Last year, we predicted that the number of AI acquisitions would increase significantly in 2019. And it did! So we decided to take it a step further this year and give you our 2020 tech predictions. These are the trends that we believe will be most prominent in 2020, based on what we’re currently seeing in the markets.
We’ll place each of these trends into one of these five buckets: computing, retail, beauty, Internet, and VC investment. We hope that this article and its accompanying video will give you a better idea of what’s likely to happen in the world of tech in 2020.
You might have heard of companies like Bubble.io, Webflow, and Appian. These are all low-code companies that have been growing in size and popularity. 2020 will be the year of low code. An increasing number of organizations have migrated to the cloud, they’re refactoring their codebase into microservices, and they want to move fast. Low-code platforms like the ones mentioned above will allow them to build apps faster without needing to replace or add to their existing skill sets.
We also expect enterprise AI to become mainstream in 2020.There’s a reason VC investors are interested in AI. Enterprise companies have seen the growth in consumer AI and they want in on the action. Expect AI technology to become more scalable, secure, and compliant than it’s ever been before.
Improvements in AI will bring about better supporting technologies for autonomous vehicles. We’re likely to see better voice recognition and better computer vision for improved vehicle navigation. On top of that, big trends such as IoT will accelerate improvements in the safety of autonomous vehicles.
Edge computing, too, will become easier. We anticipate a growing number of platforms that allow data to be processed at the edge level of a machine without clogging data bandwidth. This will go hand in hand with the development of 5G wireless technology.
2020 will see the slowdown of digitally native (DTC) brands. At this point in time, there are too many DTC brands that cannot differentiate themselves from their competitors and that need too much money to become self-sustainable. Even the DTC brands that have scaled eventually turn to retail for sustainable growth. This is a good opportunity for retailers, who should be able to scoop up DTC brands with good CAC and LTV metrics, without having to spend too much money.
Not that life as a retailer will become easier. Competing with Amazon has been hard in the 2010s and retailers will have to work even harder to beat Amazon moving forward. Differentiating through specialization won’t be enough anymore. Retailers will need to differentiate through experiences, localization, and perhaps even by adding services to their repertoire as well.
That’s not all either. The retail consumer is demanding and a linear marketing funnel will no longer suffice. Retailers will need to market to their customers with contextual recommendations, integrating consumer intent, product relevance, and ease of purchase into their marketing strategies.
Consumers increasingly value clean beauty over product performance, and this is a trend that will continue in 2020. Consider this: the clean, organic, natural beauty movement has grown 30x over the course of four years. Consumers simply want more transparency on the products they use.
Along with the continued growth of clean beauty, we will see the rise of beauty hardware. Think wearable sensors, smart mirrors, cleaning devices, and more. These devices will allow the consumer to have connected beauty routines that are personalized to their specific tastes.
Finally, local beauty brands are about to go global. K-Beauty paved the way and the beauty industry has paid attention. Expect successful local brands to start experimenting globally in the near future.
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) took effect on the 1st of January 2020. Consumers in California now have significantly more rights when it comes to the disclosure and sale of their personal data. Other US states, such as New York and Nevada, are considering similar acts. Data privacy will become much more important, to the point where startups going the extra mile in privacy will differentiate themselves from their competitors.
But privacy isn’t the only thing that’s becoming more important online. Consider this: there were at least 14,000 deepfake videos online in 2019. That number is likely to grow. Companies want to protect their reputation and will increasingly be willing to pay for protection against deepfake videos. This will spurn the growth of deepfake detection startups wanting to jump on this opportunity.
We anticipate a significant increase in SaaS and Deep Tech investments in 2020. SaaS investors have had a good year in 2019 and that will encourage them to invest more, particularly in late-stage SaaS startups. Most of these companies are likely to have some AI capacities too. European startups, for example, raised significantly more money in 2019 than in 2018, and that success was largely because of AI.
We hope that this article has given you some insight into the main trends that we believe will come out of 2020. If you’d like to delve deeper into one of these trends to understand how they can be relevant to your organization, please feel free to contact us.
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