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Five digital consumer trends to watch in 2020

Top 5 Digital Consumer Trends in 2020

A new year, a new decade. With technological advances set to continue along an exponential trajectory, combined with a shift in consumer values and behaviour, we’re in for some transformational times. Read on for the future impacts of all things content, commerce and consumerism in 2020.


1. Great Expectations

The tech revolution has afforded today’s consumer with unprecedented convenience and instant gratification. From shopping (Amazon) to music (Spotify), TV/video (Netflix and YouTube), gaming (Google Stadia), wellness (Alo Moves), travel (Uber & Airbnb) and food (Deliveroo), there is almost no service that cannot be purchased and delivered to your device or door, in no time at all. 

One thing is sure: this accustomisation to fast and flawless services is becoming widespread, and customer experience expectations will continue to rise. Digital on-demand subscription services will become further entrenched in our daily lives, and the competition between providers is fierce.


1. Content is (Still) King

The power of social media remains indisputable, however, organic reach will continue to fall in favour of paid reach in most major platforms. This has already happened on Facebook and YouTube in many cases and has almost taken over on Instagram - falling to near zero without some form of paid media to support it. One exception is Instagram stories, as the mentions and location tagging still drive engagement and organic reach, while paid posts still have major success for many brands.

Other platforms such as TikTok and LinkedIn, however, still have a high organic reach and don’t require payment to be in the game. That said, they are growing so rapidly that the total amount of organic reach will stay the same, but individual personal organic reach will fall.

This is due to content flooding the platforms and increasing competition from the vast variety of aspiring influencers. It will be fascinating to see how platforms respond to the increased content and adjust algorithms accordingly, whether it be video, audio or short and long-form written content.


3. Contextual Commerce

With the growing impact of devices and the success of social media, all eyes are on contextual commerce as the new frontier in retail. The opportunity to sell to consumers anywhere, anytime, promises higher conversion rates and increased sales. 

Combine this with increasing strength of marketplaces, which are taking an ever more important role in the buyer journey, and we should see further uplift in eCommerce. Digital department stores that operate subscription models with a variety of vendors and delivery incentives will see the greatest success, as they increase convenience and loyalty with customers.


4. Conscious Consumerism

As millennials continue to dominate the consumer market, along with it comes the requirement to meet their emotional needs and logistical convenience. Marketing that doesn’t smell like marketing will win, compared to blatant online sales. Promoting a brand’s values and beliefs over simple product promotion is crucial; brands risk underestimating the importance of this at their peril.


5. It’s Good to Talk

A large number of people now have voice-activated devices installed in their homes, including Amazon’s Echo (Alexa), Google Home (Google Assistant) and Apple’s HomePod (Siri). However, up until now, beyond basic functions such as weather reports, music and a few other isolated use cases, widespread adoption of voice assistance has been fairly limited. 

We can expect this to change in the coming years, as the three big players (mentioned above) are partnering up to create Connected Home Over IP. Managed by the Zigbee Alliance, the group’s objective is to create a new connectivity standard based on Internet Protocol. 

In layman’s terms, this will mean development for smart devices will become easier, as a unified approach and alignment on best practice means improved cross-compatibility between devices. As technology improves rapidly and voice recognition becomes more sophisticated, we will begin to see people using their voice more commonly to complete everyday tasks, such as ordering food and booking travel.

Similarly with AR and VR, while there have been promising investments and developments in recent years, the technology today is not quite advanced enough in order to change the retail experience and become indispensable to consumers. Once again, however, as the technology develops across hardware, software and mobile network speeds, there will be an outburst in adoption as convenience is brought to consumers’ lives.

The technological revolution will fundamentally change nearly all aspects of our modern lives, and we believe these digital consumer trends will greatly impact commerce and consumers. 

What are your top trends for 2020?

If you would like more information on how your business may be impacted by the changing digital consumer trends, contact the experts at eWave.

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Jul 23, 2020