Mary Meeker, the internet analyst turned venture capitalist, is out with her report on internet trends and as usual, there’s plenty of buzz. In a more than 300-slide presentation, Meeker highlighted a number of trends, some obvious, some not.
For the first time, more than half the world’s population is online, she said, but growth is slowing since there’s fewer new people to lure on to the web. Americans, meanwhile, are spending more time on the internet, and worrying more about it.
Another trend she noted: E-commerce is growing—it’s now 15% of retail sales—but growth there has slowed, too, though it’s still faster than regular retail. Further, companies are spending more to acquire customers online than they were last year. That could be bad news if companies are forced to spend more than the long-term revenue generated by those customers. But free trials and tiered offerings could be part of the solution, the report said. It also emphasized the importance of data and user recommendations to successful e-commerce.
The report shows concerns about privacy have had some tangible impact. About 87% of web traffic was encrypted as of the first quarter of this year, compared to 53% in the first quarter of 2016. The report predicts new ways to keep electronic communications private.