After social media and m-commerce: messaging commerce!

When Mary Meeker speaks, everyone listens very carefully. She has been sharing her truthful insights into the evolution of the Internet with the whole world for 20 years now. Her prediction? Messaging will become a major vector for e-commerce!

Mary Meeker is not just any woman. The American venture capitalist, who is now 56, has been an analyst and partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers for many years. Her truthful insights have earned her the title of “Queen of the Net”. When she carries out an analysis of the current situation and then makes predictions based on this analysis, the whole world hangs on her every word.

Print media is greatly overestimated

What did she tell in the Meeker Report, which has been presented last week during the Code Conference? First of all, some figures. There are currently 2.8 billion Internet users worldwide – about 30% of the world’s population (an increase of 8% compared to the year before).

However, this impressive increase is nothing compared to the growing number of smartphones: people currently use 2.1 billion smartphones – an increase of 23% compared to 2014. More and more people jump on the information bandwagon using a mobile device. And this also impacts monetisation – although advertising expenses for mobile sites are lagging behind. In addition – and traditional publishers will hate to hear this – print media, as well as the time spent on it, are greatly overestimated.

Consumers spend 4% of their time in print media, while print gets 18% of advertising budgets. On the other hand, mobile is underestimated: consumers spend 24% of their time on mobile devices, while marketers allocate only 8% of their budgets to mobile. The web shows more balanced results: consumers spend 24% of their time on it, and it gets 23% of the ad budgets.

Messaging services as content hubs

These are very interesting figures, especially for marketers. As a company, you should consider another trend Mary Meeker identified. Messaging services (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Snapchat…) have become incredibly popular. And they could very well soon play an important part in e-commerce. Some of these messaging services already allow users to send money to each other within the service. This could develop into creating new forms of commerce, and the messaging services could become real content hubs.

An on-demand society

O, and if you plan to start a new business, make sure that you are “on-demand”. Because that is the business model that our society will soon implement. Consumers expect to get what they want, where and when they want it. Traditional business models (just think of Uber vs taxis, AirBnB vs hotels...), as well as lawmakers, will have to integrate these changes of the economic situation. This is the model that consumers want, and there is no way back...

Please visit Slideshare if you want to check out the slides of the Mary Meeker report. The conclusions that has drawn from this report are quite enlightening as well.