From the introduction of the Apple Watch, to the increasing levels of market disruption by the likes of Airbnb and Uber, 2015 was another year of technological and digital progression, In the shift towards digitally enabled customer centricity, what’s in store for 2016?
Frictionless digital products and services
This year is the year when we’ll see the dominance of products that increase ease and convenience. The success of Uber has awoken many industries and utility services to the necessity, not luxury, of creating a ‘frictionless’ experience for their customers. For example, bus travel companies such as Leap Transit and Charlot in San Francisco are simplifying the daily commute. They’ve created a cashless operation of customers buying tickets on their app and walking onto a bus, where Bluetooth sensors located by the driver validates their ticket.
The Internet of Things meets industry
Machines connecting to machines. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). There are already over 10 billion computing devices in the world and more than 100 billion connected machines. But the IIOT is more than just connections – machines are now evolving into extraordinary new forms of intelligence: self-organising supply chains and a world of artificial intelligence-controlled marketing and advertising. The likes of General Electric are already developing internal processes that reconstitute supply chains without any human intervention. Furthermore, GE predicts that the IIoT will add US$10 to US$15 trillion to global GDP in the next 20 years.
Mobile buying power
Optimising mobile payment processes will become increasingly important in 2016. In 2015, only 1.6 per cent of total online payments were made on smartphones. However, on the back of the introduction of Apple Pay and Google Wallet, this will only get higher. Moreover, the ‘click to buy’ functionality on social platforms such as Pinterest and Facebook increases mobile payments even further. This should not only make for happier consumers, but also allow marketers to see the direct result of their social marketing campaigns.
Video velocity will continue to increase
Cisco predict that by the end of 2016, video content will make up around 69 per cent of all consumer internet traffic. And trends indicate that it shows no signs of slowing down after that. The statistics are staggering – YouTube accrues 4 billion views a day, whilst 80 per cent of people watch videos online every week. This clearly shows that online video is becoming a means for people to satisfy their information and entertainment needs. Nielsen suggests that next year, 64% of marketers expect video to dominate their strategies. Plummeting production costs and low knowledge barriers to entry mean there’s now no excuse for not doing video- Industries such as financial and professional services will have to fully embrace video as a content marketing option; they cannot afford to not incorporate it into their marketing strategy.
Inevitably, 2016 will be another year that will separate the wheat from the chaff. There is a wealth of digital opportunities for businesses in all industries, but they have to choose to embrace change. They must adapt and transform if they even hope to keep up with evolving consumer preferences. It is of paramount importance that ever-evolving digital avenues continue to be pursued by organisations this year; they otherwise may find themselves part of the 40 per cent of companies who are predicted to be displaced by digital disruption over the next 5 years.
Sam Etherington is a strategy researcher at ORM