By: Cesilia Faustina
Thanks to COVID-19, PR Newswire reported an expected growth of $968.7 billion in global wireless internet service market in 2020, compared to $569.2 billion in 2019. They also expected this number would eventually stabilize at $717.9 billion in 2023. Obviously, this is nothing to shrug off. If we look at the IFC’s report on COVID’s impact on the telecom sector, we can see that the global telecom market is improving and generally not restricted by the impacts of COVID.
It is no surprise then that people are utilizing online means of getting the job done, from work to groceries and holiday gifts. Now, with COVID and the golden quarter all coming together, it is shaping to be a very virtual Christmas. That isn’t to say that it is for everyone, as people are also adopting hybrid means of celebrating (online and offline).
It is for this reason that we should note some of the important trends fuelling this online holiday market.
The e-commerce market is continuously increasing thanks to COVID and lockdown restrictions. With the holidays here, this number will only increase. COVID itself has caused a surge in global supermarket purchases by 34.8 percent; while in the UK, online sales accounted for 28.1 percent of total sales in October. It doesn’t stop there though, in the US, consumers made almost 63 million online grocery orders in November.
As we are seeing this trend of online shopping picking up, people are utilizing it to get all their holiday shopping taken care off. Things like buying Christmas decorations and ordering gifts for your loved ones have served a great purpose for our online retail market. While there are still possibilities of lockdowns during the holidays, e-commerce will most likely continue to be a powerful tool to utilize.
While social media has always been important in spreading the holiday cheers online, it has become even more important now. As people are forced to celebrate their celebration strictly online, it has become a platform to help bring friends and families together for the season. It is also a very important tool for businesses to spread their holiday greetings to clients and consumers.
We have always talked about social media as a tool to connect and network, and boy is that more than accurate at the moment. People are looking to celebrate this Christmas by creating Facebook events, publishing online events through social media, posting celebratory pictures through Instagram, doing video calls with filters on Facebook Messenger, and more.
People are becoming creative with their online events and celebrations. Even choirs and churches are holding live streaming on YouTube. So, social media are much needed tools during this holiday season.
In relation to social media and e-commerce itself, these activities have been turned into forms of convenience thanks to mobile apps. If you thought we were glued to our phones before, well thanks to COVID, it’s becoming more intense. Now that more industries are moving online, we are using our phones more and more. This is where mobile apps come in. Many mobile apps help us to take care of all our holiday shopping and Christmas social media posts. If you decide to go out for the holidays, you are also most likely required to download or use QR codes for certain apps to order, look at the menu, and to register yourself.
We can see here how much mobile apps are helping to embrace the hybrid culture of both celebrating the holidays online and offline, and it should continue to function as a huge contender in the online scene.
If anything is made for a contactless experience it’s e-payment. With protocols encouraging people to stay contactless and socially distanced, the availability of e-payment has made shopping and paying bills a much safer and easier experience. The rise of electronic payment and mobile banking is what makes the online sector movement so successful.
The fact that payment is mostly digital these days and available to do from anywhere with a simple click, has made e-commerce thrive, banks still active, and paying bills and rent easy. This process will not only provide absolute convenience, but it has made various industries still be able to function despite lockdown and restrictions. If that’s the case, you know it is also fuelling all our holiday purchasing, from buying presents and decorations to booking your holiday trip.
With the rise of cryptocurrency and the online market there has even been talks about the extinction of paper or physical money, so e-payment models are definitely a top champ.
What do all these things have in common? The Internet. All these trends and methods are conducted online. These tools have served to help us not only during the holiday season, but also generally. As we are becoming more and more used to the online world, it will become a major way of life (which it is already). This holiday season though, we know that there are a lot of expected Internet usage to help us celebrate and be close to our loved ones. That said, we should make the best of a situation and utilize the amazing digital tools we have. So, have a digital merry Christmas and a happy new year.