The development and accessibility to technology have had a great impact on people´s life. We are so used to all kind of technology goods in our society that to imagine our lives nowadays without internet, PCs or smartphones seems to be impossible. The internet “grandfather” was discovered by Leonard Kleinrock in 1961 and was known as ARPANET. Later, in 1973 the term “Internet” is born. In 1991 the internet as we know it, called the World Wide Web is introduced to the public.
The total growth of internet users from 2015 to 2020 is of +60,3 %
The world total internet penetration number has increased by 7 % compared to the past year, and almost 60 % of the worldwide population have access to the internet:
The internet connection speed has grown for mobile and fixed connections:
Traffic share by devices, the mobile traffic has increased, while access from other devices has dropped down:
Users search for information using different search queries which lead to different digital channels. They are different queries types: informational, navigational and transactional. These types correspond to be the most typical buyer behaviour when a user for example start its search from informational queries and ends up on a transactional digital channel. Therefore, it´s recommended for businesses to have covered all the types of search queries.
The most bought online items in the last 12 months:
Technology growth also impacted the time spent on social media networks; it has increased by 70 %, from 2012 to 2019. The average spent daily time in social media is 153 minutes in 2019.
Thanks to technology progress video consumption is the leading online activity. This was predictable, and it fully explains the sudden success of recently popular social media network – Tik Tok or the success of Netflix & YouTube. According to Limelight in 2019 users spend weekly 6 h and 48 min on average watching various types of online video, which is 59 % more than in 2016. (Limelight, 2019)
Technology trends for 2020:
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning
Despite the fact that AI is not a new trend, it is already a big part of digital transformation and it´s got a big potential and impact on our lives. Starting from chatbots and growing to the complex analytical tools, its demand is growing. According to Gartner’s 2019 AI and ML Development Strategies survey, 59% of business reviewed have AI already deployed, and on average, each of these companies is involved in four AI or ML projects. (Stamford, Conn., July 15, 2019)
- Internet of things
As consumers, we are using the benefits of IoT a lot and to be honest it makes our life much more comfortable. The easiest example of IoT is home automation and Smarthome devices. According to Statista the number of connected IoT devices has increased from 3.8 billion units in 2014 to 20 billion in 2020. (Statista, 2017)
- 5G Internet
New technologies like 5G will help increase internet speed for mobile devices, which sounds like an opportunity for further expansion of IoT devices. Who knows how this is it going to impact our lives.
- Data security and privacy
Personal data has real value for targeted advertising. After Facebook- Cambridge Analytics data trading scandal, personal data and privacy have become a real concern to people. According to VPN Geeks, 95% of Americans are concerned about businesses collecting and selling personal information and 82% of Americans say they worry about Online Security (VPN Geeks 2019). So there is a huge demand and people wait for the right solution. So far, the best option offered on the market is a digital ID – a digital authentification, which is anonymous and private, and large investment funds are contributing to the development of the right solution.
In conclusion, I´d like to say that Internet speed gets faster with each year and this together with a big choice of easy to use mobile devices leads to the growth of mobile access compared to other devices. Thus, fast internet and easy mobile access make its impact. People actively connect on the internet and share information on social media. This changes consumers´ behaviour in many ways, who nowadays prefer to read a review of a product before buying it, or depending on the generation and age, may even buy some product which was recommended by a blogger. High internet speed (available also on mobile devices) permits people to consume more education or leisure content video. The possibility of easy and fast communication between people created a more challenging environment for businesses and especially for services, they should focus more on their public image and online customer reviews regarding their customer experience.
Doubtless, technology also comes with some cons. Customers expectations have gone up along with the technological progress. The best example of this is the eCommerce area. Customers want to get their order as soon as possible with free delivery and the option to return the item. The most popular eCommerce industries are clothing and shoes; entertaining including books and movies; and electronics. These businesses have to be able to adapt very fast to new changes.
Another disadvantage of the internet is personal data privacy problems. IoT and faster 5G internet access are already here, it´s just a question of when will it become mainstream for most of the population, and what changes will these trigger in our society like smartphones or social networks did in the past. Will these changes have a good impact on our society or not? Here, I would like to quote Rick Smolan, who said:
“Every time there’s a new tool, whether it’s Internet or cell phones or anything else, all these things can be used for good or evil. Technology is neutral; it depends on how it’s used”
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- Andrei Broder,IBM Research 2002. Available at: https://www.cis.upenn.edu/~nenkova/Courses/cis430/p3-broder.pdf