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Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2018: Digital Commerce Takeaways

By Elevate

June 4, 2018


Every year, venture capitalist Mary Meeker shares her view of the digital world in her Internet Trends Report, and every year marketers, technologists, and executives line up to read and learn from her insights. I highly recommend reviewing the 294-slide Internet Trends Report 2018 yourself, but just in case you don’t have the time, I’ve highlighted five key digital commerce takeaways in this blog post.

1. Ecommerce Continues to Grow

Ecommerce sales passed $400 billion, a 16% year-over-year increase. As ecommerce continues to grow, it’s taking a larger share of the overall retail spend, now at 13%. These trends paint an optimistic outlook and show that there is still plenty of room for growth.

E-Commerce = Acceleration Continues @ + 16% vs +14% Y/Y, USA
E-Commerce vs. Physical Retail = Share Gains Continue @ 13% of Retail

2. Personalization Drives Engagement and Satisfaction

We are now firmly in the era of data. While the first phase of Big Data was about collection, now it’s time to leverage that data into actionable insights, such as curated product recommendations.

E-Commerce vs. Physical Retail = Share Gains Continue @ 13% of Retail

Let’s take Spotify, for example — personalized media recommendations have been shown to dramatically improve user engagement and satisfaction.

Spotify Personlization = Preferences ... Drive Engagement + Customer Satisfaction

3. We’ve Created a Privacy Paradox

User data can provide many benefits, such as personalization, but with increasing amounts of data collected, comes increasing government and consumer scrutiny. Companies around the world have been updating their privacy policies in preparation for the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (as evidenced by my flooded inbox). Along with incidents such as Cambridge Analytica’s use of Facebook data, a climate has been created where data usage is being watched closely. This doesn’t mean stop using data, but it does mean using data responsibly, including managing for unintended consequences.

... Rising Monetization + Data Collection = Drives Regulatory Scrutiny

4. Mobile Shopping As Entertainment

Time spent shopping on mobile increased 54% year-over-year. More and more people view shopping as a leisure activity versus a chore. What can we take away from this trend? Shopping should be fun! Whether it’s leveraging video content and social media, or designing an enjoyable experience for shoppers, make sure your store and content take advantage of this trend. It may also be wise to allow users to save their favorite finds for later, as these longer sessions also mean users may come back several times before making a purchase.

Mobile Shopping Usage = Sessions Growing Fast

5. Social Media Drives Product Discovery and Purchases

By this point, we all know the importance and influence that social media has on the shopping experience. It’s good to get some hard stats on exactly which social networks have been driving product discovery, since more than 55% of people reported purchasing a product after discovering it on social media. Facebook leads the way, with 78% of respondents having discovered products on the platform, followed by Instagram and Pinterest at 59%, Twitter at 34%, and Snapchat at 22%

Social Media = Driving Product Discovery + Purchases

I hope you found this summary insightful! Many thanks to Mary Meeker for sharing her report with the world every year. If you want even more insights or help keeping up on digital commerce trends, Elevate can help. We’ve been at the forefront of digital commerce for more than fifteen years.

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