The Top Trends for 2020
This report looks at global trends set to make an impact in 2020. Every year Frost & Sullivan's Visionary Innovation Team of futurists, consultants, and analysts scans the short-term horizon and looks across industries to identify areas of disruption in the new year. Along with the top trends, the study also analyzes key growth opportunities with the highest market potential and innovation attractiveness in 2020. Our new Growth Opportunities Radar will help you identify the top growth opportunities that can contribute to your growth strategy.
The top trends identified include:
Drone Deliveries Take Flight: 2020 will be a promising year for drone deliveries, as several companies move from testing towards mainstream adoption. Technologies that are able to combine different sources of information, such as LiDAR and imagery, will evolve rapidly to meet the demand for drone deliveries. US commercial deliveries will take off primarily in the US; Amazon plans to bring its consumer drone deliveries in effect by 2020. Delivery service giants UPS and Fedex and Alphabet’s Wing will be key companies to watch out for in this space. The regulatory landscape is also expected to evolve, as new drone regulations will come into effect by 2020 across multiple regions.
Intelligent Voice Search: As the market gets flooded with new voice-enabled devices, voice search technology in 2020 will transition towards a path to ‘Voice Everywhere’ as companies increasingly integrate voice into their customer facing platforms, regardless of the medium. As voice search breaks ground across multiple interfaces, voice search optimization will become fundamental not just for eCommerce, but to businesses across all industries This will also lead to some interesting partnerships; Amazon is partnering with several homebuilders to integrate its voice-activated digital assistants in connected homes.
New Age Retail: Shift in focus towards branding and customer experience will drive the transition in retail in 2020. Retailers will increasingly leverage digital technology solutions to manage their supply chains, improve operational efficiency and overall customer experience. Retail IoT, augmented reality and AI in retail present the most promising growth opportunities in this space.
Social Shopping: With the growing influence of social media, this year will mark a crucial tipping point for social commerce as a prominent channel for online shopping. According to Facebook, 70% of shopping enthusiasts turn to Instagram for product discovery. As more brands increasingly begin to value social media as a sales platform and influencers as brand agents, innovative companies will work towards reducing friction between multiple buying platforms and building a seamless social shopping experience.
New Form Factors for Smartphones: 2020 will see the launch of innovative form factors supporting smart devices, including AR glasses, microLED and stretchable displays, and graphene batteries from global leaders such as Apple, Facebook, Samsung and Amazon. The smartphone will act as a platform for innovation and experimentation to allow integration of newer technologies for improved performance and utility.
Microjobs on the Rise: Microwork will become an essential income supplement, especially to Millennials and Gen Z. Multi-tasking will become the norm for online work - Gen Z are expected to have at least three jobs at a time in the coming years. Amazon Mechanical Turk – a microjobs site has an estimated 7 million individuals globally and is expected to get more organized.
Cross Border E-commerce: Starting 2020, this decade will see a “perfect storm” of social commerce combined with cross-border payment platforms, driving demand for instant and fast international commerce. This year, in particular, will be an important milestone as businesses launch innovative shipping and delivery options, cloud logistics and improved cross-border payment mechanisms, combined with technologies such as 5G, advanced computing, blockchain and big data analytics to deliver efficient cross border e-commerce services.
Future of Free Time: The lines between work and free time will begin to blur as work becomes more digitized, automated and unconstrained by time or place. The gaming industry, as a consequence, is expected to benefit from this transition. Further, new technologies such as 5G, cloud gaming, AR/VR will result in innovative on-demand gaming services.
Convergence of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G: This will be a stellar year for network communications, as both Wi-Fi 6 and 5G will simultaneously enter commercialization phase in 2020. Among others, prominent 5G service providers such as Verizon and AT&T have laid out their strategy to cover over 15 new devices. Technology frontrunner Apple is expected to introduce its first line of 5G flagship iPhones in 2020. Major home network solution providers such as Linksys and Netgear have already announced their new Wi-Fi 6 products. With the number of IoT devices expected to increase rapidly, WiFi 6 and 5G will complement each other and fulfill the demand for seamless, ultra-low latency networks across both stable indoor and mobile outdoor applications.
Rise of Agile Robots: Robots will become more public facing. CES 2020 was flooded with new companion robots, and the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 will give us a glimpse of co-existence between humans and humanoids. Key innovation areas include agile robots with swift movements and humanoid robots with ability to mimic and react to human thought processes in order to learn and adapt on their own to support humans across both work and play.
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