Each year, Forrester predicts the trends and developments that will define the business world in the year to come. That includes predictions on what won’t come to pass – the promised so-called game-changers that aren’t in the cards. As we get ready to launch our full predictions for 2024 on Tuesday, October 24, we want to share some of our biggest “anti-predictions.” Below, we explore a few things that won’t happen in 2024.
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Robotaxis Won’t Take Off
Look for the robotaxi distraction to be replaced by greater acceptance of autonomous physical item deliveries. Despite the recent hype around robotaxis, regulators are pushing back after recent traffic jams and reported incidents. Instead, expect a booming year for self-driving forklifts, curbside delivery robots, and drone delivery, driven by the increasing popularity of e-commerce, the need for last-mile delivery solutions, and more sophisticated autonomous technologies. China arguably leads countries in autonomous deliveries, where robots proved viable during the pandemic.
Longer-term demand for self-driving taxis will accelerate due to need for mobility solutions that are more efficient and environmentally sound.
Climate Chaos Won’t Generate A New Wave Of Green Consumers
Despite growing evidence of accelerated weather-related disasters, consumers across the globe will remain steadfast in their green consumer segments. A growing majority of consumers will be increasingly aware of climate change, but counterintuitively, climate skepticism is still on the rise. Inflation and the cost of living are still the priorities of consumers across the globe. Only 14–21% of consumers will be truly “Active Greens” in the US, Europe, or Australia.
Firms should not dismiss the frustration and cognitive dissonance among “Dormant Green” and “Convenient Green” consumers, however. Now is the time to innovate to deliver more environmental value for the same price in anticipation of an accelerating green market revolution in the years to come.
Generative AI Won’t Drive A New Golden Age Of Digital Commerce
After genAI’s first full year as a capability in many enterprise systems, digital business leaders will finally begin delivering on its biggest promises — top-line revenue growth and new customer acquisition — by automatically identifying and segmenting newly acquired customers for new product sales. Today, 59% of total US retail sales are already digital-influenced, and businesses are experimenting with genAI to efficiently generate product information. As a result, digital leaders will set ambitious 2024 goals for digital-commerce-driven revenue.
Only one-quarter of enterprises, however, will reap short-term rewards before increasingly privacy-aware consumers call for tighter controls over their data. By the end of 2024, consumer-governed data (rather than enterprise-governed data) will fuel genAI-powered digital commerce as the technology matures to enable features such as natural-language shopping search requests.
DTC Brands Won’t Steer Clear Of Retailers And Wholesalers
In 2024, CMOs will face an exigent need for profitable growth. To realize this, they must make their brands easier to find and buy, which means being where their customers already are. As a result, one in three DTC-focused brands will hard-pivot toward traditional channels.
Nike experimented with the direct-to-consumer model before building new deals with retailers and wholesalers. Domino’s, which held out against ordering aggregators by limiting pizza orders to its app, finally relented and entered a global agreement with Uber Eats and Postmates. Access is a crucial growth lever, and to broaden access, one in three DTC brands, such as Allbirds and Peloton, will devote the lion’s share of attention to the buildout of traditional channels, including retail stores and partner platforms. This pivot will require an emphasis on trade marketing and channel management, as well as new organizational synapses with sales and commercial teams that typically focus on these channels.
Discover what will come to pass in 2024 — and what it means for your organization and career. Sign up now to get alerted when the Predictions 2024 guide drops on October 24.