High-speed internet access, the near ubiquity of smartphones and the normalization of online payments have transformed the ways services are delivered and goods are bought and sold.

The impact of the digital economy on consumers has been seismic, offering them greater choice and more time:

Greater choice 

Not so long ago, what you could buy was limited to the physical stores you had access to, and what you could watch was limited to what was on TV or at the video store — and music was only available in physical formats. And to get a cab you had to call or wait for one to appear …

 

  • Spotify has 200m+ active monthly users3
  • Netflix has 139m subscribers4
  • Uber is available in 600+ cities, making 15m trips a day5
  • Waymo has driven over 10m miles on public roads and launched  its driverless-car taxi service in Phoenix U.S.6
  • Facebook now connects more people than any platform in history, with over 2.7bn users across its core products7

 

More time

before the digital revolution, shopping involved standing in queues, comparing prices meant trips to multiple stores and most ads you saw were probably irrelevant to you…

 

  • You can shop 24/7 — and enjoy same-day delivery. Global e-retail sales are forecast to hit $3.453tn in 20198
  • You can try out clothes via apps that use augmented reality
  • Comparison sites trawl all retailers to find you the best deal
    Digital advertising spend outnumbered TV for the first time ever in 2017 — a trend unlikely to reverse9

 

With more to come

This collisison of technology and convenience has already seen the digital economy revolutionize the world. And we are only at the beginning…

Projection of Global E-retail Sales from 2015 to 202110

  • In 2017, e-retail sales accounted for 10.2% of all retail sales  worldwide. This figure is expected to soar to 17.5% by 202111
  • Smartphone penetration has reached 90% for millennials in developed markets. As they approach their peak spending years, e-commerce is likely to pick up even further12
  • Emerging markets will contribute approximately 900m new  internet users between now and 2022, versus about 80m  new internet users from the world’s already heavily connected  developed markets13