Trends to look out for in 2022
At this time of year, the Newsletter looks for a few trends to forecast in the coming year. How can we avoid the influence of the influencers? Particularly Tik Tok, which has appeared unexpected since COVID first struck, and now has over one bn monthly users. It has also become the most popular social media ecommerce carrier, overtaking the Facebook marketplace, WhatsApp, or Instagram. This has encouraged influencers to offer their services in markets where their influence is often not effective. Digital businesses are tempted to purchase some influencers services without thinking through the real benefits to their products – does the influencer reach my target audience? What effect does this influencer have – is there research to back up the claims of the influencer? And so on. More needs to be done in Africa to measure the effectiveness of influencers and prevent ‘snake oil’ peddlers from pretending that they are the answer to effective marketing when they are not.
Another issue is the ‘death of cookies’. The increasing regulatory squeeze on cookies in Europe, and the call for more privacy in the USA, have led to the slow disappearance of cookies and more opt-outs, which has resulted in a significant reduction in the availability of personal data for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. In turn that has led to an estimated loss of $10bn in advertising revenue. As TechCrunch points out “The change severely limits advertising algorithms and how much data can be used to optimize marketing campaigns. These limitations are localized to mobile activity today, but Apple has also unveiled a new feature for an email to hide your IP address from senders. Google is following suit and will start restricting device level IDs from advertisers.” Apple is leveraging its iOS 14.5’s privacy changes to track data through its closed ecosystem and is picking up the ad revenue lost by its big tech competitors. These changes may impact Africa during 2022 as privacy regulators in Kenya and SA follow the European trend.
We must also expect an increase in ecommerce ‘cowboys’ – fraudsters who take the money and run or sell substandard/counterfeit goods online. The Consumer Goods and Services Ombuds has tracked an alarming increase in complaints caused by the growth of online sales in 2020-2021. EFSA will continue to be working closely with the CGSO and monitor this carefully in 2022. The CGSO has also started to name and shame. What do readers feel – should EFSA also name and shame?
Finally, we are concerned by the number of delivery motorcycle crashes. This has come to the attention of the government (see above), and we believe that unless the main players cooperate strict regulations will result. In both Lagos and Nairobi motorcycle deliveries (“boda-bodas”) have been banned from the centres of the cities.
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