In 2015, we entered an entirely disruptive and new world. Creating a new business design by blurring the physical and digital worlds, leading to a truly digital business, became the holy grail for businesses across all industries.
Continuing with the trend, in 2016, it is essential for technology providers and CIOs to think differently to help their businesses win in this new era. Here are 7 digital technology trends which will help companies make the hard changes to dramatically improve their chances to win in the digital world.
1. Offering personalized customer interactions and experiences
Forrester predicts that customer experience will be one of the top success factors determining which business wins or fails in the age of the customer. Here, one critical success factor will be the customization of interactions and experiences and not just messages and offers.
In 2016, businesses will invest more in higher quality experiences that speak to lesser number of but more influential audiences, thereby focusing more on quality over quantity.
With targeted advertising, brands can deliver at just the right time. Data tracking is a crucial aspect of creating customized customer experiences. With this, brands can now know when their customers buy; what time, what day, how cold or hot it is outside when they buy and much more. So, if you know that the particular customer would like to have a hot cappuccino when it is snowing outside during office hours on a weekday, shooting an offer to him for a hot cup of coffee on a weekend when it is sunny outside might not be a good idea.
2. Businesses to focus on data-driven design to define their products and business plans
As per SmartInsights, many organizations will use business intelligence tools in 2016 to equip themselves to measure and iterate design by metrics including conversions, click-through rates, AB and multivariate testing.
Data-driven design affects the retail industry the most. As opposed to the unidirectional relationship with customers which were based on entirely subjective experiences, retailers can now use data to draw empirical metrics and enable bidirectional relationships with their customers based on personalized design experiences.
For example, Nordstrom department store uses beacon technology to track shopping habits and behavior of customers.
3. Providing Rich Digital Engagement Experiences to In-Store Customers
Technologies like omnichannel fulfillment, in-store analytics, and beacons have changed how a retail store engages with customers. Forrester says that in 2016, retailers will undertake digital store initiatives.
These include digital operational improvements, delivering in-store personalization and contextual value, and maintaining store efficiency, thanks to online behavior, real-time insights, customer online and in-store behavior, labor planning, and supply chain.
4. Thanks to Google’s app indexing, your app content is now as important as your app
With Google releasing the Mobile App Indexing API that now enables Google to index both app landing pages and deep screens in apps, more enterprises and businesses will need to have dedicated apps.
5. Customer-facing analytic deployments take front seat in driving product experience
As per Gartner, the rapid dissemination of the IoT will lead to creation of a new line of customer-facing analytics. Hence, this year, we will see an increasing use of less expensive sensors which will be embedded into all types of products. This type of customer-facing analytic deployment will enable customers gather geospatial information, that is, where the product is right now and performance information, that is, how well the product is working.
For example, user would know when his new SUV needs its first oil change. With customer-facing big data analytics, transparency will be improved and relationships with partners and customers will be strengthened.
6. IoT will finally touch our everyday lives
2015 was the best year in spreading awareness about the IoT (Internet of Things) till now. People came to know about IoT definition and its real-life applications, along with the scope and benefits of interlinking everything around.
With experts predicting a greater emphasis on the practical implementation of IoT in 2016, we can witness IoT theory go practical.
As per IoT Wiki, from the perspective of implementation of IoT technology, this year will be most important year with enterprises making the largest market for IoT adoption. Additionally, Gartner predicts spending on IoT hardware will exceed $2.5 million every minute in 2016.
Hence, this year, we can finally start experiencing what exactly does interconnectivity of everything around us, including things and people, look like in true sense. We will see the IoT tech touching our lives, from transportation and hospitality to healthcare and retail.
7. Digital employee engagement becomes as important as digital customer engagement
A digital workplace puts people first and provides environment wherein they can collaborate, connect, and communicate more efficiently and flexibly. Even Gartner focuses on a people-centric approach when it explains the concept: “Digital workplace is an ongoing, deliberate approach to delivering a more consumer-like computing environment that is better able to facilitate innovative and flexible working practices”. As per Gartner, employees will benefit from a full mobile suite of communication and collaboration services that will be embedded in business processes.
Hence, in 2016, companies will focus on providing more and more consumer-like user experience to employees with the focus more heavily emphasized on the specific digital experiences of people.
In the ever-changing landscape of digital world, it is necessary for businesses to adopt digital transformation and keep in tune with the above digital trends of the year.
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