Industry Insights: November 15, 2023
by Jordan DeGraw • November 15, 2023
Biden’s AI Executive Order & the Goldilocks Economy
Hello, friends! The statistics say that many of you have already got your Black Friday shopping roadmap planned out. It may already be too late for those who don’t. This week, we’re discussing the Goldilocks economy, an executive order aimed at AI, and Pinterest being way bigger than you think.
Last week, the stock market threw a little party, celebrating its best performance of the year. Why? Well, the October jobs report didn’t quite meet expectations, and that’s music to investors’ ears because it means the Fed might hold off on those pesky rate hikes. So, the economy is having a “Goldilocks” moment. But here’s the twist: Despite the good economic vibes, 69% of folks in a Wall Street Journal survey think the country is on the wrong track. And the University of Michigan sentiment index? Well, it’s at levels reminiscent of the 2001 and 2008 recessions. Even though median weekly wages are slightly higher post-pandemic (adjusted for inflation), people are still experiencing sticker shock at today’s inflated prices and reminiscing about the good old days when things didn’t cost an arm and a leg.
In response to the rapid proliferation of AI, President Biden penned an executive order that demands safety assessments, civil rights guidance, and some good old-fashioned research on AI’s impact on the job market. Sure, 15 big tech companies already pledged to play nice with AI safety measures, but the White House said, “Nah, we need some official government action, not just volunteering to do the right thing.”
Remember that six-week-long UAW strike against Detroit’s big three automakers? Well, it ended with a victory lap for workers but left consumers potentially shelling out an extra $850 to $900 for their vehicles. Heaven forbid higher employee salaries should come from profits. Yikes!
And speaking of changes, homeschooling is gaining steam, with a jaw-dropping 51% surge in students being taught at home last academic year compared to 2017-2018. Why the switch? Parents are tired of bullying, want a more personalized learning experience, and seek a curriculum aligned with their values.
Retailers are shaking their fists at shoppers who play the “order three sizes and return the two that don’t fit” game, costing them up to $20 per return. Enter fit-tech companies with promises of reducing returns by a whopping 64%. Now, you can confidently pick the right size the first time and save your favorite retailer some grief.
While 2/3rds of us are willing to drop $100 on a social media find, a whopping 63% are feeling skeptical about pulling the trigger. Scams, questionable product quality, privacy concerns, and murky return policies have shoppers second-guessing their scrolling habits.
The holiday season is upon us, and advertisers are itching to unleash their holiday marketing budgets. Get ready for 86% of them to spend as much as they did last year if not more, to influence your holiday shopping decisions.
And last but not least, Pinterest is having a moment thanks to Gen Z, making up 42% of its users. The platform is now strutting with a cool 482 million monthly active users in Q3, making other platforms just a tad envious. (X, we’re looking at you.)
Just for Fun:
The FTC is cracking down on “drip pricing” and those sneaky junk fees. You know, the ones that magically appear at your purchase’s end. Ticketmaster, Airbnb, and food delivery apps, you’ve been put on notice!
Doordash is testing a new warning that customers may have to wait longer for their food if they don’t tip their driver. You might need to throw a few extra bucks at your delivery driver to avoid your chicken vindaloo getting cold!
That’s all our industry insights for now, friends! Join me next week, where I’ll share more of my Doordash favorites.
Your friendly Industry Insights devotee,