The most anticipated slide deck of the year is here. Mary Meeker just released her annual Internet Trends Report in a record 355 pages. And it gives us the pulse on everything from internet usage stats to media consumption to retailer strategies. And new this year, it also gives us a fascinating deep-dive into gaming and healthcare.

There’s something for every tech enthusiast in this report. But let’s take a closer look at some of the key takeaways for online retailers and entrepreneurs.

  • Social media is changing the way business is conducted online and customers continue to expect more from retailers. Interactions are more real-time and customers want more transparency and accountability than ever. Businesses that build a healthy line of communication with their customers through social media are undoubtedly giving themselves an edge over the competition.

  • Brands are sourcing content from their fans and it’s working. User generated content can draw 6.9 times more engagement than brand generated content on Facebook.

  • Ads are getting more targeted and craftier. Just like Google cornered search ads by tailoring ads to user-input search terms, now Snap is optimizing ads to user uploaded images.

  • Ad measurability does come with its drawbacks, however. Customers are weary of their data being tracked and advertisers can find measuring ROI a challenge.

  • Some effective retailer strategies:

    • Pet supply store: Taps into a heavily engaged online user community. Also offers dynamic 24/7 customer service through their website.

    • Cosmetics company: Takes advantage of user generated content and influencers to showcase the product.

    • Clothing retailer: Closes the loop between online and offline by creating engaging experiences on both their website and storefront.

  • Parcel growth is accelerating and we’re seeing businesses take an omni-channel approach to online and offline engagement. Amazon is opening brick-and-mortar stores while Wal-Mart invests heavily in its web presence.

  • More businesses of all sizes continue to move their IT infrastructure to the cloud while stepping away from the higher-cost traditional IT model.

  • But security risks loom with phishing spam up 350 percent from Q1 2015.

  • In China, consumer confidence has been rising since the second half of 2016 and the tech industry is leading a lot of this. Entertainment is driving a lot of online consumption and users are increasingly willing to pay for live streaming content, videos, and games.

  • India is growing rapidly and completely reimagining technology in some ways. They’ve implemented digital IDs for more than a billion citizens. This in turn paved the way for making banking accounts accessible to all citizens.

You can find the full report here:

Watch Mary Meeker present the report at the 2017 Code Conference here:

About the author

Kelly Paik is a freelance writer covering science and technology. She hails from San Francisco where she spent some time in the trenches of Silicon Valley, from where she brings that inside perspective as she serves the latest on innovations and updates in the tech industry.