2020 Trends: What really Happened

February 5, 2021

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2020 was a weird year for everyone involved, but at the start of the year, we made some predictions as to how we thought it would play out. We take a look back at those estimates and discover how wrong or right we were...

So we have something to confess, last year didn't quite go the way we expected it to. Back in December of 2019, we predicted the 6 biggest marketing trends that would make an impact in 2020 and well… who could predict what happened next? Let’s have a look back at what we predicted, outlining which trends didn’t quite take off, but also those that were accelerated by the various events in the most unprecedented year on record…

Customer and User Experience 

As predicted, customer experience played a vital role in many brand’s digital marketing activities. This was accelerated by the fact that most businesses were forced online in order to survive, with some brands even making a move into D2C. When it comes to a customer’s journey through a website, convenience is key. In fact, companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional $700 million within 3 years of investing in customer experience. They also found that a staggering 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.  

With 49% of buyers making impulse purchases after receiving a more personalized experience - streamlining the shopper journey and personalisation is the ultimate way to convert online traffic into paying customers. Here at Adimo our Buy Now or Add to Basket solutions can do just that. In just a few short clicks customers are transported from brand.com to a retailer of their choice where they can buy a product or add it to their basket.  

Shoppable Social

 One trend that perhaps has the most potential is social commerce. Some of the biggest social channels have well and truly jumped on to the bandwagon whilst others may be a bit late to the party, maybe too late...  

In conjunction with the eCommerce trend as businesses were forced to shift online, social commerce has firmly nestled itself into daily shopping habits of users across the globe. In fact, 87% of eCommerce shoppers believe that social media helps them make shopping decisions.  Whether it’s adding transactional links on Instagram or using influencer marketing on TikTok, brands are now coming up with increasingly innovative ways to promote their products. According to Instagram, 60% of people discover new products on their platform. - so why shouldn't buying products from social media be just as easy?. 

A great example of this in action is the Asos: #AsSeenOnMe campaign. Users were asked to share photos of themselves wearing clothes from ASOS on their social profiles (Instagram and Facebook) using the hashtag of #asseenonme. The store then added transactional links to the items featured and displayed them alongside the photos on their channel.

Adimo’s Offering 

To help brands capitalise on the growing social commerce movement, Adimo’s technology can be added to any type of social advertising, to turn it into a seamless shopping experience. Our solutions catch consumers in the moment of consideration and in a few quick clicks they are already at the bottom of the sales funnel, converting your engagements into paying customers.  



In terms of data, hyper-personalization was predicted to make the biggest impact in 2020. The ability to harness AI and real-time data to provide content, product information, deals, and services that are tailored to fit the consumer’s life was expected to play a big part in the marketing landscape. Hyper-personalization is different from personalization in that it analyzes purchase history, tastes, preferences, and recent searches to offer customized rewards, send push notifications at a time you’re likely to purchase and create an individualized homepage for you just like Netflix and Spotify do. 

The importance of adjusting your marketing approach to show sensitivity to local languages, customs, and buying patterns is extremely important during a pandemic, as we enter a global recession. A study of Fortune 500 companies found that those who localised their content doubled their odds of increasing profitability and were 125% more likely to see increases in share price year on year. The need for hyper localisation was further confirmed by a study showing that 60% of non-English speaking shoppers never make purchases from English language sites, and so the one size fits all approach should be scrapped. 

A trend that started a few years ago now but has been setting the benchmark for localisation is the Chatbot. Offering chatbots in the language of your internet users can encourage a deeper level of interaction, which in turn will offer you precious information about what is motivating purchases in a region.

Unexpected Trends

So the year did not quite go as expected, the global pandemic not only changed the lives of millions of people offline, but in the digital world too.

Before the pandemic ecommerce was expected to make a gradual increase over the next few years. COVID-19 has accelerated this growth enormously. By 2040, it is now estimated that 95% of all sales will be made online. After the worst year for bricks and mortar stores since 1995, and retailers on the high street being forced online to keep up with demand - many brands have looked to creating D2C (Direct to Consumer) websites to sell their products. Some of the biggest FMCG brands like Kraft Heinz and Proctor and Gamble led the way in this. Take a look at our article, Direct to Consumer vs Traditional Retail for more on this story. 

Another unexpected trend is the humble QR (Quick Response) code. With public hygiene being brought to the forefront in March, the need to have contactless shopping and information was more than ever before. The QR code would provide many brands and businesses with a way of showing customers electronic menus and sometimes even selling products using landing pages. Our article The QR Code Revival outlines where the code came from as well as if it is just a flash in the pan. 

So here we are in 2021, it seems as though the months between March 2020 and now have merged into one, but the marketing and ecommerce landscapes have drastically changed. With further lockdowns and restrictions set to be in place for the majority or this year, the digital transformation is far from over...

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