Although The Internet was introduced to the
public only twenty years ago, it originally started
in the 1960’s.
Many scientist, engineers and programmers were
involved in its development, along with the
creation of computer devices. The psychologist
and computer scientist J.C.R. Licklider
popularized the idea of “Galactic Network”,
which was very similar to the Internet of today.
Image 1. Kids playing video games with one of the first
personal computers in the 80's (Smithsonian, 2014).
Shortly thereafter, ARPANET was created as the first workable prototype of The
Internet. Its evolution continued to grow and in the 1990's Tim Berners-Lee invented
The World Wide Web (WWW) that allowed people to have access to a documents
connected to each other by hypertext or hypermedia links. As a consecuence, various
tools, programs and search engines were developed in the following years in order to
improve the user's experience.
"Acorn", the first IBM
personal computer is
WI-FI becomes part
of the computing
"LOGIN": First message
sent over the first link on
The World Wide Web
is introduced to the
Nowadays Internet is a widespread information infrastructure
to which its power influences not only the computer
communication field but also our society. We use it in a
regular basis for many reasons: online purchases, acquire
information, communicate with friends... and its use is
Image 2. A consumer looking some pictures on Internet (Pixabay, 2015).
At the beginning, the access to the Internet was
limited to specific areas (science and aviation,
mostly). There were few computers, yet heavies and
As it only sent text, they had sufficient with a dial-up
modem connected to a telephone line and a data
speeds of 14.4–28.8 kbps.
ACCES TO THE
"THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO FAST"
IBM Watson Internet of Things (Youtube, 2018)
Image 3. Bob Wolper, Chief Strategy and
Innovation Officer at Golden State Foods (Food
Image 4. The dial-up modem was the original device used to connect
to the Internet (Hackernoon, 2018)
Image 5. Phone cradle modem required dialing into your ISP using a
phone number via an external (or later internal) dial-up modem
Thanks to the World Wide Web, multimedia
content could be sent too. People started to
innovate, creating personal websites, sharing
information and posting things on the Internet.
The data speeds got faster and cable modems
-known as broadband service- became
popular as they improved the user's services
(download files, chat, watch stream videos,
video conference, browse active content on
Eventually, the development of new personal
computers and local area networks like
Ethernet make it more accesible to the public.
In the 80s, Internet was adopted by
universities, business and other organizations.
Image 6. Tim Berners Lee, the father of the World Wide
Web (Hackernoon, 2018)
"THAT SORT OF
ABSTRACT SPACE THAT
MAKES THE WHOLE
WORLD LOOK LIKE ONE
GREAT BIG BOOK —
THAT IS THE WORLD
Image 7. Screenshot of the first webpage in 1993 made by Berners Lee (NPR, 2013)
This first period was called WEB 1.0: users consume rather
than create. The websites were static and basic.
Later on, users became content creators as well and started
interacting and collaborating between them. Many
applications and platforms were born (ex. blogs, social
media): that was the WEB 2.0 period.
Currently, Internet is associated with the
term "online". In our modern society, we
are constantly online, sometimes without
being aware of it.
Thanks to the Internet Services Providers
(ISP) and the variety of technological
devices, we have access to it everytime
we want, from everywhere.
At the same time, social media platforms
help to increase the percentage of online
users as it is an easy way to stay
connected between each other.
Image 8. Workers using
computers many years ago
Image 9. People working
with different types of
devices (Freepik, 2020)
INTERNET USERS DISTRIBUTION IN THE WORLD
Image 11. Percentage of Internet users in March, 3, 2020
(Internet World Stats, 2020)
EVOLUTION OF GLOBAL INTERNET USERS
Image 10. Evolution of global internet users (in millions) by year until
January 2020 (Datareportal, 2020)
The number of Internet users increases every year. People spend an average of 6.43h
each day online. This result depends on the country and its features (age, affordability,
availability...). For example, Philippines spends 9.45h; however, Japan average is 4.22h.
Image 12. Digital around the world, January 2020 (Datareportal, 2020)
DIGITAL AROUND THE WORLD
DIGITAL DEVICES USED
Image 13. Connected devices installed base worldwide from 2015 to 2025 in billions
We live in a society where the
majority of people have more than
one technological device.
Apart from the mobile phone,
which has become essential, we
use other ways to be connected
depending on the situation.
EVOLUTION OF CONNECTED DEVICES WORLDWIDE
Smartphones are the first devices used.
The main activity is instant messaging and
social media, followed by music and web
In addition, we can use our phones to write
e-mails, watch movies, reading...
They are practical, easy to use and
comfortable to carry on with us all day
long. Its use is the one that grows up the
most every year.Image 14. Example of a smartphone, Apple model (Maxim, 2018)
However, desktop computers and laptops are also used a lot in many
fields: education, business, at home... especially for searching
information and entertainment.
There are many other devices from where we can access to Internet. Smartwatches, for
example, are mostly preferred for sports because of its features: physical activity
trackers, blood pressure monitors, pedometers... while game consoles are more common
in kids, as they can play alone or online with other players.
Image 16. From left to right: Apple and Samsung
watch (Phonearea, 2020)
Image 15. Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e (Xataca,
Image 17. Nintendo Switch (Technobezz, 2020)
Image 18. Share of web traffic by device (Datareportal, 2020)
AVERAGE OF TECHNOLOGICAL DEVICES USE
"DOES THE COMPUTER
EVER GET TIRED?"
Image 19. Chris O’Connor, General
Manager, Watson IoT, IBM (IoT-Now, 2016)
HOW CONSUMERS SEARCH
There are many ways to search information on
Internet. Nevertheless, Google is the world’s
largest search engine (forms the 76% of
searches). It provides us trillions of webpages
based on our specific search queries.
Google is also a business owner with a lot of
online services. It's up there with big companies
like Apple, Facebook or Amazon. All of them
represent most of the internet’s widespread
Image 20. Most common search engine (Hubspot, 2018)
TOP 5 DOMAINS WITH THE MOST VISITS
In the last two years, Google’s local searches on mobile
increased, representing the 60%. In addition, 84% of consumers
search information on Google 3 times a day or more.
It's a fact that people trust on Google to resolve queries, but
there are other platforms often used for searching. Around
2.71% of Google traffic is from social. Youtube is the second
domain visited by now. Its main use is for songs and musicians,
video gaming and funny content.
Image 22. Top 5 domains with the most visits in
February 2020 (Firstsideguide, 2020)
Image 21. Youtube Music platform
Another method recently popular is voice
search. Instead of typing the query, this
technology searches on Internet by verbally
asking questions to our device. Many user
find it comfortable to use because of its
natural tone, works better with long
sentences (it focus less on keywords) and
Around 50% of people use voice search and
its exponentially growing.
Some famous digital assistants are Google
Home, Amazon Echo and Alexa and Siri
Image 23. Example of a digital assistant (Iprospect, 2029)
Image 24. Percentage of queries in different categories answered correctly by smart speakers in
2018 (Quoracreative, 2020)
COMPARISON OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF VOICE SEARCH
Worldwide, 74% of purchases are made by Internet.
Countries like Thailand, Indonesia and Poland have
the highest number of online purchases, which
suggests that the economic situation is not the
primary determinant of ecommence use. Things like
cultural preferences or websites that cater to the
language needs are also important.
Consumers use different devices to buy online
depending on the situation or the type of product.
Image 25. Consumer buying online (Asicentral, 2017)
GLOBAL ECOMMERCE SPEND BY CATEGORY
Image 26. Amount of money spend around the world by category in 2019 (Datareportal, 2020)
Globally, the average
ecommerce shopper spends
almost US$500 on online
purchases of consumer
goods each year.
Last year, travel industry was the one that gained the most. Additionally, Fashion & Beauty
and Electronics & Physical Media categories increased 18% from 2018 to 2019 and Furniture
& Appliances had the fastest year-on-year growth.
Ecommerce is increasing over the years and that's why companies have to customize their
websites in order to give people the best experience. Even if costumers end up buying in the
physical store, most of them have done the research of the product on Internet before.
Therefore, the online presence is essential: from the design to the payment method services.
(buy anytime, from anywhere)
Easy to exchange products
(in some webs the return is free)
Extra information of the products and suggestions
(complements, costumers' feedbacks)
MAIN REASONS WHY PEOPLE BUY ONLINE WHY PEOPLE ABANDON THEIR PURCHASE
Extra cost for shipping
Orders take a long time to ship
Re-enter credit information
Discount codes not working
Online video consumption continues to
rise globally, being the main online
activity consumed. In 2018, a person
watched an average of 67 minutes of
online video every day, expecting to arrive
to 100 minutes in 2021.
Image 27. Consumer watching Netflix (Infoherd, 2020)
EVOLUTION OF VIDEO CONSUMPTION
Image 28. This graph shows part of the transition (2014-2017) people
are going through when it comes to video consumption
ONLINE CONTENT ACTIVITIES
Image 29. Percentage of online activities consumed in January 2020
Videos are considered more enjoyable and memorable than other type of content. They
are dynamics, generate more traffic and leads and help people to get a better
understanding of the product or service showed.
Consumers prefer short videos (less than a minute) rather than longer ones, and without
autoplay. That's the main reason why currently more than 80% of companies use it as a
way of advertising, specially through mobile phones. It's proved that around 64% of
consumers will buy the product after watching a video on social media platforms
(generally Youtube). In addition, the message in a video is more retained (95%) than in
text and its also easily shared by users.
Due to the rise of TV and subscription video-on-demand (SVOD), brands have been
investing a lot of money to acquire new content, most of them going into creating
By the end of 2019, around three-quarters of the time spent with streaming services was
in Netflix (31%), YouTube (21%), Hulu (12%) and Amazon (8%)
REASONS WHY CONSUMERS PAID FOR ONLINE VIDEO
Image 30. Many reasons why consumers subscrube to additional paid video streaming services
(Marketing Charts, 2020)
The third period (current one) is known as WEB 3.0: it's the
evolution of web utilization and interaction among several
paths, including altering the Web into a database.
Twenty years ago, the way we consumed was totally different.
"We went from a linear, retail-focused model to today’s iterative,
digital-centric model of customer behavior" (Bill Su, 2017). These
days, consumer's behavior is still changing, being influenced by
the technological and digital innovation growth.
“CHANGE IS INEVITABLE. PROGRESSION
IS A CHOICE.”
Image 31. Steven Becker,
Associate Director – Platform
Commercialization at Kimberly
Clark Professional in Roswell
(Caba, 2020)(Becker, 2017)
Back in 2005, a person is in the supermarket to
buy a specific product. There are many brands
from the same product, so he has to make a
decision. This decision will be influenced by many
factors as the design and colours of the product
or its position in the shelf. This decision progress is
called "First moment of truth" and the late
experience of the product, "Second moment of
There are three paradigm shifts that summarize this evolution:
1-FIRST MOMENT OF TRUTH
Image 32. Different steps that consumers lives while buying a
product. (Medium, 2017)
Ten years ago, the same situation changes. Now the consumer can easily access to
Internet, searching information about the product, comparing it with other brands,
reading people's opinion... before going to the physical store. Besides, exists the
option of buying it through online platforms like Amazon. Therefore, the "Zero
Moment of Truth" phase is the influence of Internet and social media in the
customer's decision journey. People become more iterative and aware of the
product and service, changing completely the steps of purchase.
2-ZERO MOMENT OF TRUTH + CUSTOMER DECISION JOURNEY
Image 33. New stages of the consumer
behavior. (Medium, 2017)
3-THE ACCELERATED LOYALTY JOURNEY
In the present, people are bombarded with a lot of information and ads in their
different devices. The type of content has to be concise, dynamic and visual as its
so easy to loose customer's attention (and almost impossible to take it back). This
stage of acceleration implies not only giving information but also doing it faster to
the most targeted customer segments. Companies have to understand consumers'
needs and invest in technology and employees to improve their products and
services and give them a good experience.
In other words, nowadays "customers are becoming more powerful in making
their own purchasing decisions" (Bill Su, 2017).
Going into more detail, in the last 5 years
time, there are some interesting trends
that may be familiar for us. Let's see
Back then, brands started to realize about
the consumer's interest for a better world
so they began to work on a more caring
consumption called "brand activism".
Terms like "healthy food" or "female
empowerment" were coming out fast,
being well-received by consumers.
Image 34. T-shirts with "female empowerment" messages. (Byrdie, 2020)
Many millennials (1980-mid2000s), at the same
time, became more participative in social media,
posting their opinions and preferences about
buying choices. These personalities, who had lots of
followers, received the name of "influencers" and
were keen to talk in front of the camera, promoting
products/services, brands or linking theirs names to
a commercial activity.
Companies like Pinterest, took the most of this
situation, supporting this generation while enriching
the ecommerce and preparing themselves to be a
virtual shop window.
Image 35. Pinterest was the faster growing social media platform, with lots of
infuencers -called tastemakers- (Business2Community, 2013)
The growth of social media activity was linked with the "sharing economy". People
increased the share of content through the different online platforms. An example is the
"Share a Coke" campaign from Coca-Cola, in which people's names and positive words
were added in its bottles, being a global hit.
Consumers -especially young ones- demanded things like innovation, virtual currencies,
community and green values. As savvier consumers, they also became more aware when
it referred to buy, so they searched on Internet information about the product,
comparing prices and giving importance to their fellow's reviews, too. They were
considered socially-conscious and less brand-loyal consumers, so brands became more
involved in this target to figure out their real needs.
Simultaneously, as a new era of oversharing
was emerging, digital footprint started to
worry many of them. Some thought that if
they weren't paying for a product, meant
that probably they were that product.
"Cyberterrorism" or "we are being sold"
were topics talked between consumers. As
Nicholas Parotta, chief digital and
information officer at HARMAN, said "You
have to protect the consumer"
As a consequence, big brands like Facebook promoted themselves as a privacy-
friendly company and many privacy-protecting tools and services appeared. Then,
privacy became both a main concern and a lucrative business opportunity.
"Privacy is becoming a luxury good" (Angwin, 2014)
Image 36. Consumers became aware of their digital footprint, provoquing
an athmosphere of mistrust (The Guardian, 2014)
Another consumer trend is the example of the tourism field, that rapidly increased its
online presence. A lot of young and tech-savvy consumers purchased online their
holidays, organizing their plans and comparing prices before leaving home. Moreover,
they would use their smartphones to post pictures on platforms like Instagram, sharing
their experiences and tagging places and products. That's why travel websites like
Booking worked hard on building and retaining their clients via social media, obtaining
great results since then.
Image 37. A person taking pictures during her holidays
Despite the fact that a few years ago both worlds -the online and offline- were in a
evolving coexistence, "omnichannel shopping" have eventually taken over, being a
complex and changeable term - along with consumer's behavior - which marketeers
have as their main consideration.
Image 38. Omnichannel shoppings give people flexibility and certainty,
helping them to obtain a better purchase (Mojix, 2017)
On the whole, we live in a connected world, where we use technology not only
between each other but also in everything around us: home lights that turns on
verbally, self-driving cars, smartphones that know where have we been... so, it's
clear that all these aspects affect us in many ways. Let's sum up the main points:
First, communication and AI. Personal relationships have changed and now it’s
easy to stay connected with family and friends from around the world, thanks to the
variety of technological devices and the availability of Internet. Social media has
become almost essential for everybody, especially for the Millennial generation.
They not only consume but also create, post and share their lives, looking for
innovative, dynamic and fast content.
Secondly, the consumption of Internet. People are increasing more and more the
number of hours spent on their devices every day. To resolve any query, they just pick
up the smartphone -for example- and search it online, having immediately lots of
websites to choose. They also use internet for entertainment, playing video games,
watching series or doing some sports.
Third, ecommerce. Regarding the importance of social media, many people use
these platforms as a tool for business. The “influencer” term, now, is everywhere, and
it’s so powerful that brands get involved to enrich their products and increase sales.
At the same time, companies work on their online presence, enhancing omnichannel
customer experiences through retail technology: adding chatbots, monitoring
customer’s purchase, personalizing sales, looking for feedbacks…
As a result, online worldwide purchases increase every year. Consumers find it
practical and comfortable as they can buy all they want -and whenever- just by
doing some "clicks" (or verbally asking to their devices).
In conclusion, people increasingly rely on digital technology although there are still
some concerns, especially with data protection and security regulation. Besides,
some are also sceptic of robots and automation machines and see this digital
lifestyle as a step back in our human side, as they believe the huge dependency on
technology could make us forget how to enjoy the real life.
Even though, it's important to support innovation and new technologies, as they are
driving both massive and positive changes in our lives, and be clever enough to take
the most of their use. So, instead of be worried, we should be asking ourselves:
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