NEW YORK: Major consumer trends covering areas like ecommerce, social media and a desire to show individuality will provide opportunities worth $4.5tr to companies worldwide, a report has argued.

Accenture, the consultancy, suggested in a report that ten global shifts in popular habits are set to yield a market worth $2.4 tr in 2013, rising to $4.5tr in 2016.

"Many companies expect to outgrow their national economic environments over the next few years,” said Mark Spelman, a managing director at Accenture.

"To be able to achieve their expectations, companies should look not just to new markets, but also to how consumer behavior is changing and then put in place the capabilities necessary to capitalize on those changes."

In all, the most valuable such shift is related to "connected consumers", a group predicted to be worth $1.5tr this year and $3.1tr in three years' time.

One factor fuelling this trend is a rise the number of people researching products on the internet, with a net 68% of users now doing so more often than three years ago.

Some 63% of people responding to the firm's survey of 10,000 people are also making greater use of laptops and tablets in their personal life, standing at 25% for watching TV on connected devices.

Consumers connecting with firms on social media and buying virtual goods will see a lift from $36bn to $90bn, figures hitting $7bn and $29bn "for co-productive" web users who engage in co-creation, write user reviews and provide feedback to brands.

Another core shift is that of individuality. A net total of 28% of contributors made purchases to "express their personality" more often than three years ago, as did 25% if a product is unique, reaching 19% for custom- or tailor-made items and 17% for "treating oneself to luxury".

This sector will be worth $296bn in 2013 and $364bn in 2016. In a related process, the "experiences" industry is due to grow from $194bn to $400bn in this period.

"Conscientious" consumers are also important. A 54% majority of shoppers consider the ecological impact of their choices more than three years ago, while 25% purchase more local products and 19% increasingly "make rather than buy".

En masse, this class of customer is due to generate $137bn in 2013, growing to $178bn in 2016. Equally, "resourceful" individuals who repair goods instead of buying new ones and resell or exchange products will rise in value from $111bn to $210bn.

Data sourced from Accenture; additional content by Warc staff