From record-breaking e-commerce sales to permanent shifts in how we live our lives — 2020 has been a year of unprecedented digital adoption across the globe.
Streaming giants have soared, international brands have found new ways to operate, and millions of us have leaned on tech like never before.
Take the US, for example.
Overall retail e-commerce sales in the country reached more than $794 billion in 2020, smashing the pre-pandemic forecast of $674 billion.
Europe also saw similar growth, with digital adoption jumping from 81% to 95% as a direct result of COVID-19 — with consumer demand for indoor entertainment being a significant driving force.
And in China, so-called ‘revenge shopping’ — that’s shoppers jumping at the chance to treat themselves after so many months of lockdown — generated over $74 billion in the first two weeks of November, during the Singles Day shopping festival.
Even those less technically inclined have turned to digital solutions to solve problems of the pandemic era. In Latin American, for example, 13 million people made their first-ever e-commerce transaction as a result of COVID-19.
But what does all of this mean for the future of digital?
And how might technology help us adjust to life after lockdown?
To help us answer those questions, here’s a closer look at the story of one of the most digitally transformative years in history and what we should expect from its next chapter.