Commerce Reloaded 2021 Mutation(S) : Welcome to the post-pandemic world

Levallois-Perret, 19 May 2021

Bulletproof connectivity, managing people’s needs and expectations, radical change(s) in healthcare, mobility and the economy: Welcome to the post-pandemic world!

In just a few months, Covid-19 has fast-forwarded the retail and consumption digitalisation process several years ahead, transforming their traditional front-end operating paradigm into an immersive connected system, according to the Commerce Reloaded 2021 outlook report by Echangeur BNP Paribas Personal Finance.

For the last ten years, experts at Echangeur BNP Paribas Personal Finance have been delivering a trend report to economic players on the innovative technologies that are poised to impact retail and consumption: Commerce Reloaded. The groundwork required to author this report involves detecting the weak signals and trend-setting breakthroughs driving digital innovation, retail and commerce in general.

Echangeur BNP Paribas Personal Finance is now releasing the results of this future trend survey aimed at shedding light on the ecosystem as a whole as it evolves now and in the future. A 2021 version impacted by the overwhelming Covid-19 pandemic, a turning point for both consumer behaviour and commerce itself. A sector that has relentlessly evolved over the past decade from a model involving frontal interaction between its main protagonists - brands and individuals - to rock-solid connectivity. Faultless management of our more or less conscious needs and expectations seems to be looming on the horizon. An in-depth look at a rapidly evolving sector.

2010s & the emergence of Uber: the stem cell of today's commerce

When Commerce Reloaded began ten years ago, Uber was already on its way to conquering the world and becoming the stem cell of a new business trend whose initial forms and byproducts, soon to be dubbed uberisation, would turn our relationship with retail upside down. Symbolised by Google Now, Ebay Now, Tinder and others, the simplification of our lives as customers and citizens was now underway. Armchair shopping and the one-click world became the norm, interaction started to generate new forms of dialogue, demands, and ended up creating value in everyday life. Streamlining, automated purchase processes and one-hour delivery became the first signs of an Ambient Commerce totally dedicated to improving the customer journey.

In 2014, Google's takeover of Nest initiated the spread of the algorithm craze, capitalising on the faintest spoor we leave behind us on our online excursions, thereby giving rise to an economy based on the uninterrupted flows of life. These ecosystems, crystallised by Amazon, Alibaba, Google and the like, supported by the connected objects that have become commonplace, have had no trouble taking over our daily lives.

Covid-19 accelerates the advent of a new world

Today, the Covid crisis affecting our planet in its entirety is assertively accelerating this digital and structural change, against a backdrop of sustainable and responsible consumer imperatives. This unbridled digitalisation has spread, breaching the last surviving bastions like education, healthcare and work, until every dimension of our lives has been forced to transform as a contactless world dawns.

Inspired by how living organisms function, the technological innovation that is now using DNA through synthetic biology is positioned as humanity’s salvation, just like Messenger RNA. This biomimicry is gradually integrating our daily lives and the approach to future business centred on deep tech and the circular economy, among other things.

During the periods of lockdown, our virtual and computational doubles had the chance to walk through Animal Crossing in Gucci or attend a giant concert on Fornite, leaving the real world behind. What with binge-watching and managing virtual identities, many have moved seamlessly into Metaverse-like fictional worlds, where the new markers are called NFTs (non-fungible tokens or crypto-arts), Loot boxes (virtual treasure chests providing a higher degree of customisation) and skins (virtual objects or goods). Welcome to the new world!

Discover 6 variants to define post-pandemic reality

  1. Digitalisation bolting to the point of no return
  2. Radical transformation underway in Commerce
  3. Multi-modal and connected Mobility through software
  4. Reshaping the Healthcare system with artificial intelligence
  5. Future-as-a-Service: the platformisation of the Economy, beyond GAFAM and BATX
  6. From biology to the media, appetite for virtual worlds in the making