In their annual Global Trends Report for 2013, reported in The Economist, Thomas W. Malnight of the International School For Business Development and Strategist Tracey S. Keys, Strategy Dynamics Global SA predict that global redistribution of economic and social power will continue; there'll be need for new ways to manage the world’s resources and environment; power will flow away from traditional institutions; and technology will continue to have major influences on society and business. Of course that includes the use and development of technology for eCommerce competition.
Here are some of their points:
1. Social technologies will be a central part of everyday life and work. The social generations are reshaping companies from the inside, helping them to build broader, more agile networks to create and deliver value to customers.
2. Mobility and connectedness will be at the heart of the future business environment. Communications and marketing are moving from a focus on one-to-one relationships, to many-to-many.
3. The new consumer will want choice and personalization. Consumers will also participate in value creation.
4. Value will be redefined. Value will be about “shared with me” which will be driven by younger generations who value experiences they can share, that deliver benefits to society - over possessions.
5. Consumption will take place anywhere, anytime. The tools and resources to create and capture value will be more broadly distributed.
6. Technology, including smart machines and robots will create a new "Industrial Revolution." There'll be new kinds of jobs, and the challenge will be to have a workforce that is ready and skilled for them.
7. Scientific advances from national space programs will continue to have a significant impact on how we live and work. From advanced materials to global telecommunications, some of the inventions that came into every day use from the space program include artificial limbs, baby formula, cell-phone cameras, computer mouse, cordless tools, ear thermometer, freeze-dried food, invisible braces, MRI and CAT scans, memory foam, water filters and UV-blocking sunglasses.
8. Rapidly growing economies and geopolitical changes to control future economic growth and social development will take place. It will be a multipolar market landscape, based on dramatically different economic, social and political systems.
9. Resource wars will escalate: As the world’s population moves towards 9 billion by 2050, resources will be under pressure, exacerbated by climate change. Businesses rather than governments are likely to lead the way to dealing with these problems.
10. Some businesses will be going from profit to purpose. Many businesses are stepping up to a new role, often with partners, to tackle social and economic challenges.
11. Cyber-security will be a challenge. Knowledge and information and big data are a source of competitive advantage for organizations, businesses and individuals. But it’s a growing challenge to retain control as mobility and the democratization of everything (commerce, politics and societies) increases – along with cybercrime and cyber war.
12. The financial system will change. Among other factors, digital wallets and mobile banking are opening the door for more software players and a diminishment of bank influence. In an increasingly crowded and cashless financial system, banks may no longer be key players.
Bottom Line For Your Bottom Line:
Not all the points above will have a direct influence on eCommerce and vice versa. On the other hand, many of them interchange in this multipolar market landscape. Most important is that power will flow to businesses whose leaders understand and act on the big trends shaping our future. Think about how these trends apply to, and affect society in general and retail in particular.