Top Five Digital Consumer Trends in 2020

January 2020

Technological advances in 2020 will continue to influence how consumers conduct commerce both inside and outside a merchant environment. Leveraging Passport Digital Consumer data and analysis, this report explores the top five digital trends that are expected to redefine commerce most in 2020.

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Key Findings

Widespread internet access continues to underpin generational shifts

The ubiquitous connectivity brought forth by mobile internet, in particular, has led to substantial shifts in how consumers live, work and shop. While much has been written about the rise of mobile commerce, 2020 will mark the first time that more than half of all digital spend globally will be executed using a mobile device.

Trend No. 1: Passive Commerce Gets a Boost

While still largely conjecture, when industry observers look back on what drove the uptake of passive commerce, they are likely to point to 2020 as the turning point. This is because this was the year that major appliance makers targeted for selling connected appliances across all price points.

Trend No. 2: Privacy Pushback Spreads

The commercial trade-off in terms of data has become more of a concern for consumers, owing to privacy regulations that have come into effect in key markets. Companies are responding by either aligning their branding to appear more privacy conscious, or launching privacy-orientated products and services.

Trend No. 3: Staying True to Oneself

As new digital marketing channels and tools have emerged, brands have unprecedented access to consumers. These same tools, particularly social media, have the potential to amplify any brand missteps, however. Brands should stay true to their core values in their digital marketing to minimise risk.

Trend No. 4: Last Mile Arms Race Intensifies

Consumers increasingly evaluate their purchases based on delivery and fulfilment options. In 2020, companies need to build a suite of delivery and collection options for consumers to choose from in order to remain competitive, as more consumers increasingly weigh convenience, financial and environmental costs.

Trend No. 5: 5G Steps Into the Spotlight

Operators worldwide continue to upgrade their digital networks to provide higher quality services, with the arrival of 5G a key feature of developed markets. It is anticipated that 2020 will be a key year in terms of commercial pilots and roll-outs, which are needed to drive forward other technological developments.

Introduction

Scope of the Digital Consumer
Key findings

Meet the Digital Consumer of 2020

A snapshot of the global digital consumer in 2020
Widespread internet access underpinning generational shifts
Half of all digital commerce spend will be via mobile from 2020
The five digital trends that will redefine commerce most in 2020

Trend No. 1: Passive Commerce Gets a Boost

Coming Internet of Things era will push connectivity to new levels
Smart homes serve as a focal point of consumer’s connected world
General tech advancements propelling society into IoT era
Slow replacement cycles will continue to be a key hurdle
Long replacement cycle is not the only hurdle to passive commerce
Consumer benefits of IoT today are more subtle in nature
More commerce choices in the future will be aided by machines
Automation could appeal to consumer’s desire to simplify life
Case study: GE integrated with Amazon’s ordering platform
Case study: HP’s service-orientated subscription service
Shift towards passive consumption will redefine retail landscape
What to expect in 2020 and beyond

Trend No. 2: Privacy Pushback Spreads

Consumer desire for personalised experiences requires data
Attitudes towards the internet continue to evolve in the digital era
Commercial exchange of data is more top of mind for consumers
Number of factors, including improved tech, fuel privacy debate
Like technologies, consumers themselves are also evolving
New privacy-protecting laws are also putting privacy in limelight
Unchecked growth in influence of tech titans is not going unnoticed
Case study: Apple views privacy protection as key service offering
Case study: Brave offers a privacy-focused browser alternative
Case study: Alias prevents speakers from eavesdropping
Case study: Partnership enables users to monetise their own data
Growing influence of tech titans likely to become more regulated
What to expect in 2020 and beyond

Staying True to Oneself

Rise of digital marketing changes the internet content landscape
Trust powers commerce decisions
Consumers, governments will pose new questions for marketers
Growth in digital marketing gives some platforms a powerful role
Despite digital growth, consumers trust personal connections more
Influencer marketing evolves to suit new consumer preferences
Case study: Depop brings the influencer onto the selling platform
Case study: Magalu invests in digital avatar, Lu
Case study: Patagonia has full-fledged partnership with influencers
Manipulated recommendations must become more transparent
Future of digital marketing requires trust, transparency, innovation
What to expect in 2020 and beyond

Last Mile Arms Race Intensifies

The last mile delivery arms race will intensify in 2020
Balancing consumer expectations, costs to define delivery in 2020
Trust powers commerce decisions
On-demand culture generates interest in last mile delivery
Tension between offering consumers convenience and costs grow
Case study: Nordstrom Local offers pick-up points and much more
Case study: Fabric digs deeper for low-cost last mile fulfilment
Case study: Darkstore uses idle space for last mile operations
Delivery innovation will lead to changes in urban and home design
Sustainability presents another obstacle in certain markets
New delivery options present opportunities for a range of players
What to expect in 2020 and beyond

Trend No. 5: 5G Steps Into the Spotlight

5G will become a reality, fundamentally changing mobile computing
5G will bring enhanced speed and capacity
Telecommunications companies driving 5G development
Bandwidth needed for other tech efforts driving 5G forward
5G use cases likely to evolve over the next five years
Case study: Tokyo Olympics to showcase 5G network capabilities
Case study: Apple holds off launching 5G iPhone with new line-up
5G will become more prominent in 2020, but far from universal
What to expect in 2020 and beyond

Key Takeaways

How we can expect these tech trends to change commerce in 2020
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