Ahead of Mintel forecasts for 2017, Senior Trends Consultant Richard Cope, takes a timely look back at how we fared with our 2016 predictions.


Beacons can flourish in retail and leisure by making consumers feel in-the-know and ahead of the game.

Let’s be honest here: although our Trends analysts have seen a rise in beacon initiatives, the technology still hasn’t crossed over to achieve mainstream adoption. The obstacles linger, be they consumer concerns about Bluetooth and battery power, or questions of cost and scale for retailers. Yet the potential is clearly there: Mintel’s Digital Trends Summer UK 2016 data shows that the majority of consumers now own a smartphone and that almost three quarters have used their smartphones to find things to do or places to visit locally and around a half have used them to find buy or use local voucher deals. Furthermore, Mintel’s Digital Advertising UK March 2016 report reveals over one in five consumers are willing to give brands that they like access to their ‘real-time’ location to receive more relevant offers.

We also continue to see shining examples of how this technology can save time and money, as well as create stronger connections with local businesses. In recent months our Trends analyst have reported on how Qatar’s Hamad International Airport’s iBeacon boarding card app is providing users with real-time flight updates, baggage reclaim information and directions to boarding gates, how Yatu in France is helping users opt in to chat with, view stock levels, order products and receive offers from retailers up to 5km away in their local are and how Bloey in the Netherlands is encouraging people to shop on the high street by rewarding attendance in physical shops.

For these reasons alone, there is reason to have faith in the principles of beacon technology, but it may be that consumers warm to a slightly different approach – namely getting the same information via social media messaging services and this is something we are looking at in 2017.

Mintel’s 2017 Predictions are coming. Please contact us to get your digital or hard copy, attend one of our Big Conversation events or have us visit you to present our findings.

See how Mintel’s Space Time Continuum trend prediction played out in 2016 here.

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