3 Fresh Consumer Trends For 2013, Including New Ways To Score Drugs With Your Phone

A new report from offers predictions that go beyond the mass migration to mobile.

3 Fresh Consumer Trends For 2013, Including New Ways To Score Drugs With Your Phone

Big data is so last year. Good data’s the thing now, according to a new report from consumer insights firm, which lists the top 10 consumer trends to watch in 2013. Here are three you need to know about:


Good Data, Not Big Data

Even as we come to the end of the Year of Big Data, the phrase often remains a mystery for the average consumer, who might ask, How does big data affect the way I live my life? That’s because until now, much of the discussion has been about how customer data can be useful to businesses. In 2013, consumers will gravitate to brands that help them with practical applications for their lifestyle data. In other words we’ve been hoarding. Now we’re going to take a look at how to use the loot. Lowering your energy bill, saving on more of the items you buy at the grocery store, and improving your financial behavior are all examples of how big data can help consumers. The challenge for brands will be in figuring out how to provide services that consumers will find valuable, but not scary. The last thing a brand wants to do is make a consumer feel like she’s being watched, which was the subject of the excerpt from Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit in the New York Times article “How Companies Learn Your Secrets,” which revealed how Target knew a teenage girl was pregnant before her father did.

Mobile Moments Multiply–And How

As our addiction to mobile grows, app after countless app pops up to fill our every need. And more and more, we’ll start to see companies devise creative mobile solutions that will let us use our phones to do things traditionally left to the physical world, such as buy groceries or check out library books. We’ve already seen hints of both this year: Peapod has begun testing virtual grocery aisles at major U.S. city train stations that let shoppers scan items to add to their grocery lists. And Projekt Ingeborg lets residents of Klagenfurt, Austria, which has no public library, scan QR codes on stickers all over the city that direct them to e-book downloads of classic literature tomes.

Phone As Pharmacy

Forget WebMD. Consumer health and fitness apps went big in the App Store this year, with more than 13,000 apps for tracking and managing everything from calories eaten to steps taken to minutes slept to miles run. We know this phenomenon of granular personal data-tracking as the Quantified Self. But with so many apps now on the market, consumers will want to more input from medical professionals on health issues that might not merit a visit to the doctor’s office. As a result, we’ll see new products for both doctors and patients, such as mRx, a service that lets doctors prescribe medical, health, and fitness apps to patients; and the Proteus Digital Health Feedback System, an ingestible sensor that can monitor whether you’re properly taking your medication.

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[Image: Flickr user Greg McMullin]

[Ed. Note: The name was incorrectly stated in a previous version of this story and has since been changed.]

About the author

Christina is an associate editor at Fast Company, where she writes about technology, social media, and business.