Nine Predictions from Futurist Robert Tucker Offered During CUES' AC&E in 1997

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1. Speed of business will become a bigger issue with consumers.

2. Within 10 years most consumers will have stopped shopping for groceries. The reason: The groceries, which will be ordered via PC, will be delivered. "People gravitate to businesses that most closely imitate ultimate convenience."

3. Aging Baby Boomers and overlooked members of Generation X will reshape America.

4. People screaming for choice for the past 30 years will begin felling anxiety over too much choice, a scenario described by Alvin Toffler as "overchoice." The world, said Tucker, has gone from "more is better" to "overchoice" to "less is more" to mass customization."

5. The trend that will change most quickly will be lifestyle. The one thing that stays the same, he said: "Leaders are readers."

6. Discounting will grow. Credit unions looking to make their credit union the Wal-mart of financial services should abandon the plan, he said. "There's a global value revolution going on. The consumer has more availability of information than ever before. You can offer your member more for more. But there is a powerful alternative: less for less. The only thing that will not work with the new consumer is to charge more for less."

7. Demands for customer-member service will grow.

8. There's a growing risk of being caught up in technology over people. "We forget about relationships," he said. "And then the techno-edge becomes the techno-ledge."

9. The fastest-growing consumer demand will be for quality.

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