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The Five Next Big Things In Digital

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New technologies, new strategies and new possibilities are emerging more or less every day. It seems like the skill of being a digital professional these days is being able to filter the innovative from the faddish. 

We asked Ecommerce and marketing aficionados from a mix of brands what they thought the next big five things in digital would be. 

Next Level Ecommerce
Over the next five years greater investment in Ecommerce will take it to the next level. So far Ecom has been all about data; mining it, reacting to it, selling through it. Next there will come a greater onus on service and the human element necessary for all commerce, online or analogue.

No longer will it be enough for people to buy online; they will be having a great time doing it. UX will become the skill du jour as customer experience rules – expect customer journeys to be the buzzwords of the coming years.

But above and beyond the tech will come a greater synergy between Ecom departments and operations. Improving the basics like delivery and returns may see free delivery become standard as consumers come to expect better service. And customer service, something that online chat and email has relegated somewhat, will rise in importance in this customer-focused future.

Location
As devices become more sophisticated, so will location-based marketing. Beacon technology will drive the Internet of Things so make online of offline shopping synonymous. Expect your phone (or smart-watch) to be pelted by voucher codes and offers as you walk down the high street, by the shop you’re walking past and their competitors.

Personalisation
Although personalisation has been growing over the past couple of years, the increased focus on customer experience will also drive personalisation into becoming the norm. Data analytics skills will continue to be very much in demand as companies curate collections and lists for individuals based on previous shopping habits, social media activity and any other data available. 

Mobile
Mobile may be a surprise for a ‘next big thing’ list; however, it has still got a long way to go. Although most companies now have mobile sites, the need to stay on the right side of Google’s algorithm and keep up with competitors means that most mobile sites have been rushed and are all from the same mould rather then being innovative and truly user friendly.

The interface on mobile is still very difficult. The next thing for mobile is a general simplification; simpler for the customer and simpler for the Ecom and marketing teams trying to use it. Crucially, mobile payment will be overhauled, making it easier and more secure to pay on the go. Some companies are even foregoing mobile payment, making it easier for customers to order and prompting to pay later at home or at the office.

Apps
Yes, apps are nothing new, but expect to see a surge in apps to facilitate an almost constant state of shopping. Apps where you can take a photo of someone’s bag and order it on the spot, apps which allow you to compare prices before making a purchase, apps which learn your likes and send you recommendations. Forerunners like Lyst and Flubit are leading the charge on this one.

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