TrendWatching wound down its Global 2018 Trend Seminars tour in New York Thursday afternoon at The Bowery Hotel, the last of five cities to learn about what’s most affecting consumer behavior. The all-day event kicked off with five key trends. Here, the five things that will be affecting consumers—and your business.

  1. A-Commerce: Stands for automated commerce. In 2018, shoppers with important things to do will embrace the outsourcing of certain retail experiences to algorithms and smart devices. That means the automation of hunting, negotiating, purchasing, delivery arrangements and more. Few brands will be untouched.

  2. Forgiving by Design: Consumers will demand that products and services magically adapt around their post-purchase needs.

  3. Assisted Development: Young consumers will look to brands to teach them life skills and help them realize life goals.

  4. Inner Journeys: New technologies applied to ancient practices will help consumers in their self-discovery.

  5. Virtual Companions: Beyond assistance, virtual personalities have the power to entertain, educate and heal.