Takeaways: Mary Meeker’s 2017 Internet Trends
Recently at Code Conference 2017, internet analyst Mary Meeker, presented her annual Internet Trends report. Meeker presented analysis of the most prolific internet related developments, including important customer experience (CX) industry shifts both we and some of our portfolio companies have been observing, exploring and leveraging. Perhaps the most significant is the convergence of digital and physical as it relates to customer experience, which was also the theme of our most recent B2B IT Forum. Below are some key takeaways from the report along with our thoughts:
- Time spent using the internet on mobile devices is increasing, while desktop and laptop internet usage is holding steady. In her report, Meeker points out that while time spent using the internet on mobile devices is increasing, desktop and laptop internet usage is holding steady. Given the necessity of great CX in today’s retail landscape, this goes to show the importance of implementing seamless experiences across channels. As channel preferences continue to change and new ones emerge, this will become even more important, as retailers will want to provide the best customer journey regardless of the channel the user decides to use.
- The importance of online and offline experiences. Seamless customer experience across online channels is just one piece of the retail puzzle. The future of shopping revolves around the complete blending of online and offline experiences. A sale today can start with an online search, followed by an in-store visit (perhaps via a scheduled appointment with TimeTrade) to experience the product, resulting in a purchase that might happen online or in the store. In other words, online and offline must complement each other to ultimately boost customer experiences – and retailers’ success.
- Real-time online customer conversations are rising rapidly. Technology is ushering retail into a new era where online and offline experiences can actually occur in tandem. Innovative companies, like live engagement platform Vee24, are ahead of the curve, understanding the importance of real-time customer interactions no matter where people are located. Vee24 uses voice, video/text chat and co-browsing to produce the digital equivalent of a personal experience in verticals including retail, automotive, high tech and more. By blurring the lines between digital and physical interaction, the company empowers its users to offer unprecedented personalization in online engagements. Vee24 customers report a minimum of a 35 percent increase in order value with live video chat. This is a great example of the value real-time online conversations can reap if done right.
- The changing role of modern day technologies. It’s not unusual to read headlines touting the death of retail. We disagree. Retail is shifting, and brands and retailers must shift with it or face some very real consequences. Meeker references Lowe’s as a good example of a retailer using innovative technology, like augmented reality (AR), to improve experience. The role of emerging tech like AR and virtual reality (VR) in CX was a hot topic during our most recent B2B IT Forum, and the participating panelists had differing opinions. When it came to VR in particular, some believed that while it may not have a place in retail, it may be beneficial for industries like healthcare and insurance. Others predicted that VR will play a role in experience if it can play into human emotion to help make a sale.
These are just a few key takeaways from Meeker’s report. Many more insights can be found in the full report, which you can view here. We look forward to watching these internet trends continue to develop and exploring how they impact customer experience across all kinds of industries. There’s no doubt that the innovation achieved over the last few years is providing a platform from which industry growth is promising, and we will continue to support the smart companies who are helping shape this rapidly emerging market.