2017 Internet Trends Report Released!
Ah, June! That wonderful time of year when the kids are home from school, Popsicle sales begin to skyrocket, and – of course – summer reading! VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Beyers partner Mary Meeker releases her annual Internet Trends Report to the jubilation of the tech masses for your beach reading enjoyment!
As we wrote last year when Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends Report was released, she is in a unique position as a partner at one of Silicon Valley’s foremost venture capital firms to accurately forecast, predict, and prescribe the most important trends, newest challenges, and most promising opportunities facing the tech sector in 2017. Meeker doesn’t just understand the digital economy; her job is to understand it so well that she (and her partners) can safely and shrewdly invest in it.
You’re busy, we get it. That’s why we’ve taken the time to pick out the seven most important takeaways from Meeker’s 2017 report – and why they matter to you.
Smartphone Sales Are Leveling Off
It seems like it was just yesterday when mobile accessibility was the new frontier for internet marketing and sales. In fact, it was just last year.
After another strong growth year for mobile in 2015 – one that saw 10% growth in smartphone sales – 2016 saw smartphone sales lag off a bit to just 3% growth this past year.
Does this mean you can ignore mobile compatibility now? Of course not. It simply means that the smartphone market is reaching saturation, and growth opportunities are becoming more and more limited.
Mobile Internet Usage Is Growing Faster than Desktop
For the first time this past year, mobile internet usage among American adults surpassed 3 hours per day (3.1 hours), up from 2.8 hours last year, and 0.8 hours five years ago.
Desktop internet usage has remained steady at 2.2 hours per day over the last three years. As a result, any growth in total internet usage is the result of customers spending more time on their smartphones.
Subsequently, mobile accessibility and optimization continues to be not only as important as desktop accessibility, but even more important.
Mobile Advertising Now Exceeds Desktop Advertising
Staying right with mobile internet usage growth, mobile advertising expenditures also grew in 2016.
In fact, for the first time in history, mobile advertising exceeding desktop advertising in terms of dollars spent. Of the approximately $73 billion spent on internet advertising in 2016, $37 billion went to mobile ads.
Again, mobile remains not just an option but a core competency for companies everywhere.
Internet Advertising Will Surpass TV
The king is dead, long live the king! Yes, the mighty media behemoth known as television will be surpassed within just six months by the internet as the channel advertisers spend the most on.
This presents a huge opportunity for companies to absorb new revenue by tailoring their content and storefronts to mobile, given the greater internet shift in that direction.
Localized Ads Are Driving Sales
Hyper-localized ads on platforms like Google, Foursquare, and Yelp are effective in driving foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores, the report claims.
Indeed, these ads that use real-time GPS information to push ads for nearby businesses have been determined to powerfully influence purchases and drive revenue.
Customer Service Is Transitioning to Chat
With the rapid rise in the quality and reliability of chat bots (as well as real-time chat widgets), more and more customer service conversations are taking place over chat.
As functionalities like chat become more native and comfortable to customers, they are choosing to engage with companies via chat because it is simpler for them, and because the response times are usually much faster.
Installing a chat channel option for your customer service operations is a key way to increase customer satisfaction.
Voice Search Is Rapidly Growing
Voice search, once a charming novelty and parlor trick, has become an important and valuable functionality among internet users.
In fact, 20% of mobile searches in 2016 were conducted using voice search. This is partially thanks to the boom in popularity of devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Strong voice-to-text mapping, as well as meta-tagging, is becoming more and more important for businesses. Like mobile in general, what was once a nice-to-have feature is now a core requirement.
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Check out the rest of the report, and always remember that as the world changes, so does the internet – and so should you!
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