New iStock Research Revealed, Despite Economic Uncertainty, 6 out of 10 Are Excited About a Tech-enabled Future
Feb 9, 2023
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New York — February 9, 2023: iStock, a leading e‑commerce platform offering images and videos to SMBs and SMEs, revealed that despite almost half of people globally (42%) being concerned about inflation and being evenly split about feeling anxious or excited about the future, almost 60 percent of people are excited to see what the future looks like especially as technology evolves.

According to iStock, creative research program, VisualGPS, people are particularly excited to see how technology continues to evolve to shape our future and are eager to see and experience the new possibilities technology will bring to their daily lives. This sentiment increased over the last three months among respondents and is higher between those that already claim to be excited about the future. Furthermore, the majority (64%) said they feel empowered ‑and not overwhelmed‑ by the technology available to them.

Dr. Rebecca Swift, Global Head of Creative Insights at iStock, highlighted that this technological shift was driven by the pandemic, when we were all forced to rethink our habits, changing how to visualize the concept of convenience. “When quarantine forced us all to stay home, it was critical for many stores to expand their reach online, particularly small businesses. From our VisualGPS research and analysis we have learned that more than half of small business owners have felt empowered by technology, and a big portion of consumers are welcoming these innovations,” she added.

Across the globe contactless payment systems saw a rise that changed consumers' habits, VisualGPS reported that most people (76%) believe most purchases will be done online, and some (69%) even think society will eventually become cashless. While small businesses have integrated payment systems and others like tablets, computing power, online marketplaces, etc. iStock’s visual experts claim these have yet to be visualized in popular imagery and recommend demonstrating these adaptations of technology by incorporating these habits in their visual choices.

Below, iStock experts share key takeaways on how small and mid‑sized businesses can lean on consumer’s “tech excitement” to engage their customers:

Go digital
Since 2016, the number of popular visuals which show technology as an essential part of the shopping experience has doubled—yet many visuals still show people holding their credit cards next to computers, despite the reality that digital wallets are eliminating the need to reenter one’s payment details every time. VisualGPS data found that 8 in 10 Millennials are often using contactless payments, which indicates that it’s time for the visualization of online payments to evolve, too.

By incorporating seemingly small nuances in marketing and advertising materials such as a customer paying for goods with their smartphone or even a waiter taking an order with a tablet, you can help establish trust and competency with customers on these different changes permeating how your businesses both look—and operate.

Explore virtual worlds
While it’s unclear what the future of the so‑called metaverse holds, it has captured the imaginations of consumers and brands alike. VisualGPS found that while overall interest decreased in the last three months, at least 7 in 10 consumers are still interested in the metaverse; whether or not they know what it is, and how big brands are experimenting with virtual goods, NFTs, and creating 3D environments that users can explore on their web browsers. Visually, there is an opportunity to break up the monotony of shopping at home by showing what’s on the screen in more detail, using visuals that play with the aesthetics of emerging technologies such as augmented or virtual reality, or by using playful graphics that capture the overlap of the digital and the real.

These data and insights were reported by iStock’s visual research program: VisualGPS. An ongoing reporting methodology, combining market surveys that capture the sentiment of small business customers around the world, proprietary search and download data from its website, image testing, and the analysis of a group of experts in creative research, and visual and consumer trends.

To find technology‑related imagery and videos, visit
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