Every year since 2009 we have published a trend report, to help clients anticipate the year ahead. Over the years we have tracked the progress of digital media and how it has changed the way we read, view, shop and live.
This year’s report was always going to be a crucial one, because 2020 was such a momentous year.
When we met to discuss this list in early October, we noticed that some of the trends felt “big”, while others felt much smaller and more short term; essentially some were big trends in society, and others felt like smaller effects within media and technology themselves.
We then broke the report into two sections, to separate the trends as a way of ordering but also to highlight how the first set are likely to have an impact over the next few years. The second set are trends that clients can easily seize more immediately.
You can read the whole report here, but here are highlights of two of the trends, one from each section.
From Fomo to Fogo
If the 2010s saw the rise of FOMO (fear of missing out), the turn of the decade changed the feeling to FOGO (fear of going out). Conspicuous consumption has been replaced by anxiety and sheltering in place, with many cautious about doing things that used to be “normal”, including shopping, using public transport, and being in crowded spaces.
By the summer of 2020, one-third of the world’s population had been in some form of lockdown. Forced to stay at home, our lives have shifted online, resulting in considerable increases in the use of at-home media such as Netflix, Zoom or Twitch.
Commerce went digital at unprecedented levels, delivering what McKinsey described as 10 years of gains in three months. Online retailers have benefitted – Shopify’s revenues doubled – but so have those that have mastered omnichannel, letting people buy online and collect in a local store (and easily return goods too).
Many of us started to work from home and found that we could be as productive as previously using new productivity tools, and equipment, allowing us to create home offices. We have also seen a significant shift to remote education and health.
In a time of rapid change, there is lots of scope for creativity to shine through. Amazon has just introduced Amazon Explore to Prime members in the US. Essentially a mash-up of Airbnb’s online experiences, with the Asian trend of shopping via live video streams, Explore lets people book a session with a local guide, who can take them for a sightseeing trip or to a shopping area (cookware in Tokyo, luxury shopping in Paris) where they can buy what they see. It’s only available in the US at the moment, but I can’t wait to try this once it comes over here.