In this year’s first edition of our CEO newsletter, Luigi Matrone reveals the technology trends that he believes will most disrupt the way that brands interact with consumers in the 2020s.
Global connectivity will reach new heights
Today’s skyrocketing connectivity is bringing an additional 4 billion people online, driving tens of trillions of dollars into the global economy.
Global 5G networks are playing a huge part in this.
The widespread implementation of 5G will mean incredibly fast download times and streaming, high data transfer speeds, reduced latency and greater connectivity between smart devices, products, infrastructure and people.
Beyond smart cities, smarter manufacturing and self-driving cars, marketers are understandably excited about what this could mean when it comes to creating incredible consumer experiences.
5G connectivity will allow for higher definition video content and consistent video streaming features that will delight consumers – who, as I have highlighted on a number of previous occasions, are increasingly shopping via their mobile devices.
AI will take us to new levels
As AI learns more about humans and the way we behave, it breaks down barriers to progress and – from a business perspective – leads to better and more connected services, products and experiences.
I think AI will have a key role in helping retailers keep up with growing consumer demands and expectations.
A study entitled ‘How artificial intelligence will change the future of marketing’ has described how online retailers will be able to more accurately predict what customers want. Retailers will use AI to identify customers’ preferences and ship items to customers without them needing to place an order.
This shift will have deep implications for retailers’ marketing strategies and business models. And customer behaviours, such as search.
Marketing, as the study continues, involves frequent contact with large numbers of customers, and produces vast amounts of customer data. The next stepping stone is for marketing to leverage data and AI to influence and personalise product recommendations.
Birchbox, Stitch Fix and Trendy Butler are just some of the subscription businesses already doing this.
A powerful new tool for advertisers
AI could soon learn enough about our individual behaviours to be able to understand our preferences better than we do.
AI will power far more effective personal shopping assistants than we’ve known previously. It will make purchases on our behalf based upon past searches, product availability, and the conversations you let it listen to (via your smart speaker, for instance). And it will learn what catches your attention by tracking where your eyes focus when you’re looking at a virtual interface.
This new AI capability isn’t the death knell for advertising. What I think is that advertisers will have to evolve to target customer AI. It will have to view AI as an opportunity rather than a threat.
Machine learning already enhances targeted advertising by using data and advertiser preferences to reach the right consumers. AI can also study trends and help advertisers generate content based on them.
For instance, Lexus has released the first ever AI-scripted advert. Lexus allowed IBM’s Watson to build the 60-second commercial’s basic flow and outline, and the creative agency fleshed out the full story.
The commercial was well-received, but also demonstrated how advertisers can use the super-intelligence of AI and the trend data it gathers to their benefit.
Advertisers and creatives need to think about how AI can improve their futures. They have a powerful new tool at their disposal to help them create incredible content that reaches the parts of its audiences that it needs to.
AI-driven Voice commerce will also play a major role in helping consumers search for and discover products, services and information. And their searches produce data that improves the accuracy of the speech recognition and ads that users see.
Augmented Reality everywhere
Greater connectivity will also smoothen the deployment of the Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) consumer experience technologies that are yet to truly realise their thrilling potential.
AR will no longer be the preserve of the big brands, but instead become available to all brands that want to create compelling customer experience content.
The impact on eCommerce could be enormous. AR’s great power lies in its ability to personalise and enhance consumer shopping experiences, so the potential for brands to give eCommerce shoppers the kind of immersive content they crave is vast.
Any business that wants to use AR to its best effect will need to have the right organisational building blocks in place.
Like any technology, AR will only be impactful and generate sales results if it’s used well. If it doesn’t, it can be a real let-down that puts off users (i.e. your customers). Does your business has the structure and skills on board to make the most of AR?
High-resolution Virtual Reality will make shopping easier
Virtual Reality (VR) has been around for quite some time, but hasn’t yet allowed brands to achieve what they’d like to with it.
That will change with the introduction of high-resolution, lightweight virtual reality headsets.
Looking for a new dress for a big occasion? AI knows your detailed body measurements and can quickly render a fashion show featuring your avatar on a catwalk wearing the options that would suit you. Want to update your home with new wallpaper or furniture? VR and AI will combine to conjure up your wish list and give you a guided tour of your wished-for items in your home.
All this without having to leave your sofa to visit an actual physical store.
The VR market is set to be worth $44 billion by 2024, and Amazon are beginning to seriously invest in VR in a big way. It would be a real shame for your business to miss out on this golden opportunity.
In conclusion – we will help you prepare for the future
My experience and expertise in digital business tells me that the five disruptive technology trends I’ve talked about here will change the way people consume, shop, make decisions, feedback – and the way that we do business – in the 2020s and beyond.
It’s vital for any business that wants to get ahead of its competition to harness their potential.
If your company would like to learn more about how to prepare for these technology trends and generate future success, please contact us to find out how my expert team and I can help.
This article was created and written by Luigi Matrone – CEO & Founder of the eBusiness Institute.
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