In a year the largest global vaccination programme was rolled out, a new American President was inaugurated, NFT artwork sold for millions of pounds, and our global leaders met in Glasgow for COP26, we asked Shelley and Stuart, PHA Group Managing Directors to tell us the industries to watch out for in 2022.
So, what really is the metaverse? The BBC’s technology correspondent Marc Cieslak recently told us to imagine the internet as something we look at, then we can understand the metaverse as a version of the internet that we’re inside.
This new technology phenomenon could change the way we communicate online and in person.
In 2022, it will be fascinating to see the industries and brands that take the leap into this new virtual frontier. Real estate and fashion have been the early adopters embracing the new technology. So much so, earlier this month, a plot of virtual real estate was sold for $4.3 million, making it the most expensive metaverse property sale to date.
Described by many as the ‘last chance’ to avoid catastrophic climate change, COP 26 was one of the standout events from 2021. But there have been big moves throughout the year which has also thrust sustainability into the spotlight.
A study recently published by Mediatel found a wider trend towards ‘conscious consumerism’ evolving throughout 2021, with their research showing that nearly three-quarters of consumers (70%) buy sustainable, eco-friendly products as opposed to their non-environmentally conscious competitors. Increasing the importance for business to place a sustainable strategy at the front of their new year’s plans.
In this busy media landscape, and companies vying for consumers attention any organisation who is making sustainability a core focus of their 2022 communications plan will need to ensure they’re not falling into the trap of greenwashing and are committing to authentic real-world change to fight climate change.
Ecommerce & Retail
During the last two years, ecommerce industries grew exponentially through the closure of our high streets during lockdown, to the increase in convenience culture subscription services and home deliveries.
Earlier this year, Adobe predicted that global ecommerce sales would hit $4.2 trillion in 2021 creating competition for the physical shopping experience, and the ability to drive footfall to stores and high-streets.
Next year will bring a real turning point for the future of retail and ecommerce. Whether it is reducing friction in the buying (and selling journey), creating rich brand experiences, or enabling experiences across channels in a consistent, customer-friendly way. Ecommerce and retail will certainly be a sector to watch!
Fundraising and investment
2021 has been a year of records. Almost £30bn (£29.4bn) has been poured into UK tech this year, this is up almost two and half times compared to 2020’s figures of £11.5m.
Impressively, the investment raised by UK start-ups and scale-ups was double the amount raised in Germany and almost three times that raised by French companies. Whilst across the continent, UK technology investment reported for a third of the total £89.4 billion that flowed into the European ecosystem.
A trend that has changed the fundraising arena is the demand for investors to be brought on board earlier. This goes against the traditional structure of investors reluctant to take risks on new businesses, instead now we’re seeing the competition increase within the investment world and VCs providing large sums of money at seed stage allowing these start-ups to grow rapidly.
The future of fundraising is hybrid, with less hurdles and a more agile way of working introduced.
What are your predictions for 2022?