Conscious Commerce

A Foresight Report for Currys

sector - media & technology
sector - retail
type - case studies
Case Studies
Looking ahead at the key trends impacting tech retail in 2022 and beyond, Currys commissioned The Future Laboratory to produce a new foresight report identifying the insights that will shape the future of conscious commerce

Hybrid living is here to stay and technology is central to its success. People work from home or even the beach. They shop online while in-store. They connect with others across the world while running in their local neighbourhood. And they control their central heating from frosty cars.

Despite – or perhaps due to – the increased reliance on technology that hybrid living brings, consumers are overwhelmed by choice when looking for new devices and appliances, and struggle to find the right products for their ever-changing needs. They’re also increasingly aware of electrical waste (e-waste). They want to extend the longevity of products and find recycling options that are as convenient as making a new purchase.

“The next generation of consumers are not only going to be digital natives, but phygital natives, constantly walking a blurred line between online and offline realms. They’ll be impatient with retailers who don’t offer service that enables them to pinpoint the right tech quickly,” says Martin Raymond, co-founder of The Future Laboratory

Combining expert interviews with consumer insight, The Future Laboratory identified the emerging trends and attitudes that will transform the tech retail market. This report, made in collaboration with Currys, explores a future of conscious commerce. It investigates how consumer attitudes, behaviours and lifestyles are driving transformation and uncovers the tech shopper journey of the future.

Click below to discover the resulting Conscious Commerce report, with key take-outs and statistics for this new era.


Commissioned by:

27 January 2022

Author: The Future Laboratory


: Overview

Modular Mailbox by Klarna, Sweden

The majority (68%) of consumers polled in new research from Currys say their day-to-day life is dependent on technology, spending an average of eight hours using 11 pieces of technology each day.

As technologies advance, living realities will evolve to become even more hybrid, straddling the physical and digital. It’s essential that people have the right devices to do the job.

‘The world is just becoming so much more hybrid: the world of work, the world of retail and everything in between. In the future, we won’t know where the physical world ends and the digital world begins,’ says Natalie Berg, retail analyst and founder of NBK Retail.’

We’re on the cusp of a new era of truly seamless omni-channel shopping as savvy retailers grasp hybrid tech with both hands. With virtual, augmented and mixed reality (VR/AR/MR) technologies blurring the boundaries between physical and digital, the future path to purchase will transform with anytime, anywhere commerce reaching its full potential. The experience of shopping for the technologies that inform and enable our daily environments and lifestyles will evolve to meet consumers where they are.

‘39% of tech consumers agree that post-Covid, more tech retailers should offer human online experts to help customers shop online.’ 

Source: Currys.

: Tech Retail Now


People are increasingly aware of fake reviews, fake news and fake endorsements. They’re tired of targeted ads, algorithmic influence, ineffective bots and mindless consumption. When shopping for technology, consumers want to simplify the journey to getting the right product through real, rather than just perceived, convenience.

Here, we explore influential trends transforming shoppers’ needs, demands and expectations now:

: The Convenience Paradox
Online shopping has evolved to bring us almost instant gratification as we click and collect or receive delivery of items within hours. Now, physical stores are introducing the same frictionless experience with technologies that scan products in real time, resulting in zero need for human-to-human interaction.

: Bot Backlash
In line with the convenience paradox, consumers are becoming increasingly disillusioned with bots and algorithms. Only 13% of tech consumers say they prefer a chatbot when researching pre-purchase and just 25% of shoppers say they find these chatbots helpful when deciding to buy a piece of tech.

: Rise of the Genuinfluencers
Consumers are increasingly aware of fake influencer and celebrity endorsements and are questioning the value of their recommendations. This is leading to a new breed of authentic influencers, dubbed genuinfluencers.

Discover our Eco-venience Retail macrotrend – a look at how accelerating e-commerce and demands for expedited delivery are forcing a new framework that puts eco-conscious practices at the centre of retail operations.


‘We might develop complete 100% convenience and incredibly robotic in-store behaviour, but as long as we have emotionsand blood, meaningful interaction will continue to be incredibly important.’
Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos, consumer and business psychologist, University College London

: Tech Retail Next

Metajuku, a shopping district in Decentraland developed by Republic Realm

Brands are rethinking the customer experience to fit multiple hybrid formats, recognising the long-term value of connecting with their customers by putting service before sales. To form these connections, retailers need sales associates who are genuine product experts with high levels of emotional intelligence.

Here, we explore the trends that will define tech retail and the shopper journey in the next decade and beyond:

: HI Experiences
Human intelligence (HI) is the number one factor consumers think tech retailers need to focus on. Retailers are responding by unlocking the true potential of their sales staff through investment in skills and knowledge.

: Specialist Curation
Some 69% of consumers say they’ve been spending more time shopping online over the past two years, but 36% think that online tech retailers need to improve online support to help them make the right choice. Only 18% say retailers are doing enough. The expert associates of the future will be easy to reach via multiple platforms, helping consumers to sift through an often dizzying range of products.

: Metamerce Media
In a future when brands and retailers act like media companies, dedicated e-commerce platforms could disappear and be replaced by a seamless stream of content, social media and conversation. ‘Increasingly, media, in all forms, is becoming the store,’ writes retail futurist Doug Stephens.

This is just a snippet of the Conscious Commerce Report. Click below to download the full report PDF.

‘In three to four years from now, there will be VPs of live commerce in all major retail chains.’
Sophie Abrahamsson, chief commercial officer, Bambuser

Are you ready for what’s new and next?

To learn more from about the trends in our Conscious Commerce report, download it here. 

If you are interested in finding out more about our foresight reports that combine quantitative and qualitative research with original case studies and innovations to achieve your business objectives, click here.

For more about our client reports and case studies, get in touch with a member of our team.


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