7 Internet Trends That Will Impact Growing Companies This Year

June 18, 2019

By Justin Biel(opens in new tab), trends editor at Grow Wire
5-minute read

In short:

  • Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report is a key resource for technology insiders, as it covers statistics and trends affecting the internet and business.

  • The 2019 report highlights the fact that over 3.8 billion consumers are online, expansion opportunities in Asia Pacific, sky-high levels of technology investment and new opportunities for businesses to market, sell and learn from data.  

  • For growing businesses, success will come from keeping up with these trends and unlocking insights hidden within big data. 

 

 

Mary Meeker(opens in new tab), the legendary venture capitalist(opens in new tab) and founder of Bond Capital, has released her Internet Trends 2019(opens in new tab) report. Meeker's annual report, first published in 1995, is a Holy Grail for technology insiders, covering the most important statistics and trends impacting the future of the internet.  

Meeker is an internet industry veteran and one of the most successful VCs in history. She currently ranks eighth on the Forbes Midas List(opens in new tab), a lineup of the best dealmakers in high-tech venture capital. Meeker’s past investments include heavyweights like Facebook, Twitter, Slack, Square and Airbnb. More recent scores for Meeker and Bond Capital include IPOs for Spotify and DocuSign. 

The Internet Trends 2019 report is chock-full of insights that can help companies grow during an era in which the majority of our business -- and personal lives -- is conducted online. The seven trends below, pulled from Meeker's report and augmented by supporting data, are important shifts that relate specifically to business growth.   

 

1. The majority of humans are online.

Meeker’s report begins with a shocking statistic: Over 50% of the world’s population is now online. This group represents a large opportunity for marketing and sales.  

Meeker's report says e-commerce(opens in new tab) accounts for 15% of global retail sales, suggesting massive potential for businesses that tap into it. Our own research suggests that the promise of online sales will continue to grow throughout 2019, due to e-commerce trends(opens in new tab) including the proliferation of online marketplaces, the rise of fast and free shipping, increased popularity of mobile purchasing and the effect of traditionally offline industries, such as grocery, moving online(opens in new tab).  

Growth by the numbers:


 

2. There’s a growing online opportunity in Asia.

With over 4.5 billion people and only 48% internet user penetration, Asia Pacific regions represent the largest opportunity for online growth, according to Meeker’s report. 

Indeed, other analysts note that Asia Pacific is poised for an online business explosion(opens in new tab) due to the increasing availability of Internet-connected devices, growing trust in online business and improving logistical solutions. Massive investment is flowing into the region(opens in new tab), both from homegrown Chinese technology giants like Alibaba and Tencent and the global market.  

Growth by the numbers:


3. It’s time to look beyond standard online advertising.

Meeker’s report says that customer acquisition cost(opens in new tab) (CAC) will soon begin to outweigh the importance of a customer’s lifetime value(opens in new tab) (LTV), leading to a shift in the way companies acquire customers. The report suggests a shift toward more efficient marketing tactics, citing personalized recommendations and freemium business models(opens in new tab) that lead to better customer experience (CX) as two useful methods.

Growth by the numbers:

 


 

4. Imagery and video are (still) on the rise.

Camera and video-enabled mobile devices, along with greater online connectivity and easy-to-use editing software, have empowered a generation of visual storytellers. A shift toward more visual content on leading social platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter supports an array of brands and organizations looking to communicate through imagery, according to the Internet Trends 2019 report.   

Growth by the numbers:

 

5. Technology investment is booming.

In 2018, investment in technology hit an all-time high, approaching $200 billion, according to Meeker’s report. Technology companies are thus poised to find plenty of investors(opens in new tab) in hot sectors like cloud computing, artificial intelligence, blockchain(opens in new tab) and cybersecurity. 

Growth by the numbers:

6. Payments are going digital.

The Internet Trends 2019 report says that digital payment accounts for 59% of everyday transactions. Online and mobile form-fills, in-app payment screens, QR codes and P2P transfers are some of the ways the world regularly makes payments online.  

The trend toward more online payments means businesses must update payment models accordingly or risk losing out on this growing revenue source.

Growth by the numbers:


7. Data is the key to a strong customer experience.

Capturing and utilizing big data is the best way for companies to accomplish growth, per the report. Data analytics can help companies understand customer wants(opens in new tab), improve processes, make better products, manage customer relationships and empower customers by offering tailored services.

Data and analytics will be foundational to better user experiences, more customer loyalty and increasing bottom lines. 

Growth by the numbers:


The bottom line

The Internet Trends 2019 report reflects an increasingly connected world in which businesses have the opportunity to access not only the 3.8 billion consumers already online but also those in less-saturated markets like Asia Pacific. But not just any outreach will do. Imagery-rich, personalized communication will win over consumers in 2019. High-tech is highly valued, as evidenced by a record-breaking amount of investment in technology companies and the rise of digital payments. Companies that mind these trends while using tools to develop content and analyze data over the coming year will likely see growth.

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