Online Consumer Trends in 2011

According to, several online trends will emerge next year, and they’re worth noting.  Here are a few to watch:




  1. The need to understand consumer needs, wants and desires will increase. This means the push to track and data mine consumer’s behaviors will be strong. Watch the ongoing privacy debate about consumer’s right to choose, opt-out, or manage the information collected and stored about them.
  2. Corporate giving, sharing and caring will be important to Generation G (generosity) consumers. Expect to see lots of ways that companies ‘give back’ but be skeptical to see which really provide value and what is just self-serving hype.
  3. What offline? Expect the differentiation between ‘online’ and ‘offline’ to be increasingly irrelevant. Expect an increased interest among consumers in protecting reputations, and ways to simplify their lives with tools, services, and apps that let them manage their lives no matter the medium.
  4. Our inability to focus on serious matters in a serious way will turn us into ‘playsumers’. The internet’s ability for interaction, visualization, and presentation of information in entertaining ways is a boon to learning and engagement– as long as that’s one element, not the end-all. With constrained budgets, an unwillingness to pay for quality content, and a penchant for simplified sound-bites, we need to ensure we increase the production of thoughtful, deep analysis of events, politics, and our future, as well as drive discussions of fundamental principles, policies, and values.
  5. Though flooded with data, we’ll feel the impact of ‘info scarcity’.The difference between the information noise we’re drowning in and relevant information will become more apparent – and frustrating. Finding relevance, as well as understanding the sources and motives behind the content will be key – as will teaching youth to identify the difference.
  6. Managed consumptionServices that help sift through the noise and highlight relevant content for consumers will expand – as will the risk that consumers will be presented with highly slanted views that further polarize demographic segments.
  7. Younique Paradoxically, though Generation G is all about giving and reducing the eco-footprint with a ‘wired to share, wired to care’ mindset, they are equally determined customize everything they touch online or offline with their own personal brand (which puts the You in unique).
  8. As the year unfolds, it will be interesting to watch how accurate the predictions really are.



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