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What do people want in 2018? Five consumer trends of interest to IT specialists

Published in the Random EN group
Contrary to popular belief, consumer trends are not only of interest to marketers. Especially today, when people's desires are largely related to technology and digital products. So what do consumers want this year? And what technology products reflect these trends? What do people want in 2018?  Five consumer trends of interest to IT specialists - 1

1. Outsourcing solutions

Artificial intelligence is getting closer to everyday reality. And, in particular, to that component that concerns shopping. It all started with the ordinary automation of regular purchases. Amazon came up with Dash buttons - smart buttons that can be placed, for example, on a washing machine. And when you run out of powder, just press a button to have the next package delivered to you. The idea of ​​saving time has proven so popular that millions of people are already using this method to automatically replenish their supplies with the click of a button.
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Millions of people also use services like Digit , which allow them to outsource at least some of their financial decisions to digital technology. In this case, we are talking about adding small amounts to a savings account whenever the algorithm deems it appropriate. This is how a person accumulates money without noticing it. There are more and more similar services that use elements of artificial intelligence and help people make decisions. For example, the online travel community WeSwap in the fall of 2017 offered people a forecasting service - how much they would spend on a trip. Using data from other community members who have already been to a particular city, the system makes an estimate. Over time, as the system learns and data accumulates, the forecasts will become more accurate.

2. Virtual companion

“Siri, where is the nearest restaurant?” you might ask your phone. But you are unlikely to want to have a philosophical conversation with him. Although... Technology company Gartner predicts that in 2020, the average person will communicate with bots more than with their spouse. And to fewer and fewer people such predictions seem fantastic. Moreover, we are already looking forward to this future. Soon, virtual assistants will entertain us, teach us, diagnose us, and offer treatment. And perhaps they will become our friends.
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This is also evidenced by the news that Apple is looking for employees with psychological education - so that Siri can learn to conduct deep dialogues with its users. Why do we need virtual companions? If only because social networks often lead to a feeling of isolation. A recent study found that people aged 19 to 32 who spend more than two hours a day on social media are three times more likely to feel socially isolated than those who spend less than 30 minutes on social media. in a day. Mark Zuckerberg has also realized the scale of the problem, as evidenced by his recent statement . Virtual companions can help people overcome feelings of isolation and loneliness, at least temporarily. When communicating with artificial intelligence, we don’t compare ourselves to a picture of someone else’s ideal life, we can be ourselves. This is probably what the creators of the Replika chatbot reasoned . This AI representative is designed to become a reflection of the personality of the person who communicates with it. The bot studies the user, asks him questions about goals, values, and much more. And gradually he becomes like you. And the Japanese establishment Blue Leaf Cafe, together with the telecom business KDDI, invited visitors to eat in the company of a virtual pop star Hatsune Miku . For this purpose , Lenovo Phab 2 Pro smartphones were installed on the tables , and thanks to augmented reality, people were able to gain a new experience.

3. Help in growing up

“A 32-year-old boy” is a typical portrait of our contemporary. And not only in the vastness of the former USSR. Around the world, growing up is becoming an increasingly difficult task. And there are many reasons for this. For example, expensive housing prices, unemployment rates, demographic imbalances. All this leads to the fact that the threshold for entering “adult life” (buying a house, career, children, etc.) becomes increasingly higher. The statistics are inexorable: 15% of young Americans aged 25 to 35 live with their parents - and in 2000 this figure was 10%. And this is in the USA, with their cult of living separately! In Shanghai, 20% of men aged 28-37 are unmarried, up from 12% in 2005.
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The sharing economy, coworking spaces, “made-to-order” products are society’s answer to the problem of growing up. If you can’t afford to buy a car, you can rent it when you really need it. If you can’t buy a big house, you can borrow on one of the platforms with financing using a peer-to-peer model . Technology is coming to the forefront in providing young people with what they need to live a comfortable life. Therefore, in 2018 we will see the continued flourishing of various sharing platforms, as well as the emergence of new services and products. For example, such as the kitchen device Tasty One Top . It saves time on food preparation (just what we need!). The creators of Tasty One Top are BuzzFeed and GE . It looks like an induction surface, only it has many functions and is controlled through the Tasty mobile application . It syncs with video recipes from BuzzFeed and automatically adjusts the device's temperature and other settings at different stages of cooking.

4. Change selection

Is it really necessary to monitor the desires and needs of your clients? After all, they change so quickly that sometimes you don’t have time to react. However, there is no other way - consumers expect companies and products to keep up with changes in their sentiments. Better yet, help them reconsider decisions made in the past. One example is a service that was offered by the British financial company Curve together with Mastercard in the summer of 2017 . For a purchase that has already been made, customers can change the card with which payment is made. This can be done within two weeks after the transaction.
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The better a product adapts to changing conditions and people's needs, the higher its chances of long-term success. An example here can be taken from Tesla . During Hurricane Irma, the company sent free software to its customers in the hazardous area to increase battery capacity from 60 kWh to 75 kWh. This meant an increase in the distance the car travels by approximately 64 km. It is important to note that Tesla did not take advantage of this situation to earn additional money, although it could have: it usually sells such software for $4.5-$9 thousand.

5. Total blockchain

This trend originated in the East, and is finding more and more new applications there. And we can only keep up with him. Blockchain is not only about cryptocurrencies, although they are significantly changing our world. First of all, blockchain is a symbol of people’s loss of trust in centralized institutions, the state and big business. This thesis is well illustrated by the following data: 73% of Chinese believe that corruption in their country is becoming stronger (this reminds me of something). Who to trust in such conditions? Apparently, to each other, or to no one - that is, to decentralized systems. Blockchain technology has a great future, and not only in finance. Business is gradually moving in the same direction. For example, the e-commerce giant, the Chinese company , plans to use blockchain in the sale of frozen meat. Having purchased a package of this product, you can scan the QR code on it and trace the entire path from the manufacturer to the seller. The jewelry company Chow Tai Fook did exactly the same thing in order to protect its customers from purchasing low-quality diamonds.
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And in November 2017, Carbon Conservation announced a collaboration with technology platform Dappbase . Together they will fight forest fires in Indonesia using blockchain. According to its principles, funding will be distributed among villages that have reduced the number of fires. In 2018, we will see many more examples of using blockchain for a wide variety of purposes. And maybe we will implement some of them. Trend source: