We surveyed 5,000 global consumers about their communication preferences twice, in January before COVID-19 hit and then again in August. Using the January study (our ninth) as a benchmark, we were able to capture the effects of the pandemic on customer engagement and measure the vast changes in channel use with the second 2020 edition.
What the data showed us was mind-blowing. We saw more change in those seven months than we’d seen in years: adoption of video and emerging communication channels soared, ecommerce engagement raced ahead, and global fragmentation in channel preferences increased.
But as illuminating as our 10th edition is, a look back at all the research we’ve conducted provides an interesting perspective on what changes have been building—and where they might turn next—since our first report back in 2012. Here’s a retrospective on the key trends that have shaped customer engagement during the past eight years.
Fast-Forward: The Rise and Rise of Video From 2012 to 2020
In a prescient moment, we signed off our 2012 report with: “What seems clear is, despite years of development and expectation and significant usage, we are still only at the beginning.”
Fast forward to today, and 43 percent of Americans are now video chatting with businesses regularly—more than three times as many as 2012. And based on the average U.S. video chat adoption rate we observed from 2015 through 2020, the U.S. experienced the equivalent of four years of growth in only seven months.