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A Rise of Social E-Commerce

As we step into 2019, the rise of social e-commerce is a trend worth noting. Consumers have begun to show positive sentiment toward purchasing products and services through third-party social media platforms such as Instagram. Users have the ability to directly purchase a product as they see it in “action.” Personally, I appreciate when brands offer social e-commerce options because it makes it much easier for me to find items that I would be interested in. Also, I no longer have to research to find a new product as it seamlessly appears on my Instagram feed. Initially, some social media users may have found this tactic to be “disruptive”; however, studies from social listening platforms such as Hootsuite, show that consumers find that Instagram and other visual social media platforms can simplify the new product discovery process. - Christine Goncalves



A Rise of Meme Culture

In 2019, we should expect to see the continued rise of meme culture on social media. The key understanding here is that while everyone loves memes and older generations happily engage with that content, Gen Z uses memes as a language. That means memes are the ways that they express themselves on social media and the lens in which they see the world. For example, the “my last braincell” meme and the “you had one job” meme continues to be in rotational use on social. This means that if brands want to target Gen Z audiences, they will have to understand that “meme-jacking”, the reuse of a viral meme, has to be done in an authentic way. Doing it authentically means full immersion into Gen Z slang and looking to see how Gen Z-ers use the memes before repurposing it for social campaigns or brand messaging.  -  Adaobi Ugoagu

A Rise of Mindfulness Integrations

Social media purges are becoming common and the negativity associated with the overuse of smartphones is steadily growing. In 2018, “self-care, mindfulness, wellness, and mental health” became common language. As a result, technology companies have begun shifting to help users utilize their platforms more mindfully. We’ll see this continue in 2019.

Facebook and Instagram have introduced ways to measure time spent on the app while Apple has made it easier to track time spent on the smartphone. As many wellness articles advocate for less time spent with technology, technology has and will continue to combat this. I can see various platforms finding ways to integrate mindfulness practices into their features. - Taylor Lott



A Rise in Men's Customizable
Personal Care Brands.

I predict that this year we will see a dramatic rise in men's customizable personal care brands. Similar to the trend we have already seen in customizable health & wellness products such as Ritual vitamins, ThirdLove bras, and Cora subscription menstrual products. There are so many similarly-branded and marketed wellness products on the market that appeal especially to Gen Z and Millennials, but so many of them are targeted towards females. A single brand that is leading the way in this category for men, and that I predict we will see more of, is Hims. Offering products for hair loss, erectile dysfunction, skincare, and vitamins, the brand has taken products many men need and packaged and positioned them in a way that has already begun to win over the female counterpart of the same product market. - Claire DeYoung

Inclusive and Adaptable
Customer Experience

This marketing trend describes when brands target traditionally marginalized groups with stunts or products. By creating more inclusive products and policies, brands can grow their audience and community by showing people with special considerations and different needs that they are not overlooked.

Alibaba created a screen overlay attachment for blind people, which helps them better navigate smartphones. The NBA’s flagship store reopened in April as the world’s first sensory-inclusive store, which is better designed for people with Autism, Dementia, PTSD, and similar special needs. In 2016, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Quicken Loans arena created the first sensory-inclusive arena in the world, by building a safe space for individuals and families with sensory needs. UK supermarket, Morrison, created “quieter hours” every Saturday at 9AM, where they create a better shopping experience for those with Autism by dimming the lights, turning off the music, and turning down the beeper noises at check out. We’re excited to see more brands and venues offer inclusive products and services that serve these special audiences in 2019. - Spencer Kupish