Megatrends that will shape the future of the digital economy

While was registered just decade ago, Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone in San Francisco 10 years ago. Digital technologies have transformed our world in just a few short years.

Online search engine advertising now accounts for $90 billion in revenue. The global smartphone market is worth $435 billion. There has been a rise in new markets and industries as a result of new technologies.

As a global trend, the digitalisation of business but also building of a digital economy has been adopted around the world. In 2017, again the digital age reached a critical point in its development. Robots will perform a quarter of all operational tasks in 2025, and half the world’s population is already online. By use of emerging innovations in Russia is expected to boost GDP by 19 to 34%.

The future has indeed arrived because of how quickly the world is changing. There is still a lot of variation in the pace at which cities and countries are transitioning to a digital world.

It is therefore essential that businesses have the ability to keep up with the latest trends and changes in the globalised era in order to remain competitive and successful.

In order to identify and test digitalisation ideas for our customers, Softline’s digital laboratory studies buyer, technological and industry trends. In turn, this allows us to create profitable digital products for in our own clients.

Today, we’re going to talk about some of the most important megatrends influencing the way businesses and industries operate and operate.


There has been an acceleration in the world economy over the past few decades as various markets have become more intertwined, particularly those for capital, new tech and goods, as well as for labour.

One market and one information space have been created because of globalisation, which has resulted in freer trade around the world. Products and market characteristics were made readily available to customers, giving them a wider choice of options and more reliable information. Increasingly, consumers are taking control of the marketplace by dictating one‘s preferences to manufacturers.

In light of globalisation and the increasing volatility of the world market, as well as the increased competition, companies are looking to develop more sustainable business models. Natural, material, financial, and intellectual resources all play a role in a business model’s long-term viability. As a result of this change, companies are increasingly forming networks of suppliers, partners, customers, and competitors.

The following are some real-world examples of globalisation in action:

Transnational corporations produce one-fifth of the world’s goods and services. Microsoft, Oracle, P&g, Mars, Gazprom, Exxon Mobil, Lukoil, McDonald’s, and others are examples of companies that have a strong presence in the software industry.

In 2007, the quantity of people who live in cities surpassed that of rural areas for maybe the first time ever. Cities will be the primary source of population growth in the future.

At the end of the year 2020, upwards of 80 billion phones will be online. In all aspects of life, including the economy, the availability of information has led to greater transparency. Twitchy of business and methods will be a goal for businesses.

The number of people migrating annually is steadily rising as a result of increased economic and political globalisation. The majority of migration is made up of workers, but one-third of it is made up of refugees fleeing war-torn countries.

It’s no longer necessary to purchase goods in your own country because so many companies are moving production there. Everywhere in the world can receive goods.

Reduced calorie intake

The Economy of Sharing model was born out of the rise of lean consumption and the realisation that experience is more important than ownership. Having access to use something rather than owning something is a fundamental principle: some people have resources or an excess that other people need – such as equipment or tools; transportation; housing; knowledge; free time.

The model is based on a peer-to-peer approach. A wide range of people and organisations are involved in the creation, production, distribution, trade, and consumption of various goods and services.

It’s important to strike a balance between cutting costs and enhancing the quality of raw materials and components while also reducing the overall logistics burden.

After a decade of mass-produced goods, the first decade of the 1990s saw a shift toward a new trend: the personalization of ingestion and the customization of production. Personalized consumer preferences are spreading to new kinds of products and services, which will broaden the scope of this concept in the coming decades.

Consumption examples of leanness:

Upwards of $ 10 million was raised for Pebble watches in 2012, when they were first developed. Kickstarter’s largest transaction crowdfunding platform, this is the project with the most money raised.

Airbnb is seen as a model for the Sharing Economy. With the company, travellers can view and rent bids from landlords all over the world.

Since customers only pay for said time they use the car, they can save near to 70 percent of the price of transportation. The use of automobiles is becoming more efficient, and the volume of traffic made voluntarily is rising.


To test the Combo tariff, taxi drivers can simultaneously transport multiple passengers that do not realise each other.

An example of a taxi aggregator is Yandex. There are taxi, Uber, and Gett services. Within 5 minutes, the customer doesn’t want to sit around waiting for a cab or waste time talking to the driver.

Growing pace of change

It’s becoming increasingly common for new technologies to have a significant impact on everyday life, from factory output to the way we organise our schedules. Because of the rapidity with which new technologies are being developed, businesses are being compelled to adapt their existing business models and develop new methods to the products or services, as well as their internal processes and infrastructure.

The rate at which new products are introduced to the market is increasing all the time. Businesses must operate in an environment of constant change and uncertainty, making it impossible to use the tried-and-true business models and procedures. The principles of the “sharing economy” and electronic platforms are influencing the development of new business models.

There are a number of roadblocks to business transformation, including a lack of skills, rigid management structures, and uncertainty.

Many businesses are forced to abandon the market because they lack the resources to adapt to new conditions. It has become more difficult and expensive for businesses to innovate because of the increasing pressure from consumers and the rapid spread of technology. New models of advancements are being developed by companies.

An increasing rate of change is an example:

More than a quarter the us population was familiar with the mobile phone and radio after more than 30 years; by comparison, the Internet had reached a mass audience in just seven years.

Since 2000, 52percent of the total of Fortune 500 have been taken over or have gone bankrupt.

When compared to today’s global trends, ten years ago’s essential knowledge and skills were out of date.

There has already been a 1.5-fold decrease in the lifespan of large corporations

New technological platforms will cause the demise of one-third of the world’s top twenty companies.

Media coverage used to take a day or farther to spread back in the day. Today, a single mouse “click” suffices.

Most new jobs require abilities that it only 20% of population possess.

Digitization of communications

Infocommunication technologies are changing communication models between people, as well as between people and organizations (government bodies, small and large businesses, retail trade, social organizations).

It is getting easier and easier to establish and maintain contacts, it is possible to instantly interact with each other at any distance. The spread of digital technology is happening at a rapid pace, and more evenly than the distribution of income.

Individuals receive tools to interact directly, bypassing intermediaries. Online migration takes place in areas that were previously only available offline, such as government services and education.

People all over the world are becoming addicted to smart devices such as mobile phones and tablet computers. With their help, you can complete a variety of tasks anywhere and anytime – from communication, shopping in a store, entertainment and checking emails to settlements with a bank, education and GPS navigation.

User behavior is evolving: 10 years ago, Facebook revealed people’s profiles, changing their lives. Then Instagram and Twitter called for sharing information about yourself every second. Today the era of tracking has come: what time we woke up, how long we walked, how we walked with the dog, etc. Consumers spend almost all their free time with gadgets that speed up their already fast life and make information exchange instant.

Examples of digitalization of communications:

In Germany, 37% of daily communication takes place via digital devices.

Almost 80% of consumers around the world own smartphones.

Omnichannel is actively developing: the ability to make purchases in different modes: at a point of sale, via a mobile phone, via a computer with the possibility of a seamless transition.

Opinion leaders in social networks are becoming one of the most important promotion channels. 60% of consumers say they listen to recommendations.

Growth-oriented companies strive to create training opportunities for their workforce. The volume of the global online education market in 2016 exceeded $ 50 billion and is projected to increase 5 times by 2022.

Social transformation

Society is in constant flux. The main vectors of global demographic shifts are: a steady decline in the birth rate and mortality rate of the population with economic development and urbanization, an increase in the world’s population, an increase in life expectancy and accelerated migration of the population from less developed to more developed countries.

Attitudes towards aging are changing, gender roles and the concept of family are shifting. The proportion of older people is increasing. The consumption habits of older people are different from those of younger people. Increased access to education and the growing participation of women in business are profoundly influencing changes in social infrastructure. The role of women in society is changing, gender equality is developing, which has shaken the position of men as the first breadwinner in the family. One of the main facts determining the society of the future is the change of generations. Generation X will be replaced by generations Y and Z with a different set of values.

Examples of social transformation:

The world’s population will increase by 15% by 2030.

The average age of women at the birth of their first child has increased from 26 years in 1995 to 29 years in 2015 and will continue to increase.

The global average number of children per woman will be 2.47 by 2020, up from 3 in 1995.

In the UK, the number of males on maternity leave has increased tenfold from 10 years earlier.

Two-thirds of people between the ages of 14 and 34 say gender no longer determines lifestyle or behavior as it once did.

Technology and innovation

One of the most important factors influencing modern consumer behavior is the rapid development of technology. On the one hand, technology expands consumer opportunities by opening up access to the broadest range of goods and services.

On the other hand, advances in technology are making our lives difficult and changing. Sometimes we can no longer cope with the pace of development and the complexity of technologies, and even become dependent on them. Therefore, the so-called usability – convenience and intuitive ease of use of technology – is becoming the most important consumer requirement.

Current technologies hold great potential for business development. In the future, technologies will become more accessible, including to consumers. Technology is perceived as an object of increasing efficiency, but it also allows the creation of customer experience, new sources of income.

Examples of technology development and innovation:

Internet of Things: technology is no longer just objects. Today the refrigerator, kettle and vacuum cleaner can be sources of information.

Today, no high-tech business sees itself without cloud technologies. The problems of server overload, cyber attacks and huge financial investments are a thing of the past.

You can pay for your purchases by phone. Apple Pay, Android Pay and LG Pay technologies have made life easier for consumers and made transactions based on magnetic switching technology available to everyone.  

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