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Tapping into future customer needs using strategic foresight

Jocelyn Ochinang

February 22, 2024

When the growth of e-commerce began to outpace brick-and-mortar businesses in the mid-1990s, there were plenty of signs. The increasing number of online retailers, the growing adoption of early smartphones and internet connectivity, and the changing preferences of younger generations more inclined to shop online all pointed toward an e-commerce boom. Unfortunately, companies like Blockbuster and Borders didn’t know how to anticipate customer needs. They paid the price as new digital players, such as Netflix and Amazon, took hold of the market.

Cautionary tales like these underscore the importance of foresight in business, particularly when it comes to customer experience. While you can’t predict the future — no one has a crystal ball — you can influence the future and map out potential alternate futures. The key is to leverage strategic foresight, which helps companies anticipate emerging business trends, identify customer needs, and make informed investments that enhance CX and drive business growth. It allows you to think beyond your official future and create multifaceted strategies that are effective, regardless of what the future will bring.

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