2017 brings hope. That it sometimes feels different tells a lot about our window on the world. One in three people sees their social network as the primary news source. That makes fake news on social media the problem of today in the communication time lapse: we need to get a sharper picture. This year too, an increase in everything online, with the mobile as a remote control of our digital life. Here are the 10 online consumer trends for 2017.
Pay attention! This is for 2017. Now read the online consumer trends 2018 part 1: The online state of affairs in the Netherlands.
New technologies such as AI, IoT, virtual and augmented reality are not consumer trends in themselves, at most a nerd trend. It is about the offer that is created with it and how the consumer responds to it. Such as the success of Pokémon GO, the growth in apps for your central heating and the development of AI assistants such as Siri and Google Assistant. Without consumer demand, it remains a solution looking for a problem, such as 3D printing. Progress is being made, with solutions sometimes coming too early (WebTV in 1996, for example) and long-standing problems still unsolved (poverty and hunger could have long been eliminated). But we will get there. Just look at this 1993 video from AT&T with the slogan You Will and compare it with today:
What are consumer trends?
In short: new consumer behavior. And that is interesting for companies. Technological developments ensure innovation and therefore new offerings. That range is becoming cheaper and better, which means that the playing field is constantly shifting and consumers start to behave differently. This way 4G-internet ensures that you as a company have to do more with video. And because almost all consumer trends happen online, this article focuses on the online consumer trends of 2017, and the consequences for communication and marketing from companies.
1. The world is also doing well
When you only the news follows, you miss the trends. Newspapers and news sites usually tell what happened in the short term, but not about the long-term trends. While that constant stream of news forms your world view. News gives you the idea that things are not going well in the world: war in Syria and the Ukraine, a new arms race between America and Russia and natural disasters worldwide. These things can in no way be trivialized, but certainly do not let them determine your world view. Because then you miss the big picture for the rest of the world:
Figures that make your worldview more positive
- The average lifespan worldwide is 71 years;
- 80 percent of the world's population can read and write;
- Women aged 25 and over have attended school for an average of 7.1 years. In 1970 this was still 3.5 years;
- 85 percent of one-year-old children in the world are vaccinated against measles (and anti-vaxxers who endanger not only their own children but also those of others are becoming more and more countries punishable posed)
- 85 percent of the world's population has electricity at home;
- 90 percent of girls worldwide attend primary school;
- In 1990, 35 percent of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. In 2012 that was 12.4 percent.
Someone who can best explain these numbers is Hans Rosling, a doctor, epidemiologist, TED speaker and designated by Time and Foreign Policy as one of the 100 most influential people. In his presentations he explains that worldwide incomes have increased, the number of children is no longer increasing, child mortality is decreasing and the average lifespan is also increasing.
Things are also improving in the Netherlands
- The poverty rate will fall in 2016 from 7.6 to 7 percent; (the poverty line is set by CBS at 971 euros per month)
- Investments and consumption are increasing, unemployment is steadily declining (Looking for staff? Download our 43 online recruitment tips!) and the housing market will also be on the rise for a while;
- Crime has been falling in the Netherlands for a number of years, with the number of street robberies falling by 40 percent in the past three years; (RECOVERY: crime in the Netherlands appears to be greater)
- The Netherlands scores 7e on the 2016 World Happiness Index;
Again: with this I do not want to downplay the existing problems, but to substantiate that the broad line is more positive than you would get from the newspaper.
2. The whole of the Netherlands is Online
You can summarize this trend with the sentence: Dutch people are more online in all areas. Below is a collection of figures about it online consumer behavior to substantiate (feel free to jump to the next trend if you believe this!)
- 94 percent of all Dutch people have home Access to the Internet and 92 percent also use it. So eight percent is never on the internet (CBS);
- The group People over 75 with internet at home has grown from 40 percent in 2012 to 60 percent in 2016; half actually make use of it. This makes it the fastest growing group of internet users (CBS). 30 percent of this group has a tablet or a smartphone at their disposal;
- The tablet and smartphone possession among the group 65 to 75 has more than doubled in four years to 60 and 65 percent respectively. 83 percent of them use the internet;
- In 2016, 10 percent of primary school students and 7 percent of students were bullied in secondary education. 7 percent of primary school students are concerned cyberbullying, in secondary education that is 19 percent;
- Mobile Internet: the share of 4G in the total mobile data usage by Dutch people is almost two thirds of the total mobile data usage. 3G is decreasing enormously. The average speed in the Netherlands is 22.68 Mbit / s;
- According to research agency GfK we visited on average 30 times a day a website or an app in October;
- On average, Dutch households have 5.1 devices with WiFi connectivity in 2016, that is 11 percent more than a year ago;
- 88 percent of Dutch people use at least one video streaming service such as YouTube, HBO or Netflix. 43 percent uses one music streaming service such as Spotify (source Telecompaper)
Nice fact even though it still takes five years: SpaceX, the Elon Musk company is busy setting up one super fast worldwide internet with 4400 satellites. Consider 1GB per second.
3. Media, fake news and truth finding
Thanks to globalization we experience more and more things together as a world. Memes respond directly to news, new media and noise. But we don't always see things the same. Polarization has increased not only under the influence of the banking crisis, but also due to the increase in social media. Just look at your Facebook timeline: we share less and less personal news, and more and more films, memes, news links or old memories (neatly provided by Facebook). For one in three consumers, their social network has become their primary news source. And now fake news has become a thing.
My observations for the media in 2017:
- Carry Fisher, Gene Wilder, George Michael, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Alan Rickman, Peter Vaughan (GoT), David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Prince. If you can believe the internet memes, 2016 is a disaster year. Why did so many stars die? BBC: because people who became famous in the 60s now turn 70 and die. The so-called baby boom factor. And that means that it will not decrease in the coming years, unfortunately.
- Mars. Elon Musk wants to let a million people live on Mars in 2060 and he is working hard on that with his space company SpaceX. The cost of supplying the International Space Station ISS has fallen by 90 percent and its space rockets are back on Earth. Although there are still significant gaps in that Marsplan, the greatness and the decisiveness of Musk will ensure that Mars is a hot topic (word joke) in the media will be the coming years.
- If the r comes in the month then it starts fuss circus weather: blackjack discussion, reports about self-discrimination concerning the Christmas party, Serious Request and the fireworks discussion. Therefore: Download the National Discussion and Cancellation Calendar 2017 here.
- Films of December 2016: Doctor Strange, Star Wars: Rogue One, Assassin's Creed. Films next year: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, IT, Ghost in the Shell, Cars 3, Pirates of the Caribbean 5, World War Z 2, Despicable Me 3. What stands out: films are increasingly being prosecuted, a new version or a film adaptation of a successful book, game or series. Marvel and Disney are the powerhouses in the cinema and originality is exchanged for accuracy.
- Trump and Hillary. Geenpeil and Ukraine. Right and left. The polarization grows and is hugely fed by social media. In the early days of the internet, the expectation was that you met new people online and your world really got bigger. Now it appears that we mainly meet similar people ("social silos") and thanks The Filter Bubble we only see messages that parties like Facebook and Google think are relevant to us. So when as a Democrat you don't lick messages from your Republican friends, Facebook won't show you those anymore, only those from your Democrat friends. You are constantly confirmed in your world view. As an antidote here is an interview in which psychologist Jonathan Haidt tells how a divided America can continue together after the presidential elections. His book The Righteous Mind (affiliate link) explains why we differ, why that's okay and how you build a bridge.
Is an honest man with a bad reputation happier than an unfair man who everyone thinks is good? No, I'm not talking about Trump. That question not only asks and answers Plato in his book De Republiek, but also Haidt. His scientific answer: no. Reputation is more important to our well-being than truth. No wonder fake news has received such free play thanks to social media. But now that the American presidential election has been influenced to some extent by people reading incorrect information last minute, fake news is high on the agenda. Especially with Facebook.
How Facebook wants to stop fake news
Facebook denies that the company has had much influence on the elections. Yet the following actions are being taken by Facebook to prevent fake news:
- Facebook asks users how they experience the headline of an article; (example)
- Facebook is improving algorithm whereby typical clickbait (... and you never guess what happened then ...!) is recognized by the click behavior of the users. If they return quickly to Facebook after a click, that is a negative signal;
- Facebook (and Google) will sharper rules handling for advertisements;
- Facebook will labels add to fake news to alert people;
- Facebook makes reporting fake news easier and will cooperate with a number of independent news organizations;
Fake news is a huge problem for Facebook, that Twitter founder Ev Williams made clear with this screenshot of Zuckerberg 's Facebook post of November 18 about fighting fake news:
The two sponsored messages on the right are both fake. Ouch, Mark. I found the best interpretation of the fake news problem in this quote from Denzel Washington: “If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. "
PS. Zuckerberg may have realized how much impact his company has: he now behaves as one presidential candidate.
It gets worse: audio and image
Technology is at the forefront of trends. In the following two videos you see the future of manipulation and fake news: digitally created audio and faces. With Adobe MAX 2016 you can extend a spoken text by typing in additional text: you hear someone say something he has never said before (jump to 01.54).
In 2016 came Face2Face, with which you scan someone's face and then digitally control it with your own face. In the link you see a demo with the face of Bush and Putin, which directly reflects the political implications. For now it remains limited with films, so that 28 years later we see new images of Tarkin and Princess Leia in Rogue One (played by Ingvild Deila). In the film it was (still) visible that Tarkin and Leia were digitally edited. But later?
So how do you determine what is true and false? How do you explain the nuance with a personal opinion or a unique perspective? Those questions personally preoccupied me before the American presidential election. It is in fact the age-old one Two Generals' Problem, a thought experiment in which the siege of a city fails without clarity.
In my view, a possible solution is blockchain technology: a peer-to-peer network in which data is recorded and compared. If a given agrees, then it is labeled as general truth. If there is a difference, then there is a coloring in the reporting.
4. Shopping online
The online buying behavior. Of course we will buy more online in 2017:
- The online spending increased by 28 percent in the third quarter compared to last year. More than three quarters of the 41.8 million purchases concerned products such as clothing, toys and electronics. The services mainly concerned package travel and insurance.
- In 2015, 71 percent of the Dutch did one online purchase. Per purchase, mainly between 100 and 500 euros is spent, it reports CBS. We mainly buy in the Netherlands, only a third occasionally buys in other EU countries.
- 91 percent of 12 to 65 year olds use one smartphone to use the internet. One in five Dutch people who purchase online did so on his or her smartphone in the past quarter. (NL) Last year this was 14 percent. Of the 15 to 39-year-olds group, almost a third use the telephone for an online purchase.
However, surprising is:
- The rise in online supermarket spending, with an online turnover of 441 million euros. According to a measurement in November 2016, it concerns 1.3 percent of online supermarket sales and 11 percent of consumers. (source: Strabo research agency) It CBS reports that a total of one in five Dutch people surveyed have purchased food.
- The new supermarket Amazon Go: physical shopping without waiting because you walk outside after being recognized with your mobile without entering physically.
I had little trouble typing an SMS on my Nokia phone early on. Today, the small buttons and special autocorrect suggestions frustrate me to such an extent that I keep talking to my cell phone more often. And I'm not the only one according to Google.
As SEO specialist Ompro explained in the SEO trends 2017:
- 20 percent of the searches are recorded;
- 55 percent of young people (Millenials) uses voice search daily, compared to 41 percent in adults;
- In four years it is expected that this will grow to 50 percent;
- 22 percent for local information, 21 percent for entertainment, 30 percent for general information and 27 percent through a personal assistant such as Google Now or Siri;
- Voice searches often start with 'who' or 'what', and on average 4.2 words long.
So we ask Google questions. And that means that websites and blogs that ask the question and clearly answer, get preference from Google (among others as featured snippet). With the use of self-learning AI (RankBrain) Google is constantly extracting better questions.
MOZ adds to this:
- We mainly use voice search from home and the car;
- 40 percent of the users of a personal assistant started this recently;
- Already in 2014, Google reported that teenagers are the largest group of voice seekers;
- Voice Search will be added to Google Search Console (in Google Webmaster Tools)
“I want a doll house”
More and more household appliances are listening to us for finding information, reading audio books, controlling lighting, playing music and placing an order. The six year old Brooke Neitzel from Dallas ordered via her Amazon Echo with Alexa software a dollhouse and two kilos of cookies. A funny news report, as a result of which a local news station paid attention to it and the presenter made the following statement in the broadcast: “I love the little girl, saying "Alexa ordered me a dollhouse"". Making the Amazon Echoes at home with all TV viewers massive place orders. Perhaps handy to turn off automatic ordering as standard.
According to it time use research Media: We now watch time on average 2 hours and 24 minutes a day TV, compared to 2 hours and 31 minutes in 2013. We watch more video online. Ultra HD is slowly emerging, with 6 million UHD televisions sold worldwide as of April 2016, and Premier Leagues football matches broadcast in HD.
We are going to see this kind of beautiful 360 videos much more:
Facebook is becoming more visual, and brought recent that films of 90 seconds or more can get an advertisement after 20 seconds. 360 degree videos will also be available for Facebook Live, with Live 360. With 135 percent more organic reach than photos, companies are encouraged to post videos on Facebook. According to Facebook, we watched an average of 8 videos a day in 2016, but please note: watching takes 3 seconds. And by default, a video starts playing in your timeline. Filtering all those videos currently delivers psychological damage to the Facebook moderation team, which protects our timeline from shocking videos for a minimum wage.
No trends list without gadgets and newest products of course:
- Gartner expects no growth for the electronics market: the market for tablets, smartphones and PCs is saturated. Only the home assistant market will experience limited growth. According to Telecom Paper our knowledge is greater than our possession, and that makes sense of course (I know a lot about the Death Star, for example, but have….). A quarter of the Dutch are still unfamiliar with the existence of smart home devices: those devices that you talk to, such as the aforementioned Amazon Echo or Google Home. They are becoming cheaper, because the manufacturers also earn money with the associated services and apps.
- The fear of being somewhere without a mobile phone is called nomophobia. For now it is the mobile that gobbles up gadgets and the question is: What comes after the mobile? completely unnecessary. All smart things with computing power waste money, and would be better smart must connect to your mobile: smart watch, headphones, smart TVs.
- See this Wired list for the best: fridge, headphones, Chromebook, TV, media streamer, vacuum cleaner and camera.
- I used to look up to technology and gadgets. Now, as a critical consumer, I am not at all sure whether innovation also means progress. Do I need it?
- OK, for the enthusiasts here a link with the 'latest product & gadgets'from Wired with Nike Hyperadapt 1.0, Impossible Project I-1 and Microsoft Surface Studio.
- VR is of course also a trend, for years. But putting glasses on your head has quite a few drawbacks: colliding with things in your living room, wires, falling over, etc. Well, Intel has wireless glasses that scan your furniture and show it in VR: merged reality.
And Pokémon Go was the success of 2016. Why actually? Summer + expertise of founder John Hanke + legacy of Pokémon. And it is long gone, but for a short period of time you could find teenagers (or actually 25 +) in your backyard hunting for Charmander or Bulbasaur, hospitals received extra warning signs and Kijkduin became the Pokémon capital of the Netherlands (they got regret of course). As a sudden craze it proves especially the potency from augmented reality: interaction with digital content at special locations. This year it would not be surprising to expect something from Star Wars or Marvel (both Disney), for example, where the interaction will of course be very different.
To be honest: we are not waiting for new expensive (half tested because continuous iterations) gadgets. What you and I want is a mobile with a battery that lasts longer than a day. Like the old Nokia's indeed.
In almost 60 countries, solar energy is the cheapest form of energy (exactly as predicted in the 2015 online consumer trends). Saving energy is still a thing, but Elon Musk (yes, he again!) Already has one solution in front of. Bill Gates and Jack Ma (from Alibaba? That Chinese Amazon?) Also invest 1 billion in the investment fund. 'Breakthrough Energy Ventures', aimed at startups that potentially reduce at least half a gigaton of greenhouse gases. For consumers, this global trend will mainly be about investing (crowdfunding in one windmill for example) or wait and do nothing, because the innovations go faster than the investment time. Another important trend in 2017: in America, 1 in every 100 cars sold is now one electric car.
Other organizational form: decentralized and self-organizing
Energy-neutral construction and self-charging devices will become the new standard, whereby energy will gradually become available as freely as oxygen. I see it primarily as a component of the trend going off the grid: where people want to live self-sustainingly and locally, as a counterpart to a crooked globalization in which throwing something away and buying new is cheaper than making it. Or the delivery of an Apple cable from Hong Kong with courier is cheaper than here in the department store. It is also a search for a new organizational form. I have even heard the idea that crowdfunding and sourcing can ultimately make the government superfluous. The initiative No level - where the members determine the position of the MPs per subject - is a first form for that.
8. Self-driving car
Tesla electric cars also have the software to drive independently and to support driving. How that works exactly, you can see in this dashboard video, in which the car suddenly brakes because it sees an accident further down the A2:
According to Tesla, the self-driving car is already safer than a human. But the introduction and acceptance of self-driving cars is not just an accident: it will also entail completely new issues for traffic laws, parking, insurance, roads and even road signs. Change in circular movements. According to an estimate by The New York Times, 75 percent of all traffic by 2040 will be self-driving. The role of drivers is also changing: for the self-driving trucks van Uber, the driver is the pilot who leads the truck through densely populated areas and cities. In the long run, I expect that self-driving cars will make it less and less attractive to have a car, because you can easily book a ride (such as Uber already) at ever lower costs. Also the transportation of freight will go through market forces. Having becomes sharing (fits in well with the minimization trend and revealing). There are also countless prototypes for flying cars, but for now there is no production. Unfortunately.
The entire internet in 1971 Paul Newbury. Nice and clear yet!
Just like gadgets and energy, data is a recurring trend, or in fact its use and abuse:
- Last year, after 21 years, I suddenly had to go to the orthodontist again. They all had access to my current contact information;
- Facebook breaks promise not to link WhatsApp data to Facebook data. The European Commission claims that Facebook was misleading;
- Google is also ticked over with new complaints from privacy organizations data abuse;
- According to the social media survey by Newcom for 5 percent of the Dutch people who have dropped out of Facebook, 36 percent of them are the reason that the social platform is not trusted;
- We know the fake messages from Nigerian princes and banks. Now there is ransomware on the rise, also for mobile: a virus that blocks your system or files until you pay. (if this happens to you: always report to the police);
- Do you use the same password for work as private? Most people do. That is why hackers hack a database from a small toy website or dating site: they can then use the e-mail + password combinations on all sorts of other services (yes, that is really a thing). That is why since 2016 one reporting obligation for data breaches.
Is there also positive news? Yes, the arrival of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the EU. Companies and organizations are obliged to include data protection in the development of business processes and privacy settings standard on high. Privacy by design, including powerful financial coercive measures.
AI is a spectrum where we as consumers have been using the initial forms unconsciously for some time. Wouter Vink from Google tells: "What you don't immediately notice about Google products is that algorithms are optimized by AI. We now introduce AI in every product, so that our engineers can focus on other things.When you search on Google, Google uses an AI called RankBrain to better understand your search. AI is particularly suitable for recognizing patterns in a sea of information.
So how is the development of AI going and what will we notice? A summary of the latest AI trends and news:
- The AlphaGo self-learning system defeated grandmaster Lee Sedol in the Chinese game Go;
- The world's first AI lawyer called Ross (IBM) is hired by law firm Baker & Hostetler;
- The assistant ai who schedules your appointments now also works with Microsoft products, and Pegg, the smart assistant for your accounting, now works from Messenger and Slack.
- IBM's Watson will support patients with minor questions;
- The Japanese insurance company Fukoku Mutual Life replaces 34 employees with IBM Watson Explorer;
- Microsoft uses AI for 'solving' cancer; like Google with University College London Hospitals;
- Jim Stolze launches the employment agency in Amsterdam Aigency that brings supply and demand for artificial intelligence together. The first customer is a broadcaster with 35 years of video material which is converted by algorithms into practically usable information;
- Startup Numerai is a trading company that makes its data freely available to 7,500 programmers to create machine learning models. The result is a proliferation of models and financial forecasts, where the best are combined. This is the next step: 80 percent of the stock markets already use robot traders;
- In 2015 there were 000 robo-surgery operations;
- Associated Press and Yahoo! uses the system Wordsmith from Automated Insights to write news. The New York Times has one test to see if you can see the difference; (Recovery: the test is offline unfortunately. Try this test for poems)
- The world's first swarm of AI called UNU does accurate predictions for sports and the Oscars;
- Amazon makes various artificial intelligence services available in one AI platform for developers. Google's Deepmind had already preceded Labyrinth.
Impact on economy
Small improvements that make our lives better with major consequences. We WhatsAppen instead of texting, we use Google Maps instead of Tom Tom and we send a Facebook message instead of a congratulation card. AI will do exactly the same for us, at the expense of the telecom companies, navigation companies and postal companies of this world. And that doesn't interest us: just ask your local retailer, grocer or greengrocer. If they are still there.
In 2017 we will hear more and more AI applications that make certain jobs superfluous. People who doubt that are like two horses discussing the role of the car: it will take our time. But in the meantime, you no longer see a horse on the street. AI will cause a new industrial revolution: the fourth, after steam, electricity and computers. According to it World Economic Forum around 5 million jobs will be taken over by 2020 and Forrester even states that in 2021 about 6 percent of American jobs will be taken over. There are also new jobs, of course, such as data analyst, AI trainer and home automation consultant. Mathematics becomes a valuable school subject. In short: be sharp in your career choices.
Conclusion online consumer trends 2017
2017 will also be an interesting year. If only because Twitter King Trump will become president on January 20. That will bring uncertainty and political challenges for a long time to come, no matter how. It is the turn of the Netherlands on 15 March. If you as a company can offer certain collateral to consumers, then that will certainly provide you with valuable customer loyalty on. Build your reputation as a company and be ready to respond quickly and adequately. Mobile is a must nowadays. Stay informed of technological developments and regularly take the time to think about the future of your shop. Only invest when you see consumers moving. And above all: stay positive. It goes better than you read in the newspaper.
Are you missing a specific trend or do you have a question? Take it Contact on!
Pay attention! This is for 2017. Now read the online consumer trends 2018 part 1: The online state of affairs in the Netherlands.