With the chaos of 2020 now behind us, it’s time to look ahead to what we can expect from the next 12 months.
2020 was challenging, to say the least. While may of the pre-pandemic trends played out in 2020, others came forward to reshape the digital marketing landscape.
Most notably was eCommerce as sales skyrocketed and online conversion was at the top of everyone’s minds. People also spent a lot more time on their phones, and in video conferencing tools.
This has led to a major shift in the way brands connect with their consumers.
As we kick things off in 2021 here are some key trends for you to consider.
Mobile First e-commerce
Most of the e-commerce shopping traffic is coming from mobile devices.
By 2021 73% of all shopping activity is predicted to come from your mobile device.
Make sure that your website is optimized for mobile is critical and could be the difference in getting your users to stick around your site and make a purchase.
One way brands are trying to provide better e-commerce shopping experiences is through progressive web applications, designed to work reliably regardless of network conditions and respond quickly to user interactions.
If you are a digital marketer and haven’t already invested in mobile-first solutions 2021 might be the year to allocate some of your budget.
Web-based Augmented Reality
Web based collaboration and augmented reality make it much easier to share critical information about your products without forcing your audience to take an extra step and download another application to their mobile device.
2020 saw 3D on the Web emerge as brands began to use it on e-commerce product pages. QR codes make it easy for customers to get the content they need quickly and into their environment for research and ‘try before you buy’.
WebAR and augmented reality also allow customers to use their phone to drop digital objects of all kinds in their environment. Once placed in the world users can walk around these objects at full size and experience them in real-time.
One company that’s adopted contactless-shopping is Amtrak, which now accepts Apple Pay, Google Pay and Paypal to make the booking experience easier while also limiting contact amidst the pandemic.
Grocery stores have also begun to adopt digital strategies this year, including contactless payments and online shopping.
In a world where safety is a concern brands realize that giving people payment options that are easy, frictionless and fast can be the difference in retaining a loyal customer.
Some brands are finding that customers will switch their allegiance to a brand that offers easy methods of payment that are contact free and easy to implement on your mobile device.
Live Streams and Influencer Content
Stay at home orders meant events were canceled, and consumers were unable to attend in-person events.
This led to an uptick in the number of people tuning into live-streams, whether it was a branded live-stream, a live video panel in place of a trade show, or an online workshop.
On Facebook, live viewings spiked by 50% during lockdown periods, while viewings on Instagram surged 70%.
TikTok use shot up in 2020, and there’s a good chance we’ll see this upward trajectory continue to play out in 2021.
As you consider content that is relevant to your audience think about the way that live-stream video can supplement your content strategy.
Chatbot adoption has grown, but consumers haven’t been as quick to adapt as companies.
It can take a while to get used to engaging with chatbots, particularly first and second generation ones.
The conversations can be clunky and far less helpful than those with a real human.
2020 and 2021 will be remembered as milestone years in chatbot development, the time when chatbots finally reached a level of conversational capability that will earn them wide acceptance among consumers.
If you’ve been wary of using them on your site, put your fears to rest — the revolution is here.
2020 has forced brands to think long and hard about how they connect with their customers.
Shop closures and stay-at-home orders meant people were stuck inside, which also meant that they were spending a lot more time online.
This has pushed brands to branch out and create more human-centric ways of reaching their buyers.
Over the next 12 months this will continue unabated despite the promise of a vaccine.
Mobile first development will drive sales, WebAR content will continue to show up in advertising and e-commerce, live-stream will be a big part of content strategies and automated payments and chat will be a key element to any online marketing plan.
Out of all the new digital strategies that you are looking to employ in 2021 which are the ones that are rising to the top of your list?