Five Technologies Expected to Reshape Commerce the Most Over the Next Five Years

April 2020

Tech innovation and investment is top of mind for most businesses as they strive to stay competitive and meet consumer expectations. Euromonitor International’s Voice of Industry: Digital Consumer Survey uncovers how companies are responding to this digital transformation and their thoughts about emerging technologies. This briefing explores the five key technologies expected to have the most impact on business in the next five years.

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Digital Consumer Voice of the Industry snapshot

Industry: Digital Consumer Survey fielded in November 2019. The top findings from the survey include:This report highlights the results of Euromonitor International’s Voice of the

Half of respondents agree that being digital is important, but the majority do not see themselves as leaders. These results have remained unchanged across the three times this survey has been fielded, indicating that companies are not making progress on their digital journey.

Cloud, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) are the top three technologies that companies are planning to make investments in over the next five years. AI is expected to be the most impactful in the next five years.

The development of these technologies from a commerce perspective will be a multi-year process. More than 70% of the 26 use cases explored in this survey are not expected to take off for at least five years, which underscores how much of this is a long-term proposition.


Scope of the Digital Consumer
Digital Consumer Voice of the Industry snapshot

Five Technologies to Watch

New technologies continue to reshape consumer-facing industries
AI is expected to impact business the most in the next five years
Cloud remains top tech for planned investments in next five years

Spotlight: Artificial Intelligence

Spotlight technology: artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence is umbrella term for several popular technologies
Impact of artificial intelligence on commerce
AI expected to lead to improved customer engagement in near term
Case study: Google Shopping leverages AI to enhance its search results
Case study: McDonald’s aims to leverage AI to personalise drive-thru
Case study: Shiseido launches AI-powered skin care system
Case study: Nike is leveraging AI tech to better predict future demand

Spotlight: Internet of Things

Spotlight technology: Internet of Things
Impact of the Internet of Things on commerce
IoT is expected to most impact customer engagement in near term
Case study: Quip offers subscription service for replacement heads
Case study: Whirlpool creates service portals around appliances
Case study: HP’s shifts toward service-orientated subscription service
Case study: GE appliances integrated with Amazon’s ordering platform

Spotlight: Cloud

Cloud provides a flexible, scalable and low-cost option for data storage
Case study: Etsy moves to cloud to accelerate AI experimentation
Case study: Alibaba Cloud enables companies to quickly shift online
Case study: IKEA deploys Microsoft tools to drive in-store collaboration

Spotlight: Robotics/Automation

Automation is less complex and more predictable than AI
Impact of automation on commerce
Case study: Café X paves way for automated foodservice
Case study: Alibaba’s Flyzoo incorporates robots in a hotel

Spotlight: Augmented and Virtual Realities

Spotlight technology: Augmented reality/virtual reality
Impacts of augmented reality/virtual reality on commerce
AR/VR expected to most impact shopping experience long term
Case study: Apple brings AR-friendly apps to the developed world
Case study: NextVR live streams put the viewer in the front row
Case study: Starbucks uses AR to explain brewing methods to consumers
Case study: Pinterest launches feature to enable users to try on lipstick

What to Expect

Lack of clear business use case slows adoption of new technologies
Biggest challenge with new tech is not getting caught up in the hype
Expected take-off of various commerce use cases by different tech

About Voice of the Industry

About Euromonitor’s Voice of the Industry survey series
Industry of focus within company of Voice of the Industry respondents
Geographic focus of Voice of the Industry respondents


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