2020 was quite the eventful year! [Insert standard commentary about 2020 being a terrible, disruptive year].
While we didn’t start our year off with the bingo cards we hear you’ve been filing out, we did start the year with a few predictions about online behavior and figured we should check back up on them. In January, Covid-19 was just beginning to break out in Wuhan, and the rest of the world was not anticipating the lockdowns that began in March and have continued disrupting everyday life ever since. While the internet was already an integral part of most people’s lives, the pandemic has solidified its role as our portal to the world.
Without further ado, here are some updates on the projections we had gathered for 2020:
- 4.39 billion internet users worldwide – 2020 actually saw 4.54 billion internet users, or up to 4.93 billion according to additional sources. That’s about 60% of all humans! The interruption of in-person contact pushed more people online than we had anticipated in January. And even more are using mobile phones: 5.19 billion people to be precise.
- $530.6 billion in U.S. online shopping revenue – U.S. ecommerce revenue already reached $581.5 billion in just the first 3 quarters of 2020. The impact of Covid is clear; ecommerce sales increased 32% from Q1 to Q2, when lockdowns occurred in the U.S. The total ecommerce sales for the country are projected to be $709.8 billion, but that’s another number we might need to update after accounting for American consumers spending their holiday gift money online in the final days of this year.
- $1.6 trillion of retail sales will be web-influenced – It’s old news that consumers will experience dozens, if not hundreds, of touchpoints before purchase. With every shopping trip becoming a Covid infection risk, consumers had to research and plan their purchases ahead of time. Curbside pickup became a mainstream shopping method. Omnichannel shopping is simply today’s retail experience. 2020 makes us ask the question: how many purchases occur completely offline?
- 2.41 billion active Facebook users – Make that 2.7 billion monthly active users! And when you include Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, monthly users increase to 3.14 billion. While Facebook’s suite of platforms are giants, there are an additional 660 million social media users on other networks. Surveys have shown that 51% of people are using social media more frequently due to the pandemic, although this appears to amount to a mere 7 additional minutes per day.
- 5 billion YouTube views per day, 1 billion on mobile devices – YouTube reports over 1 billion hours of video watched daily, but does not quantify how many billions of views that equals. 70% of view time comes from mobile devices. Some notable YouTube trends from 2020 include increased views of beginner tutorials, social justice videos related to the Black Lives Matter movement, and co-watching livestreamed events. While YouTube was already the 2nd most visited website in the world, it played a crucial role in helping us adapt to our new normal.
- 75% of US households have streaming subscriptions, 69% of whom subscribe to more than 1 streaming service – In the early days of 2020, U.S. consumers actually had an average of 12 paid media subscriptions. During the pandemic, Americans subscribing to video streaming services increased from 73% to 80%. Despite this overwhelming market penetration, only 25% of all television minutes viewed are streamed. Video consumption is here to stay, however, with 23% of consumers worldwide saying they plan to continue watching more video after the pandemic is over.
We can’t wait to see you again in 2021 here
on the internet in the world. Happy browsing, liking, swiping, streaming, and shopping in the New Year!