20 Dec 2019 10 Trends to look out for in 2020
We’re once again at that time of year when we start to think about what’s in store for 2020. So, we asked the Decidedly team to share their predictions for trends that will drive change in consumer and business behaviours in the year ahead.
1. ECO-SHAME REACHES NEW HEIGHTS
From Extinction Rebellion to Greta Thunberg, public concern about the environment is at its highest ever level. In the past, being ‘eco-friendly’ or ‘eco-conscious’ was more about status (e.g. Tesla’s launch of the Roadster in 2008, a US $100,000 electric supercar). But as sustainable alternatives become increasingly affordable and widespread, eco-consumption has become less about the status of opting in, and more about the shame of opting out. With this shift from eco-status to eco-shame, we will see consumers seek out products, services and experiences that help them alleviate rising eco-shame in 2020. And as we see a growth of flygskam (swedish for flight-shame), we will also see more ‘considered’ travel.
2. A GENERATIONAL SHOWDOWN
The 2019 viral sensation ‘Ok boomer’ came to symbolise a deep cultural generation gap between Gen Z and the Baby Boomer generation. This controversial meme has become Gen Z’s cry of frustration and dismissal retort to the perceived narrow-minded of their predecessors, who in their eyes, have let them down. We predict that the power of older people will increase as more boomers hit retirement and refuse to give up control – and as a consequence, even more inter-generational conflict.
3. TIME IS MONEY
Time will increasingly become the most important ‘currency’ for many in 2020. Workplaces will start to give ‘time’ as the ultimate perk; flexible work will no longer be an allowance made for some, but a demand from all employees. People will also seek out and buy goods and services that give them their precious time back.
4. THE PLANT-BASED MOVEMENT CONTINUES TO SPROUT
Veganism has really hit the big time this year – a winning call we made in our predictions for 2019. But last year’s sprouting of plant-based options isn’t over yet. People will be increasingly turning to plant-based options as vegan products improve and concerns grow about the meat and dairy industry. However, whilst vegan food sales will continue to grow, there probably won’t be a massive increase in actual vegans.
5. VOICE GETS DIALLED UP
We will see a continued growth of voice activated devices and what people use them for in 2020. Voice interfaces are already advancing at an exponential rate in various industries, ranging from banking to automotive. But there are so many more opportunities in the voice eco-system. For example, voice currently isn’t being used as a primary retail channel (referred to as voice commerce or v-commerce). Voice search and conversational ads are starting to make headway – shifting marketing from a one-way to a two-way conversation.
6. TAKING BACK CONTROL – OF OUR DATA
Facebook launched the “Off-Facebook Activity” tool earlier this year, giving us more control over how the social media giant uses and shares our data. But data privacy concerns are still at a high. The coming year will see increased attention and scrutiny of how companies use data to influence consumer behaviour – and undoubtedly, this will bring new regulations in this area.
7. 5G WILL BE MEANINGFUL
Whilst 5G is technically already available in the UK, with multiple providers offering the ultrafast mobile network, 2020 will be the year we actually get a feel for what living in a 5G world would be like. Heading into the new year, the number of 5G-enabled devices will increase and become more widely available. 2020 will also be the year when the 5G conversation moves away from its speed to its many potential use cases in manufacturing, cars, healthcare, education, etc. However, we’re still a few years away from reaching the true potential of 5G.
8. THE COMING CURRENCY WAR
We predict that the cryptocurrency industry will become more mainstream in 2020. Facebook has already promised to revolutionise payments with the launch of its virtual currency ‘libra’ next year. And China’s central bank may also roll out its own digital currency to its 1 billion+ population in the coming months – although this has not been confirmed by the Chinese government. If both cryptocurrencies are launched in 2020, it will likely have a big influence on monetary policy, financial stability, global markets and the international monetary system.
9. FOR ALL THE SINGLE (PEOPLE)
A staggering one third of EU households are now single-person households, according to Eurostat. This is a combination of an ageing population, a higher rate of divorce, young people postponing certain life stages or people choosing child-free lives. Therefore, we see brands in 2020 embracing these changing demographics and societal norms; adapting existing or creating new products and services to better serve single-person households.
10. METAMORPHIC DESIGN
Due to the constantly evolving world of digital services and new technologies, consumers have become accustomed to ultra-convenience and are increasingly raising their expectations for brands to deliver personalised experiences in real-time. In July 2019, Japanese beauty brand Shiseido launched Optune, a new IOT personalised skincare system. Optune analyses an individual’s skin through an algorithm, also taking into account environmental factors, to creates the user’s optimised skin cream. In 2020, we will see many more metamorphic services as consumers will flock to services that constantly adapt around their changing needs.