The consumer industry “faces a once-in-a-century economic, social, and technological transition,” according to new research from Deloitte.
The report, “Buying Into Better: The Future of the Consumer Industry,” is the result of conversations with 800 consumer industry experts and data from Deloitte’s Global State of the Consumer Tracker. To help companies predict how the consumer industry will evolve over the next decade, Deloitte identified six forces of change:
- The changing consumer: The U.S. consumer base is becoming more diverse and complex, causing a dramatic shift in the market.
- An evolving society and culture: Equality, trust, and transparency are becoming more important, and delayed marriage, home ownership, and parenthood will impact consumer activity.
- Exponential xTech: Tech advancements are accelerating, on track to outpace progress in the last decade.
- Radical industry upheaval: The advancements and challenges that are already making waves in the industry will gain speed and strength.
- Extreme climate change: Climate change and its economic impact will push industry transformation.
- Shifting economics, policy, and power: The complex, unpredictable nature of economic and policy developments will require companies to embrace flexibility.
To succeed in the decade ahead, consumer industry companies will need to understand the effects of these six forces across three business dimensions — markets, models, and mechanics:
- Over the next 10 years, increased consumer choice and diversity of demands will drive markets to shift from supply-driven to demand-driven and companies to switch from mass to micro in terms of production, distribution, and marketing. In addition, spending will grow toward digital and hybrid offerings and corporate responsibility will be a differentiator in the market.
- The consumer industry’s accelerating convergence with other industry segments, advances in food production methods, and significant shifts in the supply chain will require businesses to rethink their models to keep pace and thrive.
- AI and automation will increasingly displace human-driven decision-making and operations, transforming the mechanics of work. The move toward automation may eliminate some positions, while increasing demand for skills in tech-related fields.
See the full report for more insights from Deloitte.