Move over digital natives; an even more connected generation is coming of age. Digital natives were born in the era of the PC and grew up alongside the Internet. In contrast, digital dependents were born after the internet was invented and couldn’t imagine a world without a mobile device and always-on connectivity.
According to The Futures Company and Kantar Retail in their report, The Future Shopper: How changing shopper attitudes and technology are reshaping retail, digital dependents expect technology to be deeply embedded in all aspects of their lives. For them, mobile always comes first and social media is so essential that lack of access can be a deal breaker when choosing a job.
And what does the future of connectivity look like when a generation grows up dependent on smart phones and social media? The Futures Company and Kantar Retail offer a look at how mobile and social platforms are likely to evolve:
- The first screen will be portable, whether phone or tablet sized or somewhere in between;
- Apps will be designed to suit mobile first, laptops second;
- Devices will serve as a portal to personal content stored in the cloud;
- At least some of the user’s needs will be anticipated because data has been gathered about habits and interests.
This last point is good news for marketers because it predicts a future where consumers are even more willing to share personal data as long as value is provided by brands in return. Still, marketers have a challenging job ahead if they are to keep pace with the sophisticated expectations and behaviour of a digital dependent generation.