Nothing beats a great report when you need to understand concisely where we’re going. When it comes to technology, a major choice has always been The Internet Trends report by Mary Meeker, one of those Internet oracles you'd better take seriously.
The 2015 Internet Trends arrives 20 years after the inaugural report, published in 1995. Since the first release, the scenario has changed so much that you can now hardly remember the world before the Internet.
Let’s start with one single eye-opening fact: back in 1995, there were 35 million Internet users globally, with a penetration stuck at 0.6% of the population. In 2015, connected people have reached 2.8 billion; that means 39% of worldwide population is now online, at home and on mobile devices.
When the Internet story started, there probably wasn't a single person - except for sci-fi writers and dreamers - who could have predicted how this single technology would disrupt how we communicate and how companies build their customer experience. Connectivity constantly reshapes our daily lives, and almost every human being is influenced by it, in one way or another.
The 196-slides deck by Mary Meeker, partner at venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, and Byers, has the great quality of delivering an overview of most pitfalls and opportunities that will guide the evolution of markets - and digital marketing strategies, consequently.
- In 1995, only 1% of the world population used mobile phones. In 2014, that number has reached 73%, with a 40% penetration of smartphones.
- The Internet has opened a whole new business: the market cap of the top 15 Internet companies is now $2.4 trillion; 20 years ago it was roughly $16.8 billion.
- 51% of users come now from Asia, 23% from China; traditional markets fall behind, with Europe at 19% and the USA at 10%.
- Today, the USA still have 11 of the world’s top 20 companies, but Asia is rapidly growing: China is now officially a tech giant with 6 companies, followed by Japan (2) and Korea (1).
These few insightful statistics create a broad picture of a social - and business - environment, shaped by innovative devices, where both people and objects are connected.
Point here is: the world has gone mobile. While people have embraced the change, too many companies are still slow to adapt, focusing on traditional marketing funnels rather than what really matters: the customer.
Purchase and loyalty decisions are mostly based on customer’s expectation that they can get what they want with ease and speed, wherever they are and whatever technology they are using. Clients expect that you are able to assist them across all touch points of the customer journey, on any device.
While the overall subscriptions rate starts to slow, customers now possess the whole world in their hand. Information is just one tap away. Internet and engagement walk together, a correlation reinforced by the rise of time spent on mobile devices, where customer are online 24/7.
As users, we are re-imagining all aspects of our lives; it’s about time that businesses do the same with their strategy and approach. Here are 5 takeaways from the 2015 Internet Trends Report that you can use to improve your customer experience.
THE INTERNET, REINVENTED
The Internet has reinvented the consumer and retail industry, forcing brands to re-image the way they connect with clients. Now the rise of innovative technologies and mobile devices turns the table again, encouraging a further evolution of technology and content. New frontiers are ready to be set: virtual reality, the Internet of Things, social media buying, mobile payments, real-time user generated broadcasts, messaging customer service. The Internet reinvents and gets reinvented day after day.
POWER TO MILLENNIALS
New generations mean new ways to explore the world and experience products and brands. The birth of a new generation of empowered customers is driven by the so-called Millennials. High spending and high demanding, these customers are submerged in a mobile ecosystem with totally different needs and desires. They love their smartphones, prefer visual content (Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat), and use social networks as main reference for opinions and information.
Mobile technology brings in the need to get what you want when you want it. Patience is a virtue that empowered customers don't often pursue. The smartphone, together with other mobile devices (activity trackers, wearables, Apple Watch) and sensors, simplifies the access to just-in-time information: car directions, breaking news, events, public transportation schedule. Branded contents and services must be timely personalized too, 24/7.
THE NEW COMMERCE
Digital disruption has brought a challenge within a challenge for traditional retail companies. Worldwide competition is a whole new story; traditional commerce has been replaced by a new digital arena, paving the way to e-commerce and social media commerce. The Internet has changed how we track of our finances, how we do research, and even where and how we buy products and services. One-touch mobile payments (Apple Pay and Android Pay) will be the next step in this evolution.
INTERNET IS YOUR JOB
Technology, society and business trends are so strictly linked that it is now impossible to talk about the Internet without mentioning the deep revolution of the marketplace. Said that many of the most profitable brands are now Internet-related companies, we have also witnessed a huge transformation in the meaning of 'job'. The widespread of connectivity has favored flexibility, allowing people to use online platforms (such as Airbnb, Uber, and Etsy) to increase their income.
We search online and mobile; we buy online and mobile. We live online and mobile. What about your company?
Here’s the full 2015 Internet Trends slide-show.
The emergence of mobile devices - and the need of a mobile-firts approach - is one of the key elements of the DCX 7-Steps Checklist crafted by Neosperience, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation.