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This week's top 5 cultural insights and e-commerce trends: 11 January 2019

Business · 3 min read

AOB: 11th January 2019

Our global reach lets us see what’s going on across the world and AOB is all about helping you take advantage. Here are this week’s top five cultural insights and e-commerce trends to look out for. They could provide you with your next big opportunity.

Smart Home Security Devices. Here to Stay

At last week's CES tech conference in Las Vegas, one of the biggest stories was the mainstream success of Smart Home devices, with 110 million devices shipped in 2018. Leading the charge is the home security category. With cameras getting smaller and more powerful, it’s now possible for a top-class security camera to replace the tiny glass peephole fitted to many front doors. Popular with renters who aren’t allowed to make permanent alterations to their properties, analysts predict that 7% of homes will be fitted with a smart security device by 2022. Like the phone accessory category, the smart home security category exists in the happy space between hardware and software. It’s set to grow significantly, so make sure you don’t miss this opportunity.

Coconut husk pallets. A new use for a waste product

Billions of trees are used every year to make the pallets used to transport goods. And the 70 billion coconuts harvested every year produce vast quantities of husk, around 85% of which goes to waste. Enter Cocopallet, who have found a way to make strong, stackable pallets with coconut husks. Whether you’re in the business of moving goods on pallets, or you’re looking to invest in new areas, this looks like a winning direction to take. With more and more consumers demanding an environmental purpose to their product choices, coconut pallets are surely an innovation with a future.

Mainstream business growing in the margins of legality

Cannabis is slowly entering, or re-entering, the world of law-abiding society. As European countries like Portugal and Holland are joined by more and more US states, the world is increasingly divided into yes and no on the subject. And this creates opportunities and confusion. Derivations like medicinal CBD are increasingly available in areas where mainstream cannabis is illegal. And the sale of cannabis paraphernalia is not dealt with in a legally consistent fashion. Most importantly, when it comes to moving the substance from place to place, anyone setting up a business needs to know what can and can’t be transported. So keep a keen eye on local legislation before you attempt to exploit this burgeoning market. Talk to your local DHL representative for the latest legislation in your area.

Brand Purpose Goes Mainstream

With companies like Kraft Heinz creating socially conscious activities around brands like Planters Nuts and Kool Aid, it seems 'brand purpose' has broken through. First coined by strategist Simon Sinek, brand purpose was once considered an indulgent practice designed to win advertising awards, but more and more brands are now at least seeming to put purpose before profit.  Now dubbed Actvertising, perhaps it’s time your brand worked out its purpose and started shouting about it. And, if you’re a marketing agency, isn’t now the moment to start suggesting something similar to your clients?

Wearable Technology Finally Becomes Indispensable

Garments that can ‘do things’ have been on the fringes for over a decade. Often ridiculed, they were always waiting for the right tasks. Israeli company make smart leggings that measure your changing shape, track your fitness progress and recommend other clothes that will fit you perfectly. Even more exciting are medical applications, such as Emma, developed by Haiyan Zhang at Microsoft. Emma stimulates the hand of a Parkinson’s patient during a tremor, letting them draw and write again. A new product called Livia promises to alleviate menstrual cramps by stimulating abdominal nerves to produce pain relief. As the sector reaches maturity, could it point the way to your next business?

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