The report points to the importance of mobile, as overall hours spent online is up significantly and now over half of all time is spent on mobile.
There were 80 million mobile phone users in 1995. In 2014, there were 5.3 billion users.
Millennials (those aged 18 to 34) cited an almost unhealthy addiction to their mobiles.
A whopping 87 percent of millennials interviewed said their smartphone never leaves their side during the day or night.
A further 80 percent said the first thing they do when they wake up is reach for their smartphones.
The report says that in this day and age of connectivity, people, especially millennials, expect to get what they want with ease and speed.
This had led to rise of products, services and work that streamline age-old processes online.
Product commerce has thrived. Chinese ecommerce site Alibaba has 8.5 million sellers, while eBay has 25 million. Craft marketplace Etsy has 1.4 million active sellers.
What is especially interesting about the aforementioned companies is they don’t actually own the products themselves, they own the platform that sells them.
Online marketplaces like Etsy have created an ecommerce industry worth $300 billion. Ecommerce made up 9 percent of total retail sales in 2014, versus 1 percent in 1998.
The report also shows how the internet has simplified businesses’ processes drastically.
It gives then and now examples of it, like comparing paper-based signatures with DocuSign, an online signature tool.
User generated content is another huge trend, with social media at the forefront of it.
Messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger are becoming global leaders, the report says, offering messaging, video calling and a way to pay all in one place.
Buy buttons are noted as a way to minimise the friction to purchase when a potential buyer’s interest is heightened while on social media.
It’s no wonder mobile advertising is becoming a huge drawcard for businesses to use.
Meeker’s high level summary of what the effects of the internet:
Job market – Has been more difficult and work has been harder to find for many.
Benefits – Traditional employer-provided benefits like health insurance and retirement plans falling. Recipients of government benefits rising.
Millennials – Have different expectations for work than previous generations, for now. Shaped, in part, by Great Recession.
Connectivity – Has created efficiencies and changed work for many.
Work – Alternative work arrangements (including freelancing) increasing. Competition for workers may rise with demand.
Online platforms and marketplaces growing rapidly – Creating new work opportunities and challenges for individuals. These will continue to rise, similar to trends and impact from first-generation internet companies, potentially faster and broader.
Need to shape direction and evolve policies and laws – Industry participants need to work together to be more aligned with rapidly emerging ways of doing business and creating work, and recognize that emerging technologies and marketplaces can help solve problems for consumer and worker welfare.
Innovative online platforms and marketplaces stand to continue to benefit consumers – As evidenced by strong demand for their products and services.
Impact of social media (and feedback/ratings) should not be underestimated – Empowered consumers increasingly – in effect – take elements of consumer protection into their own hands.
See the full report below: