scorecardAI as a Service to free speech platforms and social commerce, these are the big emerging trends of 2023
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AI as a Service to free speech platforms and social commerce, these are the big emerging trends of 2023

AI as a Service to free speech platforms and social commerce, these are the big emerging trends of 2023
Tech5 min read
Representative image    Canva
  • A rapidly evolving technology landscape and consumer trends will shape how businesses perform, going forward.
  • A report by Wavemaker titled Spotlight23 has underlined the major trends that businesses will have to adapt to this year.
  • Some of the most prominent emerging technologies and consumer trends to watch out for in 2023 include artificial intelligence as a service (AIaaS), generative AI like ChatGPT and increasing use of Reels.
A rapidly evolving technology landscape and quickly changing consumer trends require businesses to evolve with them at the same pace or risk falling behind. From the way customers interact with businesses to how businesses attract customers with new innovations, several emerging trends like artificial intelligence as a service (AIaaS), and increased focus on privacy and free speech have been identified in Wavemaker’s report titled Spotlight23.

While ecommerce has existed for a long time, the Covid-19 pandemic changed how Indians look at it. According to a survey, 83% of Indian consumers have increased their purchases from ecommerce platforms in the last three years, and this momentum is expected to gain pace.

But that is just one aspect of the evolving technology and consumer landscape. Here are other hot and emerging trends of 2023, according to the Spotlight23 report.

Generative AI to grow 10x in the next three years

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, like ChatGPT and Dall-E are expected to see a massive uptake in the next three years, growing from 1% of the data generated to 10% by 2025.

Generative AIs like Dall-E, ChatGPT generate images and text using the inputs provided by users. For instance, ChatGPT can write articles, code or even compose music based on the inputs provided by users.

OpenAI, which launched both Dall-E and ChatGPT, said that the latter was used by over 1 million users within the first 24 hours of its launch.

AI as a Service (AIaaS)

The gaining traction of low-code/no-code artificial intelligence (AI) tools has given businesses an opportunity to implement off-the-shelf AI tools in their services, instead of developing an in-house AI. This brings down the costs and also allows businesses to see what works and what doesn’t.

Some of the use cases of AI as a Service include optimizing campaigns, predicting customer churn and engaging customers based on their usage patterns as predicted by the AI model.

Privacy and free speech to continue to gain prominence

Users are increasingly worried about their privacy, with 66% of internet users globally worried that their identity will be stolen, according to Statista. Further enactment of privacy-focused laws like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has put the spotlight on data privacy.

The Spotlight23 report states that businesses will invest in privacy-centric technologies as customers become increasingly sensitive about their data.

Another aspect that has gained prominence is free speech, as evidenced by the Twitter takeover by Elon Musk, and the rise of decentralized social media platforms like Mastodon, which has seen an 800% increase in users since October 2022, with the user base now standing at 2.5 million.

However, the report adds that advertisers will likely stay away from Twitter until a balance between free speech and brand safety is found.

Reel it – engagement and social commerce is evolving rapidly

Instagram Reels’ rise in popularity can be explained with this metric alone – in Q3 2022, Meta reported over 140 billion reels were played, which means over 1.55 billion reel plays every day during the quarter, or 1.08 million reels played every minute. This makes it critical for brands to create Reels to drive user engagement, according to the report.

The opening up of WhatsApp Business API to everyone provides business with another opportunity to generate new leads. Many of those examples are already live – for instance, JioMart’s catalogue can be browsed through WhatsApp, allowing them to place orders and make payments.

Reliance’s media arm Viacom18, which bagged IPL streaming rights, could help Jio accelerate social commerce via partnerships with brands, leveraging its user base of over 450 million.

Social commerce growth to result in increased influencer collaborations

Gaining prominence of social commerce is expected to result in an increase in brands collaborating with social influencers. According to Statista, sales through social media stood at $992 billion in 2022, and they are expected to increase to $2.9 trillion by 2026.

“Influencer collaboration can boost a company's revenue. For instance, Petco worked with Gabby Douglas and used livestream shopping events to reach and engage customers,” the Spotlight23 report said.

Conversational AI is also expected to further drive user engagement, with several brands like H&M, Levi’s and others already using chatbots to give personalized recommendations to buyers.

VR, AR and XR to deliver a more immersive shopping experience

Technologies like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and extended reality (XR) are expected to enhance the shopping experience of users and make it more immersive.

These technologies allow users to try on products virtually to see if they suit them or not – for instance, Lenskart has a 3D try-on feature that lets users check out eyeglasses and sunglasses virtually before buying them.

Asian Paints’ app allows users to take a photo of their wall and picture how it looks with the diverse range of colours and textures offered by the company.

ONDC could realize its potential in 2023

During a panel discussion in November 2022, Thampy Koshy, the Chief Executive Officer of ONDC, said that Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is the Indian government’s attempt to democratise commerce.

ONDC is an open platform that allows sellers to make their catalogues visible to every buyer on the platform.

Koshy likened ONDC to UPI, saying “what UPI did was to essentially streamline and democratise the payment side of it. What ONDC is trying to do is a similar kind of transformation on the transaction side of goods and services.”

ONDC is currently live in 83 cities, and it has 25 network participants along with over 700 merchants onboard.