IDC’s Future Consumer Research Identifies 10 Key Technology Trends Driving Transformation in Consumer Behavior and Markets

NEEDHAM, Mass., May 05, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As digital transformation takes root in the consumer ecosystem, businesses need to develop and deepen their relationships with consumers to better understand their wants, needs and aspirations. Through its expanded study of future consumers, International Data Corporation (IDC) helps businesses, whether serving consumers directly or indirectly, better align their products, services, and business strategies with a rapidly changing consumer audience.

“Technology is causing massive changes in the way consumers live their lives, and technology companies, from hardware vendors and software developers to service and infrastructure providers, need to seriously consider the impact of these changes on their future offerings,” said Tom Mainelli, vice president of Devices and Consumer Research at IDC. “IDC believes that organizations must redefine their mission to be more relevant to the individual in order to navigate this prosperous future. This new approach requires rethinking enterprise operating models and cross-industry business models to to better understand and enable cooperation and collaboration with adjacent businesses and industries.”

To that end, IDC has identified 10 technology trends – plus a bonus 11! – that support the transformation of consumer and market behavior:

  1. New Pricing and Business Models – Subscriptions, Bundles and Loyalty: Hardware products, in addition to media and services, are moving towards a subscription model.

  2. On bodily ecosystems – Phone + Wrist/Hand + Ears: Gradually, more and more people will use multiple devices that work as integrated ecosystems.

  3. Wireless and broadband connectivity – 5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth, WAN, and more: Digital connectivity will become more reliable, responsive and seamless to enable more engaging and immersive experiences.

  4. Augmented and Virtual Reality: Vendors have struggled to develop augmented reality and virtual reality that consumers will widely adopt. Over the next five years, vendors will crack the code of augmented audio, improve augmented reality for phones, smart glasses and virtual reality glasses.

  5. A growing range of digital productivity devices: Many people start with a smartphone – and many will end up using an integrated digital service platform on their PC, tablet, smart speaker and virtual office service.

  6. Consumers mix professional and personal devices, services and places: The pandemic has accelerated the consumerization trend, as working from home and contactless workflow has led to greater use of personal technologies for work.

  7. Smart connected products – Body, Home, Transport, IoT: IoT technology enables a wide range of smart and connected products that improve or transform many experiences, especially for well-being.

  8. Digital/personal cloud services for life, security and privacy: The solutions will help consumers manage an unruly and messy mix of personal services and experiences by improving password management, financial monitoring and security services.

  9. Digital media, social media and advertising collide: Consumers are embracing digital streaming and the creator economy while avoiding advertising and challenging business models.

  10. Digital Currency – Wallets, Payments, Currencies & Crypto: Asian consumers are already immersed in super payment apps, while the pandemic has shifted Western consumers away from currency in favor of cards, tap-to-pay and digital wallets, but not super apps. Many more changes are on the horizon.

  11. AI and ML infrastructure will enable new consumer services: Consumers are not using artificial intelligence and machine learning, but they are embracing the compelling experiences these technologies enable. Advances will enable experiences such as selective listening and highly personalized media.

IDC’s Future Consumer framework focuses on eight consumer segments: entertainment, housing, travel and dining, personal mobility, money, shopping, lifelong learning, and well-being. Unlike traditional consumer research, IDC uses a more holistic approach, providing clients with access to three distinct research services:

  • Consumer impulse service – A core research program that surveys consumers in seven countries to monitor attitudes, mindsets, spending and brand perceptions across eight segments of future consumers.

  • Consumer market model – An extensive global data set including historical data and five-year forecasts of consumer digital activity and spending across a wide range of technologies, broken down for 8 regions and 51 countries.

  • Future consumer agenda – Thought leadership program that articulates a broad, long-term vision of technological and societal changes that will impact consumers and the businesses, organizations and governments that serve them.

IDC recently hired Frank Gillette to lead the Future Consumer Agenda service. In addition to setting the direction for the Future Consumer research agenda, he will collaborate with analysts across IDC to illustrate how changes in the consumer landscape will affect consumer-facing businesses, service providers technologies and other organizations and will shape future business and societal outcomes. Gillett has 26 years of experience as an industry analyst, most recently as Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research. He has extensive experience in investigating, forecasting and advising on technology-driven innovation that drives new business strategies, service-based products, customer behaviors and consumer trends.

“Digital transformation is happening across the consumer economy, which accounts for two-thirds of all global economic activity. This transformation is creating deeper and deeper relationships with consumers, driving disruption and change that ripples through markets and supply chains,” said Frank Gillettevice president of research, Future consumer at IDC. “To understand consumer transformation, IDC will use a holistic approach to go beyond technologies and markets. Future Consumer Services will use a shared framework focused on eight consumer activities. With this framework, we will tell comprehensive stories about the future consumer and how they are using technology to transform life activities.”

To learn more about the IDC Future Consumer study, please watch this video featuring members of the Future Consumer research team.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the world’s leading provider of business information, consulting services and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,200 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on IT technology, benchmarking, and procurement, as well as industry opportunities and trends in more than 110 countries. IDC’s analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based technology decisions and achieve their key business goals. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the global leader in technology media, data and marketing services. To learn more about IDC, please visit Follow IDC on Twitter at IDC and LinkedIn. Subscribe to the IDC-Blog for industry news and insights.

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Michel Chirer

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