The past year changed the way people worked, socialized and shopped, and many of these shifts in behavior are expected to stick around. As we look toward what comes next in the new year, we asked Acquians to share their thoughts on the digital experience and technology trends that customers and brands should anticipate. From virtual reality (VR) shopping experiences to health and wellness technology to personalized content recommendations, it’s clear that digital transformation will continue to dominate a huge part of our lives in the year ahead. We’re sharing our digital experience predictions and thoughts on how brands can adapt and connect with customers in innovative ways in 2021.
“Due to the COVID-19 impact, both larger and small businesses will go virtual and remote. For instance, a food truck selling sandwiches will have to find a way to send those sandwiches to the customer’s doorsteps to survive. This could mean that one of the biggest beneficiaries of the pandemic could be the distribution and logistics providers.
These changes are already visible at a few car showrooms with the entire car showroom going virtual and feature demos being done online, either through recorded videos or interactive visual tools. With everything moving online, hosting servers will be tested for their ability to scale. All cloud infrastructure companies (AWS, GCP, Azure) will be put to the ultimate test on how they can handle increased load. This will also mean a change in their pricing policies and a need for innovations.”
-Ajay Satpute, Manager, Quality Engineering, Acquia Marketing Cloud
“Solutions for video conferencing and chatting with family, friends and colleagues will remain in high demand for the foreseeable future, so we can expect to see expanded offerings for both conferencing software and hardware.”
-Kyle Yost, Key Account Executive
“Customers will shift away from buying at brick-and-mortar stores, both because of health considerations and because many of these stores will not reopen after COVID-19. This means brands need to invest more in stronger email campaigns and customer engagement efforts. Spinning up landing pages and analytics reports to optimize email campaigns will be an absolute must.”
-Jon-Thomas Caprino, Project Manager
“Consumer services that will be most in-demand for 2021 are things like online life coaching, fitness apps and virtual game platforms as more people socialize digitally. I also expect a greater demand for digital health apps related to COVID tracking and personal identity management.”
-Phillip Coop, Marketing Cloud Director, APJ
“People will have higher expectations for more touch-free experiences from contactless payment to person-less deliveries and pick-up options to touchless signature and identification technology.”
- Greg Lowenthal, Master Solutions Engineer
“I believe once stores reopen, brands will try to recapture customer interest with tactics like VR/AR experiences, gamification and experimental or hybrid events.”
-Sam Leclerc, Senior Solutions Engineer
“People will expect more options for remote working and flexibility from their employers, and there will be a big demand for better digital collaboration tools.”
-Amy Parker, Senior Director, Global Talent Development
“Augmented reality will be a big trend along with the use of smart glasses to access and overlay digital and physical data. For example, someone might want to use Google Glass to evaluate products virtually and complete their purchase. Companies will evolve to provide customized, experience-based services, such as interactive prompts and personalized recommendations of products that go well with the current items in your shopping cart.”
-Shrinidhi Jahagirdar, Engineering Manager
Do you have more predictions for the biggest digital experience priorities for customers in 2021? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @Acquia.