Digital Shift, a quarterly service from Econsultancy, is intended as a guide to support strategic thinking. This quarter’s update covers Instagram’s 10th birthday, payment in maps, partying in the metaverse, unstaffed pop-up stores, livestreaming commerce and body and voice scanning.

Focused tightly on digital technologies, marketing and ecommerce, it is about delivering actionable insight on trends that will be significant in the short- to mid-term, and can be used to generate new ideas, improve business performance and stay ahead of the competition.

The latest report in this series, also available as a presentation and webinar recording (see link to the right), looks at the following:

  • Amazon, Covid-19 and ecommerce revenues: With the coronavirus dramatically accelerating the shift to ecommerce, Digital Shift examines how Amazon has benefitted and how exactly it makes its money.
  • The integration of digital and physical commerce: Digital Shift shares some innovative ways that digital is being brought into the physical store environment. These innovations are using new technologies to better understand users’ physical and voice profiles in order to empower new forms of recommendation and new services.
  • Embedded payments: Previous Digital Shifts have suggested that Google Maps is well positioned to become the next super-app, and this quarter has seen some compelling markers for that with the integration of more functionality and embedded payments into the app.
  • Video commerce: The convergence of the trend towards video content and the uplift in distributed commerce are combining to create some new innovations for how video can drive conversions and serious sales.
  • Instagram at 10: Instagram reaching the decade milestone is an opportunity to consider the platform’s future, including its more seamless integration of commerce features.
  • Augmented reality: Digital Shift has long featured the latest examples in the rapidly developing AR space, and this report looks at some nicely innovative work from brands and designers from this quarter.
  • Learning from the East: Tencent is possibly the most important business in the world of which those in the West know relatively little. This presents an opportunity to look at how its investment strategy is setting it up well for a future that will inevitably include version of what is being called ‘the metaverse’.

As ever, as we say with Digital Shift, plenty of challenge but also plenty of opportunity.