial Revolution, he said, “most of the companies that are successful today will be irrelevant when the pace of change starts to level out.”

To avoid irrelevancy, Clay said the incumbents would have to “eliminate any arrogance because they feel they’ve been successful.”

“Never before has there been this ability for one technology to reach the entire world so quickly and so that’s where I think things become really scary for incumbent companies or companies that are successful right now,” Clay said.

More from WWD:

The Eight Brands Amazon Wants to Build Its Own Fashion Empire On

How Levi’s, Macy’s and Intel Approach Fashion Tech

The Robot Work Revolution, How Most Jobs Will Change

E-commerce Faces Wave of Consolidation

 

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