23 Customer Trends and Predictions for 2023

Find out how these 23 trends will impact next year’s business landscape, unlocking new growth opportunities, shaping customer demand and uncovering new ways to leverage emerging technologies.

As innovators and venture builders, we’re always on the lookout for the most impactful customer trends shaping our ever-evolving business landscape. It’s a great way to unlock new market opportunities, find out how customer expectations are changing, and gain insight into how emerging technologies can be leveraged to meet new demands. 

As we begin this new year, there’s no better time to explore how global market shifts and emerging trends may impact different aspects of your business, enabling you to: 

  • Adapt to changing customer behaviours
  • Anticipate resulting market fluctuations
  • Forge new offerings, business models, and company values

With that goal in mind, we’ve tapped into our own experiences, observations and research to bring you the top 23 tech and customer trends we feel will have the biggest impact in 2023.

1. Customised curation-as-a-service

BarkBox using curation as a service. A dog with a chew toy in its mouth

With a seemingly endless array of new products and services entering the market, customers are increasingly seeking out customised curation from companies that align with their values (e.g. sustainability, fair trade, cruelty-free, etc.). Customisation is the name of the game, with a growing number of startups creating tailored customer experiences that delight and surprise customers while saving them valuable time and effort researching new offerings.

Opportunity to tap into

  • 60% of consumers report their priorities keep changing due to growing uncertainty. 
  • 79% make a special effort to buy from brands that are aligned to their personal values.
  • 80% say they’re more likely to buy from a brand that offers personalised experiences.

Brands that can help ease the decision-making process while providing a heightened, personalised experience can tap into these customer segments.

Examples

Many customers find it tedious and time-consuming to sift through endless reviews, features and price comparisons before making a purchase. These companies are tapping into that pain point. 

NurseLuxe

NurseLuxe offers monthly subscription boxes of fun products and samples designed to pamper and delight nurses. 

BarkBox

BarkBox brings dog happiness right to your door with customised toys, chews and treats designed to keep your furry friend happy all month long. 

Firstleaf

Firstleaf enables customers to sample new wines without the guesswork. They ship boxes of curated wines based on a customised taste profile for each customer. 

2. Ceaseless self-optimisation

Ceaseless self-optimisation by Ro showing a woman using a mobile application

Prompted by the pandemic, consumers are increasingly focused on wellness, self-improvement and personal growth. Many are seeking new ways to seamlessly integrate their physical, emotional and spiritual development efforts into their daily activities. Companies are tapping into this pain point with new products, services and experiences that highlight health and wellness.

Opportunity to tap into

  • The global wellness market is worth $1,5T, with an annual growth of five to ten percent.
  • In 2021, 85% of Americans made drastic changes to eat better. 75% are still doing it. 
  • The wellness tourism market is expected to reach $817B by the end of 2022. 
  • 76% of global citizens say that mental health and physical health are equally important. 
  • In an Ipsos survey about top health concerns, mental health ranked higher than cancer. 

According to a study by McKinsey, consumers view wellness across six spectrums: Health, fitness, nutrition, appearance, sleep and mindfulness.  

Examples

These companies are tapping into the growing demand for health and wellness with products and services that make it easier for customers to reach their goals.

Noom 🦄

Noom is a subscription-based app that emphasises behavioural changes, and mental wellness to improve eating and exercise habits. 

Athletic Greens 🦄

Athletic Greens offers supplements that support gut health, immunity, energy, recovery, focus, ageing, and more.

Ro 🦄

Ro is an online healthcare company that connects patients with healthcare professionals based on specific health goals.

3. A call for transparency

Patagonia using transparency among customers, a craftsman creating clothing out of materials

Consumers are feeling increasingly disillusioned with corporate greenwashing and unimpactful sustainability commitments. In response, they’re flocking to companies with genuine and transparent social and environmental practices. The impulse to buy from trusted and transparent brands is even more pronounced among Gen Z. 

Opportunity to tap into

  • 73% of customers say they would pay more for products that guarantee total transparency.
  • 94% of consumers say they would stay loyal to a transparent brand.
  • Gen Z consumers are “turned off” by a lack of transparency in brands, preferring companies that are candid with their information. 
  • Company transparency is among the top factors in determining workplace happiness (and happy employees work harder). 

According to Social Sprout, when describing what company transparency actually means to them, 59% of respondents said it was when businesses are “open”, 53% said “clear”, and 49% said “honest”. 

Companies that cultivate a reputation for honesty, transparency and genuineness will gain customer trust and, in so doing, differentiate themselves in an often saturated market. 

Examples

These companies are boosting performance, improving their work culture and cultivating trust among customers by operating with transparency. 

Patagonia

Patagonia shares detailed information about its carbon footprint. Its Supply Chain Environmental Responsibility Program even recognises third-party certifications like bluesign.

Buffer

Buffer tackles the challenge of unfair compensation by making everyone’s salary public - from the CEO to entry-level workers. 

Lush

Lush is a cruelty-free skincare brand with a strong commitment to the environment, customers and employees. Third-party audits of their animal testing, ethical and environmental policies are regularly conducted. 

4. Web3 goes mainstream

Starbucks odyssey created for web3

Web3 has arrived, with non-fungible tokens (NFTs), cryptocurrencies and decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) becoming increasingly familiar to mainstream audiences. Despite the crypto winter earlier this year, corporations are continuing to develop metaverse products and services - a market which is expected to be worth over $100B in 2023. 

Opportunity to tap into

  • By 2026, 25% of people will be spending one hour a day in the metaverse for work, shopping, education or entertainment.
  • 79% of active Metaverse users made a purchase while they were there.
  • An Accenture survey revealed 42% of respondents visited a virtual retailer to get advice, make a payment or browse a product.
  • In 2022, the metaverse reached 400M, active users.

Companies are exploring new web3 opportunities and expanding their metaverse capabilities by hiring new talent, doing customer research, buying metaverse-related technology and upskilling their existing staff (just to name a few).Examples

Examples

Disney

Disney is all in on web3, with four of the six startups chosen during its 2022 accelerator demo day being web3 startups. 

Starbucks

Starbucks’ new Odyssey experience will enable customers to use digital collectable stamps (NFTs) to unlock new experiences. 

Nike

Nike’s .SWOOSH will allow users to buy, trade or create digital collectables (e.g. virtual sneakers or jerseys) to be used in video games and other immersive experiences.

5. Democratisation and sustainability through virtual spaces

Online event, virtual spaces by Salesforce

Virtual spaces are enabling increased participation, diversity and inclusion, creating value for companies and decreasing our global carbon footprint. As tools and experiences become more refined, we expect to see an increase in their use across a variety of industries, including education, healthcare and entertainment.

Opportunity to tap into

  • According to ApplyBoard, virtual environments can increase the number of people taught by a teacher, making knowledge more accessible and increasing the efficacy of a lesson.
  • Virtual events tend to be more affordable and don’t require travel or visas, enabling them to have higher attendance rates with a smaller carbon footprint.
  • Female attendance at virtual science and engineering conferences increased by as much as 253%, and non-binary scientist attendance jumped to 700%.
  • Activists in the disability community have expressed how virtual spaces are making events, health care, school, and work more accessible to them.
  • Virtual spaces facilitate remote work, breaking down geographic barriers, providing more opportunities for minority groups and giving companies the chance to hire teams with diverse backgrounds.
  • The VR market is expected to reach €84,09B by 2028, up from €4,42B in 2020.

Companies that tap into these opportunities can increase diversity and inclusion while operating more sustainably.

Examples

Salesforce

When Salesforce’s World Tour Sydney pivoted from an “in-person” to an “online” event due to the pandemic, it increased its attendees from 15,000 to 80,000.

Verizon’s Forward for Good Accelerator

This accelerator supports start-ups developing solutions that leverage technologies like 5G, MEC, AI and XR to boost inclusion, sustainability and human prosperity.

Samsung

Samsung created a virtual version of its pop-up store in New York, enabling people all over the world to enjoy the experience while exploring the company’s latest offerings.

6. Brands that help navigate uncertainty

Decathlon helping customers navigate uncertainty, people riding mountain bikes and a person skiing

Rapid global changes are happening faster than ever, fueled by the pandemic, wars, the threat of recession and the threat of technological job displacement (just to name a few). As the world becomes more uncertain, consumers are seeking brands that can offer a sense of security and convenience - helping them adapt, survive and thrive in the new normal.    

Opportunity to tap into

  • 80% of Americans report a greater focus on their health since the pandemic, resulting in increased spending on beauty, fitness, wellness and self-care products. 
  • 27% of consumers said they prefer bulk or economy-size offerings over smaller sizes as a way of coping with inflation. 
  • 31% of consumers are opting to buy items on promotion in response to economic shifts.
  • 61% of consumers are willing to pay more for same-day deliveries, but only 51% of retailers offer it.
  • 52% of consumers value brands that have increased their sustainability efforts, making it easier to shop sustainably.
  • Customers are responding well to convenient subscription services. As a result, subscription brands were able to grow their customer base by 31% this past year. 

Brands that act as allies during times of uncertainty are more likely to increase trust among their target audience and boost customer loyalty.

Examples

Beyond Meat

As awareness of the negative environmental impact of the meat industry grows, more consumers are looking for alternatives. Beyond Meat is helping customers on that journey with healthy, sustainable options.   

T-Mobile’s Coverage Beyond

In an effort to support customers during times of inflation, Coverage Beyond offers free high-speed data in 210+ countries and keeps customers connected during flights. It includes free AAA, travel discounts and 25¢ off every gallon of gas at Shell.

Decathlon

Decathlon is helping its customers stay fit and enjoy the outdoors with an initiative to rent-out big ticket items (e.g. skies, surfboards, e-bikes, etc.) that might not be as affordable in today’s economic landscape.

7. A "now or never" mentality

Apple pay later application

Growing economic, political, environmental, and health concerns have forced consumers to be more cautious of how they spend their time and money. This, in turn, has resulted in a backlash, favouring a YOLO attitude of indulgence. We’ll be seeing more customers rebel against restraint in favour of “living for the moment.  Welcome to “the moments” economy. 

Opportunity to tap into

  • 51% of global consumers say they try to have as much fun as they can now and let the future take care of itself.
  • In a global survey, 43% of respondents said they love any excuse to have a celebration.
  • Customers are willing to pay up to 13% to 18% more for luxury and indulgence services simply by receiving a great customer experience.
  • The BNPL market, estimated at $179B in 2022, is expected to reach over $531B by 2025. 

Brands can tap into this opportunity by creating experiences that foster spontaneous moments of joy and escapism. Customer experiences are further heightened through innovative offerings that reduce guilt through sustainability and cost-effectiveness. 

Examples

Apple’s Pay Later

Apple’s Pay Later allows customers to split purchases into four payments over six weeks, with no interest or fees. It's available for purchases in apps and online when customers check out with Apple Pay.

Uplift

Uplift partners with international cruise lines, resorts, airlines and vacation package dealers to offer customers a way to spread their payments over several months with no late fees for penalties.  

John Lewis

In response to shifting shopping habits, John Lewis department stores changed their slogan from “never knowingly undersold” to “for all life’s moments”. The new slogan reflects consumers’ desire to make purchases that make them happy daily.

8. Pop culture goes global

Durex using pop culture in their advertisements

The most followers on Instagram? Cristiano Ronaldo. Number one on Billboard’s Global 200 list? Bad Bunny. The most watched show on Netflix? Squid Game (Money Heist from Spain is the fourth most watched). Economic growth in developing countries, along with increased accessibility through the internet, is fostering the rise of local artists. The result? Pop culture is becoming less “western”.

Opportunity to tap into

  • 25% of respondents in a study said they are more likely to make a purchase based on a brand’s cultural involvement.
  • In another study, 38% of respondents said a brand’s involvement in pop culture movements and social issues was very important.
  • 28% of the world’s biggest companies, including Coca-Cola, Burger King, and Nike, feature pop culture references in their marketing campaigns.
  • In a study, a third of the most successful marketing campaigns included some form of pop culture reference. 

Brands that adapt to our changing pop culture by referencing it in their marketing can be more attention-grabbing and feel more relatable to customers. 

Examples

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton made South Korean model and actress HoYeon Jung a global ambassador for the brand, featuring her in their social media.

Durex

Durex used the Squid Game logo in an Instagram post captioned “How long can you last?”

Jacquemus

Jacquemus recently launched a marketing campaign featuring bad bunny.

9. A focus on mental health

corporations focussing on mental health, a practitioner giving care to a patient

Spurred by the pandemic, economic uncertainty, social isolation and other factors, the world is experiencing a mental health crisis, which is especially prevalent in teens and young adults. Companies are leveraging technology to help people through these difficult times.  

Opportunity to tap into

  • According to the UN, nearly one billion people worldwide suffer from a mental disorder.
  • Since the pandemic, the prevalence of depression and anxiety has increased by 25% worldwide. 
  • Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the world, affecting 284 million people, followed by depression which affects 264 million people.
  • 70% of people that suffer from mental health issues don’t get the care they need. 

Companies can increase access to treatment through innovative solutions that leverage technology backed by solid mental health practices. 

Examples

Lyra Health 🦄

Lyra’s Blended Care program uses video therapy and personalised digital tools to treat customers for anxiety and depression. The approach is thought to help customers recover faster than with CB therapy alone.  

BetterUp 🦄

BetterUp is a mental health and employee coaching startup on a mission to help its customers live with passion and purpose. They help companies develop high-performing cultures that fuel growth. 

Spring Health 🦄

Spring Health offers tailored mental healthcare solutions

for teams and families. It ranked number 22 on LinkedIn’s 2022 Top Startup List in the US and is valued at $2B.

10. The death of demographic segmentation

North Face exploring customer values

Traditional demographic markers like age, marital status, postcode and gender are no longer effective as the sole indicators of customer behaviour. This is because consumers are increasingly challenging old social norms and building their own unique lifestyles. In response, companies are looking deeper into their customer’s values, passions and beliefs in order to build offerings that align with their preferences, sensibilities, and aspirations.

Opportunity to tap into

  • Lifestyle segmentation involves dividing customer data into subcategories based on their buying practices, preferences and habits. It's useful for personalised marketing. 
  • In this type of segmentation, demographics are just part of a bigger picture that includes a customer’s activities, opinions, location and interests.
  • Once the subsegments have been chosen, companies can get to know them better by examining existing customer data or conducting surveys to learn more. 

Marketers can use the data to create targeted marketing campaigns and forge real connections with their customers.  

Examples

North Face

North Face uses lifestyle segments like “explorer”, “traveller”, “hiker”, “extreme athlete”, etc., and markets relevant products to each segment.

Tommy Hilfiger

Although sustainability isn’t the main focus of Tommy Hilfiger’s branding, they’re able to target customers that show an interest in eco-friendly initiatives on social media platforms and target them with recycled denim ads.

11. AI gets more trustworthy and adaptive

NetDragon, Chinese tech company announces Ai-powered virtual robot as CEO in charge of human resources

Fueled by a growing skills shortage, the need to cut costs and rising competitive pressures, we’re already in the midst of a global AI boom. Expect this trend to skyrocket in 2023, with more companies using it for off-the-shelf solutions (e.g. virtual assistants, R&D), cybersecurity, customer experience, sustainability, and to automate operations. Challenges on the horizon? Making AI more transparent, reliable and adaptive.  

Opportunity to tap into

  • The number of customer service leaders using AI has increased by 88% since 2020.
  • 37% of companies are developing an AI strategy, and 28% already have a holistic strategy in place.
  • 65% of tasks can be automated in an AI-powered customer care ecosystem.
  • 66% of companies are using or planning to use AI to further their sustainability goals.
  • By 2026, companies actively working to build and manage adaptive AI systems are expected to outperform peers by 25%.
  • By that same year, companies with AI models that are transparent, trustworthy and secure will improve their adoption and user acceptance by 50%.

As AI adoption becomes more ubiquitous, we’ll also start to see it changing the way companies work with and hire talent. Many will focus on making AI more reliable, secure and adaptive. As entrepreneurs find new ways to leverage the technology, we’ll also see the birth of new AI startup unicorns in the coming years.

Examples

NetDragon Websoft

NetDragon Websoft is a Chinese tech company that recently announced it had appointed an AI-powered virtual robot named Ms Tang Yu as its CEO in charge of human resources and talent development. 

IBM

Originally used to compete with humans in games like Jeopardy, IBM’s proprietary AI engine “Watson”, is now integrated into nearly every workflow, from HR to finance and supply chain management. Its Watson Health division generates approximately $1B a year. 

Panasonic

This year, Panasonic announced its Panasonic Group AI Ethics Principles, solidifying the company’s commitment to values like respecting human rights,
protecting customer privacy, accountability and transparency (among others).  

12. Consumers are finding products in new ways

Sephora drives engagement by teaming up with influencers

While traditional purchase journeys used to start through search engines, younger consumers are switching to social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram to find new products. In order to better reach their customers and get the most out of these channels, brands will need to up their game in terms of knowing what’s culturally relevant to their target audience.  

Opportunity to tap into

  • There are now 4,62 billion people using social media around the world. That’s a 10% increase from last year. 
  • 98% of sales reps are reaching their quotas through social selling.
  • 43,5% of global Internet users leverage social media for brand research. 
  • This year, TikTok is expected to surpass the global advertising scale of Twitter and Snapchat combined. 
  • By 2024, it will have matched YouTube with an ad revenue of $23,6B.
  • Livestream shopping sales might account for up to 20% of all eCommerce sales by 2026. Brands that have adopted it have seen a 30% increase in their conversion rates.
  • 57% of people across the globe say they learned practical life skills on social media.

Social media platforms will evolve into full-service channels, outgrowing some of the more traditional customer service channels over time. 

Examples

The Washington Post

The Washington Post’s “TikTok guy,” Dave Jorgenson, is bringing journalism to younger generations on TikTok with funny videos about current events. The account has over 1,4 million followers.

Sephora

Sephora drives engagement and authority by teaming up with influencers and beauty experts to showcase products (and educate customers on how to use them). The company’s Instagram account has 17,4 million followers. 

Anheuser-Busch

Anheuser-Busch collaborated with the White House to give out free beers to people who got vaccinated. The initiative enabled them to share engaging user-generated content on their social media.  

13. A booming creator economy

an image showing influencer recommendations are most important to consumers

The creator economy is growing fast, with more people than ever creating and selling goods online, sharing original content via social media and developing a personal brand (e.g. influencers). Fueled by the great resignation and quiet quitting, innovative creator tools and new platforms, this segment is expected to boom in the coming years, and they’ll be seeking out brands that can help grow their businesses.  

Opportunity to tap into

  • The influencer marketing industry alone reached a worth of about $16,4B in 2022.
  • One in four GenZrs in the US plans to become a social media influencer.
  • According to a survey by Hubspot, 30% of respondents 18 to 24 and 40% of respondents 25 to 34 consider themselves content creators.
  • 22% of full-time creators make between $50K and $150K a year.
  • 30% of consumers say influencer recommendations are one of the most important factors in their purchasing decisions.
  • About 55% of YouTube’s ad revenue goes to its creators.
  • In 2023, more creators will be using livestreaming to connect with their audience, earn donations and sell products. 
  • The most common types of creators are educators, bloggers, coaches, writers, and artists.

Businesses can tap into this opportunity by finding new and innovative ways to collaborate with and support this emerging, entrepreneurial customer segment.  

Examples

Karat 🦄

Karat is like a bank for creators. Eligibility for their Black Card is based not just on financials but on the recipient's social media stats (e.g. followers).  

Patreon 🦄

Patreon makes it easier for creators to run a subscription service, enabling them to earn a steady income by providing rewards and perks to subscribers.

Ko-fi

Ko-fi helps creators earn money directly from fans by enabling them to accept donations, open an online shop, and work with membership tiers. 

14. Convenience vs purpose

An image of a dog with a chew toy in its mouth, West Paw using recycled plastic to make their products

Mindful spending has been on the rise for a while now, with more consumers choosing products that are sustainable, ethically sourced and cruelty-free. However, the desire for convenience and rising inflation costs often make it difficult to stay the course. Moving forward, customers will expect companies to deliver value on all fronts, providing guilt-free convenience. 

Opportunity to tap into

  • 66% of global consumers say they are willing to pay more for sustainable brands, this goes up to 80% in younger consumers. 
  • 49% of surveyed respondents said they had purchased a sustainable item in the past four weeks. One-third said they paid significantly more than the traditional alternative.
  • Consumer values have a big impact on their purchasing decisions, but price and value are also important factors. 
  • 45% of US consumers have switched their personal care brands in the last year due to price increases. 
  • Factors like flexibility, durability and sustainability will play a crucial role in the purchasing behaviour of consumers. 
  • 87% of businesses plan to increase their sustainability investments over the next two years. 

Purpose-driven brands that leverage technology to provide convenience, sustainability and value for the money will thrive in next year’s economic landscape.  

Examples

General Motor’s Brightdrop 🦄

BrightDrop is making the delivery and logistics industry greener, providing electric commercial vehicles, ePallets and cloud-based software. Its customers include FedEx, Verizon and Walmart. 

West Paw

West Paw makes non-toxic, durable toys, accessories, and beds for pets. They’re a B Corporation and use recycled ocean-bound plastic to make their products.

Dandelion Energy

Dandelion Energy reduces GHG by helping customers replace fuel-reliant heating and cooling systems with geothermal heat pumps. Their generous payment plans make the service accessible to more homeowners.

15. Health and wellness gets automated

corporations leveraging tech to promote health and wellness

A growing number of consumers are prioritising their health, happiness, fitness and emotional well-being. Companies all over the world are leveraging technology to create solutions that help customers take control of their well-being and feel their best.  

Opportunity to tap into

  • The global mHealth (mobile health) market is expected to reach $300B by 2025.
  • The fitness app market is expected to reach $14,64B by 2027.
  • The global VR healthcare market is expected to reach $6,20B by 2029.
  • 60% of mobile users downloaded a mobile Health app to their device.
  • 93% of physicians believe that health apps can help patients improve their health.
  • A study found that mobile monitoring technology could reduce hospital days by 15 to 20% and reduce ER visits by 30% among those with chronic illness. 
  • An estimated 86,3 million people in the US used a health or fitness app once a month in 2022.

Companies can tap into this opportunity with affordable solutions that make healthcare accessible to more people. Solutions designed for chronic disease management are needed, with more people suffering from obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. 

Examples

ChroniSense Medical

ChroniSense Medical develops medical-grade wearable devices that can help patients monitor various health parameters for more effective chronic disease management. 

FitOn

FitOn gives users unlimited access to the world’s best workouts from celebrity trainers. It’s been installed 5 million times and ranks 42 in the Google Play store. 

Holodia

Holodia is a VR fitness company that lets you work out and compete with others in a virtual world using a rowing machine, bicycle or elliptical.

16. A re-commerce boom

An image of someone using the Zolando application

Forcasted to overtake fast fashion by 2030, the secondhand market is expected to skyrocket in the next few years. Growth drivers include environmental concerns, GenZ shoppers, the thrill of finding vintage items and the need to save during times of economic uncertainty. 

Opportunity to tap into

  • The re-commerce market is expected to reach $178B this year and $289B by 2027.
  • 62% of GenZ and Millennials say they look for an item secondhand before purchasing it new.
  • Brands with their own resale shops increased 275%, from 8 in 2020 to 30 in 2021.
  • By 2026, the US resale market alone is expected to reach $82B.
  • In Europe, the fashion resale segment is expected to reach €34B by 2025. 
  • 75% of global secondhand buyers shop in stores, and 55% shop online.
  • 36% of Gen Z purchases apparel items monthly or weekly.

While re-commerce is clearly on the rise, selling and buying products isn’t always easy. Sellers have to take pictures and contend with multiple buyers, while buyers might have a hard time finding trusted sellers. Companies that leverage technology to create secure and transparent marketplaces with heightened customer experiences can tap into this opportunity.  

Examples

Depop

Depop is a peer-to-peer social e-commerce company that sells pre-loved apparel.

Poshmark

Poshmark is a social commerce marketplace where users can buy and sell new and secondhand fashion, home goods, and electronics.

Zalando

Online fashion retailer Zalando launched its own pre-owned fashion platform in 2020 to get in on this fast-growing market segment. 

17. Consumer fatigue

Savage X Fenty promoting values of diversity and body positivity

Consumer fatigue is on the rise, fueled by stressors like the rising cost of living, the climate crisis, political unrest and the overwhelming abundance of choices in today’s marketplace. Companies that provide solace through altruistic initiatives and inspiring brand collaborations can build trust and differentiate themselves during times of financial uncertainty.

Opportunity to tap into

  • 44% of consumers said that when brands use their data in ads, it often feels invasive.
  • 47% of customers are now seeking downtime from internet devices.
  • A study found that 41% of respondents are more concerned about the impact of the internet on well-being than during the pandemic. 
  • 40% of consumers leave the brands they love because of trust issues.
  • 47% of US customers are put off by the increasing number of subscription businesses.
  • A survey found that 46% of respondents unfollowed brands for posting too many promotional messages, 41% unfollowed because of irrelevant information, and almost 35% unfollowed brands that tweeted too much.

In a highly competitive and often saturated business landscape, companies can differentiate themselves with personalised, relevant and human messaging. The key to it all? Get to know your target audience and market to them in ways that align with their interests, preferences and willingness to engage. 

Examples

These companies are creating customer trust and engagement with entertaining campaigns that appeal to their values, preferences and beliefs - stopping customer fatigue in its tracks. 

Savage X Fenty

Savage X Fenty delights customers by staying true to its values of diversity and body positivity. One of its latest campaigns featured artists like Latto, Khleopatre and Dove Cameron - and customers can’t get enough. 

Ikea and Pinterest

Ikea teamed up with Pinterest to create a tool that helps customers find ideas on how to refresh their spaces with items inspired by places they’d like to visit. They called it “Renocation".

18. Generative AI changes how we work

DALL•E 2 showing off its image creation abilities

Generative AI tools are being used by people worldwide in a myriad of different ways, from entertainment to art creation to optimising their business operations. All in a fraction of the time and based on a few simple keywords. In fact, according to Sequoia Capital, it’s an industry with the potential to generate trillions of dollars in economic value, and its impact is going mainstream fast (many would argue it’s already there).

Opportunity to tap into

  • Gartner predicts that AI-related cost-savings will top $80B by 2026.
  • 30% of global IT professionals say they are already saving time with new AI tools.
  • Creative workers aided by generative AI tools can increase productivity by at least 10%.  
  • Generative AI will be producing around 10% of our data by 2025. 
  • That same year, generative AI will be used in:
  • 30% of marketing messages from corporates 
  • 90% of the material in quarterly reports 
  • 50% of drug development initiatives     
  • 20% of all test customer data 
  • By 2026, it will create 50% of the code for new websites and mobile apps and automate 60% of the design process involved. 
  • By 2027, about 30% of manufacturers will be using it to increase efficiency.

Examples

DALL·E 2

DALL·E 2 is an AI system that enables users to create realistic images and art based on a few keywords in minutes. 

Synthesia

Tools like Synthesia provide video templates (e.g. how-to, sales pitch, learning and development, etc.) along with human-looking avatars to star in them. You can choose your avatar’s voice, the script and even insert background music into your videos.

OpenAI

OpenAI LP is on a mission to ensure that AI benefits all of humanity. Its technology has been used for apps like DuoLingo and can be leveraged for copywriting tools, translations, and solving business problems related to a natural language.

19. A fluctuating talent market

A student celebrating as Startbucks invests in professional development

The great resignation is still in full swing, with about 4 million people quitting their jobs per month in the US alone. This, combined with accelerated workplace automation, is leaving companies with a three-pronged challenge: 1. Making work more fulfilling, flexible and purposeful, 2. Filling vital skill gaps in data science, AI, and other tech areas, 3. Upskilling their existing workforce and growing the uniquely human skills that can’t be automated. 

Opportunity to tap into

  • 40% of workers are considering quitting their jobs in the next 3 to 6 months.
  • 41% of people said they quit their jobs because they didn’t have professional development and career advancement opportunities.
  • In a survey, 91% of workers said they quit because they want more money, 89% because they feel burnt out and unsupported and 83% because they are not growing in that position.
  • 65% of workers surveyed say their approach to wellness has changed over the last two years, and they expect more support from their employers.
  • A study found that 80% of surveyed employees were more likely to stay at a company that provides high-quality resources to care for their mental health.

Companies can address the talent shortage (i.e. attract talent) by finding new and innovative ways to tailor their workplace propositions to meet the needs of their employees. 

Examples

Walmart

Walmart’s Live Better U program offers 100% free GED, trade school, and college degree programs to all employees - enabling them to develop their skills and grow in the company while earning a paycheck.

Starbucks

Starbucks invests in the professional development of its full-time and part-time partners (i.e. baristas) through comprehensive training and education programs, preparing them for potential advancement into corporate roles.

The Cheeky Panda

Certified B Corp The Cheeky Panda gives its employees a sense of purpose by weighing its success not only through financial returns but by the tons of carbon balanced and the number of trees it saves.

20. Resilience building

and image showing companies strengthening their supply chains

Rising inflation and supply chain insecurity fueled by the pandemic and exacerbated by political uncertainty (e.g. the war in Ukraine, unpredictable policies in China) are leading companies to rethink the way they operate. To mitigate risk, more companies will reduce their reliance on volatile partners and strengthen their supply chains through alternate modes of sourcing and transport.

Opportunity to tap into

  • In most industries, just one supply chain disruption can lead to losses of 30 to 50% of a company's annual earnings before interest, taxes, and depreciation.
  • 78% of surveyed respondents say ongoing global disruptions have hastened the adoption of digital transformation in the supply chain.
  • Hiring and retaining qualified workers is the second biggest supply chain challenge for companies. 
  • 95% of companies in a survey, are reviewing or implementing changes to their strategy for sourcing and manufacturing in China.
  • Companies that have adopted AI-enabled supply chains improved logistics costs by 15%, inventory levels by 35%, and service levels by 65%.

To stay ahead of potential challenges, companies should diversify their sourcing partners and adopt demand planning, forecasting, and supply chain risk management technologies. Startups that can help facilitate these changes, stand to capitalise on this emerging trend. 

Examples

UPS

UPS is introducing a smart package initiative that utilises RFID tags to speed up package processing by eliminating 20 million manual scans per day by employees loading package cars.

Apple

Apple is relocating some of its operations from China to Vietnam and India due to several factors, including zero-covid shutdowns, trade wars, and export restrictions.

Berkshire Grey 🦄

Berkshire Grey helps retail, eCommerce, packaging and logistics companies deliver hightened customer experiences while reducing the cost and time of fulfilling orders though Intelligent Robotic Automation.

21. Tech fuels last-mile deliveries

Companies focussed on last-mile deliveries

The last-mile delivery process has always presented challenges, such as high costs, inconsistency, and difficulty in adapting to changing customer needs. In response to rising consumer demand for faster and more convenient shipping, companies are turning to technology-based solutions to streamline and improve the reliability of their last-mile deliveries.

Opportunity to tap into

  • The last mile market was worth $108B in 2020 and is expected to reach $200B by 2027.
  • 53% of total shipping costs in companies are related to last-mile deliveries.
  • 80% want same-day delivery, and 61% are willing to pay extra for it.
  • 45% of shoppers say they won’t buy from a company again if an order is late. 
  • B2C will be the fastest-growing segment in the last-mile delivery market (i.e. small, lightweight goods that go from adjacent transport hubs to consumers).

Companies that leverage technology to make their last-mile deliveries more cost-effective, fast and reliable can successfully differentiate themselves from competitors. Startups that can help facilitate the process stand to capitalise on this trend. 

Examples

Glow

Glow is a corporate startup built from scratch by Norway Post. Its cloud-based delivery platform is designed to help companies optimise their logistics operations, facilitate last-mile deliveries and boost overall customer satisfaction.

Wing

Wing is a drone delivery company owned by Alphabet. To date, it’s made over 300.000 deliveries across the US, Australia and Finland. It lowers costs and speeds up deliveries for retail, logistics, and healthcare companies. 

Nuro 🦄

Nuro develops autonomous, zero-occupant, electric delivery vehicles designed to navigate neighbourhoods. It partners with retailers to make deliveries more affordable and convenient. 

22. Subscription-based businesses increase

Babylon offering affordable subscription-based services

Subscription-based models have already proven to be successful by companies like Netflix, Hellofresh, and Spotify. While it's already a common model in retail, software services and entertainment, you can expect to see it popping up in healthcare, home fitness, mobility, education, airlines and gaming.       

Opportunity to tap into

  • The value of the subscription economy market is expected to reach $1,5T by 2025.
  • Subscription-based brands grew their overall customer base by 31% in 2021 alone.
  • Subscription businesses have grown 4,6x faster than S&P 500 companies. 
  • About 78% of international adults use a subscription service, and 72% prefer to pay for what they use, over a flat fee.
  • The car subscription market is projected to have grown 71% this year. 
  • 28% of subscribers say personalised experiences are essential to continuing their subscription. 
  • 70% of business leaders believe that subscription business models will be crucial to their success.

Examples

Audi

Audi on Demand offers subscription-based rental of Audi vehicles. The service provides a convenient and hassle-free way to rent an Audi for a short period of time.

Surf Air

Surf Air memberships provide access to semi-private charter flights. The company uses hybrid-electric aircrafts that give off 25% lower CO2 emissions compared to traditional flights. 

Babylon 

Babylon offers affordable subscription-based telemedicine services with instant access to doctors, therapists and specialists. It’s based in London and has expanded its services to the US, Canada, Singapore and others.

23. More businesses in the Metaverse

An image showing collaboration in the Metaverse

An increasing number of businesses are utilising Web3, spatial computing, and digital twins to create metaverse-based projects. These initiatives have a range of goals, including increasing revenue, streamlining operations, engaging with customers, and improving collaboration among employees.

Opportunity to tap into

  • Over 40% of corporations worldwide will be involved in metaverse projects by 2027. 
  • The metaverse is expected to add $5T to the global economy by 2030. 
  • 53% of the companies that invested in the metaverse invested in cryptocurrencies.
  • Companies like Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and Google, have developed their own virtual worlds.
  • 95% of business leaders expect the metaverse to have a positive impact on their industry within five to ten years.
  • 25% of senior executives expect 15% of corporate revenue to come from the metaverse in the next 5 years.
  • $120B has been invested in the metaverse in 2022 alone. 

Examples

BMW

BMW is using digital twins to test the layout of its automotive factories and boost productivity. The project is expected to reduce factory costs by up to 20%.

JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase is betting that the metaverse will be a $1T a year opportunity. The bank opened in Decentraland with its Onyx lounge, featuring a tiger that roams the first floor. 

Accenture

Accenture's “Nth floor” is a metaverse environment that brings employees together for meetings, collaboration, and learning. It is a scalable and versatile solution for connecting a geographically dispersed workforce.

Here’s to a new year full of success, opportunities and innovation!

We hope the trends provided above will inspire big moves for you in 2023, enabling you to tap into new markets with improved customer experiences fueled by new technologies. 

If you’d like to discuss any of the trends on our list or add a new one, be sure to reach out. We’d love to hear from you.    

In the meantime, we’d like to extend our warmest wishes for the new year to our global Bundl family. We can’t wait to build new ventures with you in 2023!

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