What are current trends in the digital sphere? Some things remained the same as the year before, while other things and novelties emerged as an imperative in digital marketing and e-Commerce. From social media to web development and new regulations affecting almost all businesses on the Internet, here are top 5 new trends for 2018.
Facebook F8 conference has positioned chatbots as the most important technology in 2017. The same trend goes for 2018. According to a recent report by Grand View Research, the global chatbot market is expected to reach $1.23 billion by 2025, a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.3%. Small conversational robots are becoming increasingly prominent online communication helpers, and Facebook’s Messenger platform has reached a truly mature state, ready to harvest new users. With more than 50,000 chatbots and 100,000 developers working on chatbot platforms, this technological trend is one of the fastest-growing in the industry. With the rapid expansion of mobile shopping, Chatbots have become especially popular on social media. Messaging applications like Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Snapchat, or Slack all have the ability to integrate chatbots.
The possibilities for chatbot usage are widespread. From advertising, virtual assistance, education, and entertainment to customer service/support and product ordering. Nowadays, chatbots have become so advanced they can even take care of food delivery, purchasing tickets, ordering Uber, scheduling appointments, money transactions or paying bills. Chatbots can be pretty useful for facilitating daily duties and organizing things that need to be done.
In e-commerce, chatbots can be very helpful on multiple levels and provide a complete shopping service. You can use them for accurate and quick product searches. They can simultaneously handle more product orders from multiple customers, therefore speeding up the ordering process and reducing the time for the shipping process. In addition, you can even pay for your purchased products directly via chatbot so your customers have a complete and integrated shopping experience. If implemented right, there’s nothing that chatbots can’t handle in the e-commerce customer journey. Predictions for the future show that chatbots will power 85% of all customer service interactions by the year 2020.
By 2020, the average person will have more conversations with bots than with their spouse and 30% of web browsing will be done by voice. Help your community managers and social media wizards to handle your audience and customer inquiries with these digital minions.
If you’re interested in Chatbot’s future development you can directly ask the best person for this topic – our Krešimir who will hold a lecture about chatbots on Konverzija conference in April.
GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a new and far-reaching privacy regulation that takes effect in May 2018. Its goal is to strengthen data protection for EU citizens and change how companies approach data privacy and information security. GDPR is the single biggest change in personal data protection in the past 20 years! The new framework is ambitious, intricate and rigorous, but with Snowden revelations and evergrowing technological advances, it was much needed and long overdue.
GDPR includes serious changes in collecting user data and data transparency, implementing privacy by design, deactivating default opt-ins and keeping consistent and detailed records of all processing activities which take place within the organization.
Your customers will trust you more if you comply with it, and be more relaxed while shopping at your online store. So make sure to let people know you are GDPR compliant! Put it in the footer of your website, put it in your e-mail signature, insert it in the terms&conditions section of your page… Make the fact that you’re GDPR compliant your advantage over the competition. Let us know if we can help in these actions!
Blockchain progresses into digital advertising
Blockchain technology is hitting the eCommerce landscape from all directions. The blockchain is a distributed ledger that was invented to support the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. New conferences are emerging, tweets and Google searches expand in volumes and people are watching the rise of cryptocurrencies value with their eyes wide open.
According to the Richards Institute, in 2018, marketers will spend $83 billion in digital advertising, indicating an increase of 15.9 percent from the previous year. As the market has evolved, advertisers, publishers, and users have all faced growing obstacles as a result. These obstacles include too much content, which creates saturation, poor visibility and lack of control over ad content management. A solution has emerged from an unexpected place that could reduce ad fraud, deliver better-targeted ads, and reduce wasted ad spend among other issues – blockchain technology. This was the answer to the digital advertising which is overrun by middlemen and trackers. When an advertiser purchases a digital advert, it generally must run through a third-party vendor who is responsible for taking the ad, putting it on the right site, and paying the site owner to put the ad there. It means that buyer doesn’t have control over ads, their presentation, and placement or distribution over/across the Internet.
The Basic Attention Token (BAT) is recently announced as an open-source initiative by one of the founders of Mozilla. It represents a system that “radically improves the efficiency of digital advertising by creating a new token that can be exchanged between publishers, advertisers, and users. “In the ecosystem, advertisers will give publishers BATs based on the measured attention of users. Users will also receive some BATs for participating.” Put simply, it cuts out middlemen and puts control of user data back in the hands of the customer. This process goes through integration with the browser and connects advertisers and publishers directly.
The rapid growth of cryptocurrencies popularity bothers even Facebook which has banned all cryptocurrency ads from promotion on the grounds that 90% of them are fraud. Therefore, if they bother Facebook, cryptocurrencies have become a new HOT trend.
Typing vs. Speaking
Do you remember when you had to press your mobile keyboard a couple of times to write a single letter in your message? Do you barely have a foggy memory about that? Right, it was in sooo ‘’distant’’ past – just a few years ago before touchscreens have become an imperative in mobile technology. Today, we no longer have the will or the need to type. And why should we, when speaking is easier and faster than typing? Humans can speak 150 words per minute, but can only type 40 words at the same time. Technology has enabled us to speak instead of typing, and the speaking principle has spread on almost every platform, device, or software.
From home assisting devices to Android and Apple mobile software, to Google speech-to-text and vice versa, they are implemented in almost every piece of technology. ComScore says that 50% of all search inquiries by 2020 will be through voice search. Today, according to Google, these numbers are around 20% of all U.S Android users. 60% of all users started to use voice search in 2017, so we could agree that this is a new and fast-emerging trend. The Economist is predicting that Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant will give social media more control over how people experience the Internet.
This is the result of improving the technology behind voice search and dropping error rates to just 5% in the case of Google and Microsoft language understanding. So what will be the effects of this change? First of all, it affects SEO and SEM. Marketers will have to put more effort in optimizing content for voice search. Secondly, brands will have to choose wisely the voice that will represent them in customer interaction. For now, Apple has Siri and Homepod, Amazon has Alexa and Google has Google Home and yet unnamed voice search. Probably the most important change that will occur in UX and UI is where all apps and software will have to support voice inputs.
CHANGES IN THE SOCIAL MEDIA LANDSCAPE
A) TRENDING TOPICS
Perhaps the most significant trend in the social media landscape is Facebook’s evolution as a hybrid platform for news, especially after the ‘’presidential elections fake news’’ affair. Trending topics have become a dominant trend in the news industry and a new way for users to get relevant information. Although Facebook is not a publisher, users are exposed to a great deal of news and information on a daily basis. Some of them are true, and some are not. Since Facebook is changing the algorithm for news feeds, the published posts we see on our profile will be displayed under the new rules. That goes for trending topics, as well as our news feed which will greatly affect the organic reach of the targeted audience. These changes are directly associated with publishing any type of content – whether it is the content we publish on private profiles or brand and business pages.
B) PAID VS. ORGANIC REACH
History has taught us that trends are repeating around in circles and constantly returning in their enhanced edition. In the beginning, social media like Facebook were free to advertise with tremendous organic reach among users. Soon, everybody started to use social media for marketing, paying for the reach and boosting the content. But, that was not a long-lived trend, so paying for the audience reach was a bubble that quickly blew. Satisfaction lasted for some time before Facebook started to decline in organic reach. Now, the tables have turned once again. Organic reach has melted with time (by 52% in 2016) and now Facebook is oriented solely towards paid reach.
This is one of the most prominent marketing trends and changes in 2018. THERE’S NO MORE ORGANIC REACH. If you or your brand want to be present on social media, you have to pay for it. Facebook’s news feed algorithm shows only the most relevant content to each user. In order to increase engagement and optimize user experience, the content shown is tailored to each user’s individual interests. If you wonder if it’s possible for you to have a decent amount of organic reach on your Facebook page, well it’s not completely impossible. In financial terms, it’s almost the same thing – if you pay for the content production for your organic content or if you pay for FB promotion service. In terms of your content visibility and success, much more effort is needed to be visible and to reach a targeted audience without paying. For now, this option seems like a Sisyphean job.
If you feel one or more trends went unnoticed in our top 5 list, don’t hesitate to let us know! We’re always open for discussion and a fresh pair of eyes. Also, if those eyes are accustomed to aesthetics and interactive design work, feel free to drop us your CV and portfolio. We’re finishing up our tryouts for a new Neuralab designer, so don’t let your talent get overlooked.