Another year has passed and what a better way to start off the new year with what we see as the top 10 tech trends for 2015! Be sure to follow our blog as we discuss these prioritized trends heading into this year to help your enterprise prepare for what the future holds for the consumer markets industry.
Consumer demands and expectations are rapidly changing and the consumer markets industry is reacting quickly and proactively to stay relevant and competitive. We are going to start our trend discussion with a topic that seems to be taking center stage this year, Mobile. The mobile market has changed exponentially in a very short time and with the new Generation Z coming up, their focus is mobile first and mobile only. Consequently, companies are making greater investments in mobile from everything from technologies to advertising to business development. Mobile site performance and a seamless customer experience will make the difference between successful and unsuccessful companies.
“The mobile shopper is not just on mobile. They are also in your store and they’re also on your website. It’s really important that brands understand that,” says Alli Brian at Kahuna, a marketing software company that helps brands understand and communicate with customers. “The world is going mobile first, so people do need to get it right.”
We are in the age of the Connected Consumer and engagement begins with understanding who your customers are at the individual level. To engage successfully, organizations must personalize their messaging and a mobile device is a personal channel that can be leveraged. Messaging that has personal appeal to trigger involvement, emotional storytelling and humor will all gain ground in promotional and marketing campaigns for retailers in 2015. Enterprises that seek to engage with their customers in these manners will definitely stand out as winners in 2015.
Personalization & Relevance
The power to create a direct relationship between brands/retailers and consumers is all in the personalization and relevancy of the message. To create this, a mobile experience needs to be devised that provides personalization, search, navigation and relevant recommendations to each individual shopper.
With so many consumers utilizing their smartphones to do multiple things, mobile advertising will become a must especially when targeting younger audiences.
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Generation Z is mobile first and mobile everything!
Videos will definitely plan a role in advertising with greater resources investing in small-size video content increasing the advertising opportunities. IBM reports that dollars are quickly shifting to mobile from desktop as mobile ad formats are increasing.
Customer Service & Value
Forrester reports that the mobile payment marketplace will be $142 billion leading with brands that have superior customer services and a seamless purchase experience. With more channels for consumers to shop in, many retailers are looking to their brick-and-mortar stores to offer “the experience”. In turn, this will definitely put a larger emphasis on customer service to ensure a positive and seamless customer experience. Shoppers are using their mobile phones in-store more than ever and with that they expect to have fast-loading mobile sites, targeted messaging focusing on what they want and need, and easy-to-use checkouts. The easier and better the customer experience, the more likely they are to return for further purchases.
According to reports, the rise of smartphones in the US is projected to grow to 73% by the year 2020. Because of this ascension, leading retailers are dabbling in technology like beacons and geotargeting that will help predict consumer behaviors, provide timely consumer communication and create new data models. Retailers that are not developing their mobile strategies that keep pace with the expectations of their customers are going to be left behind. New payment methods will help make processing and information sharing a lot easier and help connect mobile behavior and physical stores. Due to the large investment retailers will need to make, it will leave them adapting these new methods at different speeds and time.
Mobile has clearly proven its worth in regards to product research but will also increase in actual transactions this year. With the help of new payment solutions, mobile will continue to soar making it easier and convenient for consumers to make transactions. We may not completely be moving away from utilizing our actual wallets but our smartphones are quickly gaining ground as means of payment this year. With payments systems like Apple Pay, PayPal, Google Wallet, etc…card companies and banks are forced to develop new services that will provide these easier payment solutions. The next generation of mobile payments has just begun and best technology that provides a solution for consumers, merchants and banks will continue to evolve.
Consumers are using apps to get what they want, how they want it and when they want it. According to a year-end report by Flurry, App usage grew 76% in 2014. As we know, most shoppers now have some sort of mobile device when they enter a mall or retail store. They are highly knowledgeable and informed and expect the same and/or more out of any sales associate regarding the products, store, promotions and offers. A recent study done by Google found that 2/3 of shoppers looking for information while in an actual store were unable to find what they wanted. Adding capabilities to mobile apps that enable the consumer to track in-store inventory, product details, purchase from their phones, ship to their homes, etc. will provide the high expectation experience they are looking for. EKN Mobility produced a report that found only 11% of retailers are implementing mobile technology in in-store ops. Apps that use analytics, mobile POS, data, inventory visibility, product information and details, etc. will begin to become more prevalent and that % number is going to skyrocket this year. Retailers are going to find that utilizing apps like there will go a long way in closing the gap between associates and customers so that they can deliver a superior shopping experience.
Stay tuned for Trend #2 next week!