1. Click-and-collect shopping
For those that need it and want it now but don’t have the time (or inclination) to deal with shop assistants, Click-and-Collect lets customers purchase products online and pick up goods nearby, making next-day delivery seem like Little House on the Prairie.
2. Digital life coaches
This is hyper-personalisation, where entire companies are dedicated to collecting and using data about you to provide customised “diagnoses” on how to improve your daily life. Think: the ability to reduce your electricity bill by knowing when your appliances use the most energy, all the way to your Jawbone UP wristband, which tracks how you sleep, move and eat to offer tips on how you could live healthier. The opportunities for development of these digital coaches are limitless as are the questions surrounding data security, such as who else should/needs to know your nocturnal habits.
3. Individual attention
American brands Target and J.Crew are taking on ecommerce with premium personal shopping experiences for everyday customers - just take a look at the ‘personal shopping’ hashtag on Twitter for an idea of the stores who are leveraging this opportunity (Topshop and Sportsgirl are examples of Aussies leading the way). JWT reports that supermarkets overseas are offering in-store dieticians to help shoppers make healthy food choices.
4. The end of voicemail (and good riddance)
We think we’ll all be happy to hear the death rattle of that flashing red flashing voicemail button. It’s been a long time coming, but some have predicted that this will be the year that finally presses delete on this aged communication tool.
A PC Magazine poll recently found that 70% of respondents never or infrequently check their Voicemail, relying purely on email or voice-to-text services. Sign up for this mobile service here.
So farewell voicemail, we hope you enjoy the big office party for pagers and answering machines up in the sky.
5. Amazon everything
The digital behemoth is said to continue its global domination of selling every product under the sun, with some suggesting that it could pass Walmart as the world’s biggest retailer by 2017.
Amazon is also said to be contemplating physical retail outlets, which might have us all rushing to dust off our copies of Stand on Zanzibar, which, funnily enough is available on Amazon.