we examine how brands can embrace technology and deliver personalised experiences to a generation of purpose-driven smart consumers
Digital is the driving force of a major technological revolution that is dominating every sector of the economy.
According to research by Accenture Technology, 86% of executives questioned believe that the pace of technology change will increase rapidly or at an unprecedented rate in their industry over the next three years.
The digital impact is influenced by many factors including home broadband uptake, multichannel consumer choice, growth of connectivity, the proliferation of smart mobile, click & collect and same day delivery services.
"25% of the world's economy will be digital by 2020" (digital economic value index, Accenture 2016)
Digital ecosystems are emerging that disrupt the way businesses behave and which blur the traditional boundaries between industries.
Today technology is developing so rapidly in so many areas that the lives and environments we live and work in are becoming a seamless blend of the real, the augmented and the virtual. We are becoming used to multi-sensory experiences and are adapting our view of what is and what isn't possible accordingly.
Retailing is no longer simply a physical world dominated by large conglomerates with traditional models of supply and distribution. It is evolving into a complex web of over-lapping, multi-functional, multi-channel, 24hr operations. Furthermore, new customer touch-points are being created all the time through the proliferation of channels, devices and applications.
Whilst this world of invisible technology, fluid interfaces and enhanced realities presents huge challenges to brands and retailers, the data available has never been more specific and personalised. Companies that can mine this data, understand it's value and adapt accordingly will gain a significant competitive advantage.
Advances in neuroscience now enable a deeper understanding of end user decision-making behaviours, whether in reaction to advertising or at the point of purchase, providing R&D and Marketing departments with validation for new product launches.
Consumers haven't fundamentally changed; their needs are still driven by the desire for authentic experiences, value for money, convenience and relevance. What has changed enormously and continues to do so, is the development of technology that enables new paradigms across all aspects of retailing presenting urgent challenges to brands and retailers.
What does this mean for packaging?
Today's consumers are hyper connected and untethered. Innovation in smart materials, augmented and virtual reality and mobile technology is enabling product packaging to meet the needs of digital consumers.
Technology is enabling packaging to be highly personalized, interactive, immersive and to truly add value, helping brands forge deep and meaningful bonds with their consumers.
Over a third of the world's population is projected to own a smartphone by 2017. (Statista 2016)
Digital services are redefining the standard for convenience; consumers can easily research, compare and transact whilst in or out of the home.
91% of smartphone users turn to their devices for ideas while doing a given task. (Google/ipsos 2015)
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