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Crises come and go but long-term trends stay! I offer you a small distraction from the current situation, let's look at the world of technological business in the context of the next decade. In this article, I will do my best to share my vision on the trends and verticals that will determine the twenties.
We talk to startups and investors, you get the value.
Let’s start with b2c. The consumer trends for the next decade will be determined by the mentality of the generation that will become solvent — the generation Z. Therefore, the fundamental b2c verticals will be Mental Health & Wellness, Ed Tech and Fashion Tech.
New generations (Millennials and generation Z) were born and grown up in the period of maximum indeterminateness, tenseness and crises, that were multiplied on a maximum speed of information transmission. This is bound to be reflected in their mental health.
Generation Z is called the most anxious and lonely — according to researchers, 70–75% of teenagers consider anxiety and depression the most burning problems among their peers, and they are searching for the solutions of their problems in technologies.
Generation Z is growing up, becoming more solvent, discovering the world of technology for their parents and grandparents, therefore Mental Health & Wellness verticals will only become more popular in the nearest years.
An absolute majority of the generation Z are concerned about their future — 67% of them worry about their financial well-being and 64% — about getting a decent job.
Gen Z understands that besides their personal problems they will face global problems in the future, and they will be urged to deal with climate change, AI development and its restraining, gene engineering and pandemic diseases.
Consequently, generation Z is highly motivated and accepts the lifelong learning concept — the process of studying throughout the whole life. They want education to be seamlessly integrated in their day, but the existing educational system and the existing online solutions hardly meet their needs of personalization, flexibility, interactivity and instant feedback. That is why I consider Ed Tech one of the key trends that will define the “twenties”.
Gen Z is a very rational generation but there is one thing, for which they are ready to overpay is personalization. The consumption basis of Generation Z is the possibility of individuality, in other words, consumption becomes a means of self-expression but not a way to join a certain social group. Gen Z is willing to pay more for products that emphasize their personality.
They are possessed with searching for brands which feel like real ones. For instance, the research conducted by Dormify e-commerce company has shown that dark, low-quality photos of products, without any additional refinishing, are increasing conversions into a buy among Gen Z.
Clothes have always been one of the main ways of self-expression, that’s why Fashion Tech — technical solutions, which will help the field to adapt to new generation’s inquiries, will be further developing.
Now, let’s move to the b2b section. Here, digital automation in all its manifestations will definitely run the show.
Until we forget about the Gen Z, let’s analyze the main b2b trend which will be directly aimed at satisfying their requests.
Generation Z has a negative attitude towards advertising and they usually buy a product if someone they trust has advised them. In addition to their friends and relatives, most of their trust is based on the opinion of the leaders with a narrow specialization, experts in some field.
Communities and influencers are main channels of communication with Generation Z. Moreover, their attention is increasingly shifting to the micro-level: micro-communities and micro-influencers. Therefore, the main b2b trend in the context of marketing will become the solutions that simplify working with micro-level marketing.
In the context of automation, RPA (Robotic process automation) will dominate in the coming years. It is a technology that allows you to automate business processes not through integration through an API or busbar but through the interaction of a software robot with existing application interfaces.
RPA is the most fast-growing segment of the enterprise software world market — in 2018, the vertical grew by 63%, and in 2019 — by 54%, and now amounts to $ 1.3 billion. The amenity of RPA is that it integrates absolutely seamlessly and allows customers to increase the level of process automation without changing existing business processes. Forrester predicts that the RPA market will reach $ 12 billion by 2023.
The economic crisis will only contribute to the implementation of automation by most organizations, and AI integration will allow RPA-solutions to cope with more complex problems.
It is clear that in the twenties, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) will be dominant in all verticals. And such categories as, for example, AIaaS will help to open this world to a greater circle of users.
Machine learning requires a lot of data and resources that are not available to most organizations. For example, a small business can’t hire its own data scientists’ team. Nowadays, only 17% of companies use AI/ML widely, and 30% — in some cases. According to surveys, about 50% of companies plan to widely use AI/ML in 3 years.
This opens up a huge niche for AI products sharpened for solving tasks of certain verticals that allow small and medium-sized organizations to integrate them into their workflow and begin feeling all the advantages of artificial intelligence and data analysis at much lower costs.
Of course, these are not all the verticals that will define the new decade but I would study them more closely because each of them opens up a huge number of possibilities. I am pleased to read your thoughts on these and other verticals, which, in your opinion, will become fundamental in the next decade. Venture to all!
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