Each year, Mary Meeker, the general partner at venture capital firm Bond Capital, releases an Internet Trends report to shed light on what's happening on the internet and in the business world, and how all of that is affecting the corporate world at large.
For instance, understanding how internet users are interacting with websites or increasingly turning to e-commerce platforms might be enough to make you reconsider a website redesign. And if you knew just how much companies need to spend to market to their core customers and get them to spend cash, would you change your advertising budgets?
The fact is, Meeker's annual report gives you plenty to think about as you look ahead to your digital strategy in the coming year.
And to help you with that, we've cut through the 333-page report on Recode to extract five major takeaways. From the importance of implementing e-commerce in your business to changing up your social media strategy, here's a look at the key Internet Trends takeaways you should know about in 2019.
1. Reconsider E-Commerce
It's no secret that e-commerce is a critical component in the broader retail mix. But Meeker said in her report, which was earlier cited by Recode, that e-commerce now accounts for 15 percent of all retail purchases. That still leaves the lion's share to brick-and-mortar, but Meeker said that e-commerce sales are growing by 12.4 percent year over year. Brick-and-mortar sales grew just 2 percent year over year, according to her study.
In other words, business owners will want to think seriously about adding an e-commerce platform to their websites. Services like WooCommerce or Shopify can be good places to start.
2. Go With Photos
According to Meeker, on social media, it's all about the multimedia.
She found that now more than half of Twitter posts are getting traffic because they have a photo, video, or other visual type of content. She's seeing similar success of multimedia content elsewhere.
If you're not thinking about multimedia in your content, it's time to start. Whether it's sharing more photos on social media or simply creating more content around imagery, now's the time to focus on photos and video.
3. Move to Tech
Technology is officially dominating the corporate world. Meeker says that out of the 10 most valuable companies in the world per market capitalization, seven are operating mainly in technology. The other three are Berkshire Hathaway, Visa, and Johnson & Johnson.
Microsoft is the biggest technology company according to Meeker's report, followed by Amazon, Apple, and Alphabet.
Needless to say, it pays to be a tech company.
4. Pivot Away From Computers
Out of the 3.8 billion people around the world who are using the internet, many more are turning to their mobile phones to be connected.
Meeker said that in the U.S. alone, the average person is spending 6.3 hours a day on the internet. And, increasingly, that time is being spent on mobile devices or set-top boxes that allow them to access digital media content. Moreover, Meeker said computer use is on the decline.
So, whether you're planning out an advertising strategy or you're thinking about how you want to design your next website, remember: Mobile first.
5. Reconsider Digital Ad Spend
Speaking of digital advertising, you might want to reconsider where you're dedicating your budget.
While services like Google and Facebook continue to dominate, increasingly Amazon and Twitter are nabbing advertising share, according to Meeker. But she noted that because more and more companies are turning to digital advertising, the actual cost to acquire customers via advertising is going up.
She said that companies should now consider offering free trials and unpaid versions of software to attract shoppers and ultimately keep them engaged.