As I have already given you a full article on wearables recently, it didn’t seem fair to ignore the other leaps forward in technology which we have witnessed in the few months of this year, and which we will need to take notice of throughout 2015.
So, to complement our previous article, I’m going to discuss the upcoming top three tech trends. Although I think we are all looking forward to the hoverboard and self-lacing Nike shoes that we were promised in 1985, this is strictly an article on tech trends outside of wearables.
1) Internet of Everything
I’m sure most of you are already well aware of the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT), but what about the Internet of Everything (IoE)? We all realise that we’re heading towards a world where everything is connected to one another, regardless of their seemingly technologically-inapt appearance.
The IoT is a pretty simple concept to understand; it refers to the idea of everyday objects being able to communicate with one another without human-to-computer interaction required, and what is more, that object can identify itself online. This includes everything from sensor technology to wireless-dependent activity, and by today’s standards, it reaches to thousands of objects.
Speaking in 2012 about IoT, Dr. John Barrett spoke about the prospect of a future of connections with physical objects: “Where will we be in 20 years? It would be a very rash person who would make a concrete prediction; nobody back in ’93 would have predicted the impact that the web would have on our lives. The one thing that always hits me, is that by 2032, we could individually be in contact with up to 5,000 smart things in our everyday lives – that would be truly transformative.” You can watch the full talk here .
Gartner has recently estimated that IoT will have a huge impact on the eCommerce landscape, indicating that it will extend to 26 billion units installed by 2020, and by that time, “IoT product and service suppliers will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300bn, mostly in services”. This obviously has phenomenal repercussions for the rest of the industry, but ultimately means the forming of a more advanced concept – that of an IoE.
Data centres, according to Gartner, are already being massively overloaded by the amount of data from more widely accessible mobile devices. In order to store this level of information, we would need to transform the way we think, build and interact with databases – suddenly, Barrett’s prediction doesn’t seem so ludicrous! An IoE could be just visible on the horizon, but it will arrive sooner rather than later.
2) Location-based tech
Personalisation will become a key aspect of 2015, as more and more eCommerce providers seek to improve the all-round customer experience. Location-based technology and location-targeted advertising will become the new way of making that personalisation happen for consumers.
This will be the year that we begin to forget traditional marketing – who is the customer? What device are they using? What are they using it for? Where are they? What technology is nearby? These will become the crucial questions that every eCommerce provider must consider if they are to stay ahead, or even just keep up, with everyone else in the marketplace.
This trend comes as part of a triangle. In one corner the idea of personalisation which will enable us to engage with the customer on a more individual level and lead to a higher overall conversion rate, while in another, the unimagined possibilities of wearable tech will enable us to deliver those individual story-telling experiences direct to the consumer wherever they are and whenever they might need that marketing.
To an extent we already have this in a more traditional form, with the inclusion of QR codes on marketing material throughout public areas like shopping centres. There is a lot of information that can be gleaned from such material, but until now it has gone largely unused. If someone scans a QR code at a bus stop, you get the location of that person when they scan it, and you can assume certain characteristics about them depending on the product in question. For example, if a phone scans they QR code of a women’s handbag, you can gather that they are most likely a fashion-conscious female with a specific budget in mind for a new purchase. Given that this is a commonly-used marketing tool, the prospects of location-based wearable marketing techniques is boundless.
3) Generation M
I have spoken before about how the mobile generation will affect the marketplace (please see The Mobile Movement), but with the launch of yet another ‘game changer’ in the world of tech with the release of the Samsung S6 Edge, we are left wondering whether this is the kind of fork in the road we have been expecting.
According to the most recent figures, we are witnessing a decline in m.dot – mobile website – use, as responsive is a far better approach from an SEO and management perspective, and a significant increase in the number of mobile sales. Personally, I use mobile first to shop in the majority of cases so this certainly isn’t a new trend, but it’s one which has evolved over time and with particular vivacity since the mass take-up of consumer tablets. It is when so-called “mobile” computers (i.e. laptops) became more portable as a physical product that people started to realise the benefits this could have for commerce, but people still prefer to browse the internet how they always have – through a browser, rather than having to download an app for every shop.
Areas where the m.dot versions succeed is with very well established online-only businesses such as Amazon, Etsy and ASOS. They have been online-only since their beginning, and so their need to ensure content delivery to all devices prior to responsive was and is perhaps a driver for this. Consumer shops which started out as brick and mortar are expected to have a mobile-responsive website, and people consider most mobile apps as somewhat of an annoyance – especially those with a lot of push notifications.
The Samsung S6 Edge as a concept could mean a lot for where this industry is headed, as curved technology has been on the cards as the latest trend for some time. Mobile as a purchasing platform is definitely starting to take over, and this will only continue as smartphones and other wearables become more sophisticated in the eCommerce arena.
If you'd like to know how you can make the most of these trends, then why not take a few minutes to view our Omnia eCommerce solution page.