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Voice of the Industry: Digital Survey

April 2021

The growing reliance on technology has become more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic as tech is leveraged to reinvent all aspects of commerce. In order to better understand how companies are responding to such shifts, Euromonitor International conducts an annual survey of industry professionals. The Voice of the Industry: Digital Survey asks industry professionals about topics including digital transformation, planned investment in technology and the potential impact on commerce.

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Key Findings

This report highlights the results of Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Industry: Digital Survey fielded in November 2020. The top findings from the survey include:

Half of respondents agree that being digital is important, but the majority do not see themselves as leaders. These results have largely remained unchanged across the four 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 have the largest impact in the next five years.

The development of these technologies from a commerce perspective will be a multi-year process. Two thirds of the 36 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.

Introduction

About the report
Voice of the Industry: Digital Survey summary

Navigating the Digital Transformation

Crisis accelerated digital transformation by at least one year for most
Crisis-driven tech investment related to improving online experience
Digital viewed as key but most do not see themselves as leaders
Companies exploring new business models with greater urgency
Lack of needed skills remains a key hurdle to digital effectiveness
Digital engagement is a by-product of overall digital transformation
Topics related to crisis-driven e-commerce boom gain in importance

Planned Investment in Technologies

New technologies c ontinue to reshape consumer-facing industries
Cloud selected as the most impactful technology of the last 12 months
AI is expected to impact business the most in the next five years
Cloud remains top tech for planned investments in next five years
Lack of clear business use case slows adoption of new technologies
Reasons given for not investing in new technologies (1)
Reasons given for not investing in new technologies (2)

Spotlight on Key Technologies

Voice of the Industry: digital Consumer survey spotlights six technologies
Spotlight technology: artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence an umbrella term for several popular technologies
Impact of artificial intelligence on commerce
AI expected to lead fulfilment and logistics in near term
Spotlight technology: augmented reality/virtual reality
Impacts of augmented reality/virtual reality on commerce
AR/VR expected to most impact the shopping experience long term
Spotlight technology: Internet of Things
Impact of the Internet of Things on commerce
IoT is expected to most impact customer-facing use cases long term
Spotlight technology: 5G
Impact of 5G on commerce
Expected impact of 5G likely to evolve as networks are upgraded
Spotlight technology: Cloud
Impact of the cloud on commerce
Cloud expected to improve the omnichannel experience
Spotlight technology: blockchain
Impact of blockchain on commerce
In time, blockchain expected to help next-gen advertising models

What to Expect From New Tech

Biggest challenge with new tech is keeping expectations grounded
Expected take-off of commerce use cases varies
Key takeaways: what to expect from new tech

About Voice of the Industry

About Euromonitor’s Voice of the Industry survey series
Industry of focus of Voice of the Industry: Digital Survey respondents
Geographic focus of Voice of the Industry: Digital Survey respondents
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