Whichever way you slice it, and even during the current global Covid-19 pandemic, the online world is booming. In 2019, ecommerce sales surpassed £3 trillion – 19.9% growth year on year when compared with 2018. And despite the current certainty and the delicate economic landscape worldwide, 2020 is set to see the market grow further still.
It’s not just online shopping that is bringing in such substantial revenue though, and a range of services, activities and pursuits have well and truly staked their claim on a large share of the market. Over the past ten years, industries such as online gambling, sports betting, health services and more have seen substantial growth – which shows no signs of slowing any time soon. And of course, social media marketing, which has become a major tool for businesses to promote themselves far and wide more effectively over the past decade, is continuing to gather pace, with more companies than ever now pouring money into their digital marketing budgets than ever before.
One thing is for certain – we’ve seen some pretty big changes in the online world over the past few years, with some trends making more of an impact than others. Here, we take a look at the biggest online trends of the past decade – most of which we now couldn’t quite imagine life without.
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Fantasy football has been widely played amongst enthusiasts for years now, but over the past decade, the trend has continued to accelerate, with other popular sports getting a virtual makeover and attracting scores of players and fans. Allowing participants to assemble imaginary or virtual teams of real players of any professional sport, teams compete based on the real-life statistical performance of those players in actual games, and nowadays, attract as many bets at the bookies’ as real-life matches.
Click here to read more about the most popular fantasy sports seasoned gamblers are choosing to place their bets on in 2020.
On the subject of betting, online casinos have continued to enjoy immense popularity over the past decade, turning over a whopping £40 billion each year in the UK alone. With many high-rollers – especially during the current pandemic – opting to splash their cash on their favourite casino games from the comfort of their own home, it’s a trend that could be set to grow further still in 2020. Even when Covid-19 is but a distant memory, it’s a trend that is bound to retain its status, with the demand for service availability anywhere, anytime, unlikely to do anything other than increase. With the introduction of artificial intelligence and machine learning to the market, this exciting industry continues to evolve and develop, with much more to come out of it over the coming years.
While healthcare has historically been slow to adapt to technology, in recent years, things have started to change for the better. The digital health market is now worth around £200 billion, with leading companies taking a customer-centric approach that gives them access to vital healthcare services in the comfort of their own homes. Known as ‘telemedicine’, it has revolutionised the way patients are consulted with, with the availability of electronic records making it simpler than ever to quickly share information with specialists – which in rural areas, can mean the difference between having input from them, and not. This has been particularly important during the pandemic, with online doctor services such as Livvi providing a lifeline to those unable to leave their homes or get a GP appointment.
Long gone are the days where the only way to watch any show that wasn’t on Sky was to download individual episodes – and have to wait hours on end for the privilege. Over the past ten years, on demand services such as Netflix, CBD All Access, Now TV and Amazon Prime have revolutionised the way we access and watch our favourite shows and films – so much to that viewing figures for live TV are now at an all-time low. As demand for new content, and fast, continues to grow, so too can we expect the industry to, with niche services like Gaia catering to more specific tastes and leading providers continuing to compete to bring their subscribers the very best material available online. Whether you’re a user of these services or not, one thing remains for certain; they are changing the way that we live and consume. And, with further growth expected as we go further into this new decade, investors could soon find themselves making a considerable profit.