5 Digital Trends to Watch in 2018 and Beyond
We are constantly watching industry channels for signs of new trends and tendencies to back up our own findings when developing new web solutions.
Here are some of the most notable trends we are keeping an eye on.
Personalised websitesIt's important to know that users will become the real kings of our digital future. We're rapidly approaching a reality where your business only remains successful as long as users find it relevant to their wants and needs.
This means that any future relevancy is dependent on delivering personalised and meaningful content to each individual user at the same time. Of course, this places new demands on your website.
You will no longer be able to direct vastly different visitors to your site through Google and social media and then present them with the exact same CTAs, the same product information or the same pictures.
Instead, your visitors expect you to know where they come from and where they are going, what their context is, and why they went to your site in the first place.
That is why personalisation is the future of websites. Regardless of your industry or area of service, the results speak for themselves. Gartner predicts that by 2018, organisations that have fully invested in all types of personalisation will outsell companies that have not by 20%
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Mobile experiences are the way forwardAlmost every report points in the same direction: Phones have become the preferred device for interfacing with the internet, and it only continues to move in that direction.
Of course, this observation is nothing new, but it is still important to consider how to best use mobile devides in conjunction with your brand.
Simply put, the advent of phones also means new behavioural patterns and tendencies, such as huge growth in online sales with services like PayPal being used more frequently than normal debit cards in some cases.
Again, this places a number of demands on your website - you need to be able to greet users as if they were standing in front of you, and you may need to rethink your marketing to get there. Should you focus on mobile, on regular browsers, or both?
CookiesApple has long since launched an attack against cookies, and in 2018, the EU's long-awaited General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will take full effect. Among other things, it introduces harsher requirements on properly informing users about how you collect their personal data and what you use it for.
A large amount of the tools used to keep websites relevant and modern are tied directly to user cookies, e.g. Facebook, AdWords, even Analytics is dependent on being able to track cookie data on mobile and stationary devices. The state of cookies will undoubtedly change in 2018, though we don't yet know the precise outcome.
Data securityData collection and security will be one of the largest topics of debate in 2018. When the GDPR rolls around in May, digital security will be enforced in a whole new, more radical way.
Read more about the GDPR and how it affects businesses.
This will undoubtedly have an effect on your website and any collection of personal data through cookies and other sources.
AI, Machine Learning & IoT
When discussing the future of data, you can't avoid discussing artificial intelligence, machile learning and Internet of Things. Over the past year, more and more of the largest digital companies have begun investing in and testing predictive analytics as the next step going forward.
AI-based websites will be able to design themselves by adapting to user behaviour and preferences. Machine learning allows different websites to learn from each other worldwide, and IoT lets a website communicate directly with the user's appliances, such as their fridge. This development is moving quite rapidly, so expect to see a lot more about it in 2018.
Read article: How Walmart is Using Machine Learning, AI, IoT, and Big Data to Boost Retail Performance
But these technologies aren't just being deployed by the biggest players like Walmart, Amazon and Alibaba. The interesting part is that we're actually seeing more and more smaller businesses take advantage of things like predictive modeling.
Reality is overtaking trendsThere are still any number of new trends and developments that could arise in the new year that we don't yet know about. We will keep an eye out and be sure to inform you about any relevant developments in 2018.
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