With digital innovations changing the relationships between
customers and brands, we review the top six technological trends
which are likely to shake up the consumer business market in
How can businesses make the most of the digital
From cognitive technology to touch commerce and photo-sharing,
digital advances are fundamentally reshaping and revolutionising
relationships between consumers and companies.
Key drivers of the digital revolution
The main driving forces behind the consumer market's digital
Rising device ownership; 76 percent of
UK consumers now own a smartphone and 60 percent have access to a
Quicker connectivity speeds, with more
consumers adopting 4G services, fast fixed-line broadband and smart
Changing consumer behaviour, with individuals
keen to engage with brands on social media and access services at
the touch of a button.
Six top digital trends for 2016
We believe the following six trends will have the greatest
disruptive impact on consumer relationships this year:
1. Cognitive technology to drive a customer experience
Cognitive technologies, such as natural language processing and
speech recognition, have radically changed how businesses and
consumers interact by enhancing the emotional connection between
consumers and brands.
Over 80 of the top 100 global enterprise software
companies will integrate these technologies into their products by
the close of the year, with the figure potentially hitting
95 percent by 2020.
Gigabit connections could broaden the horizons of
consumer businesses this year. The number per second will
surge to ten million by the end of 2016 – a tenfold increase
on 2015 – and around 70 per cent of these will be residential
This rate of growth will continue until around 600 million
subscribers – the majority of connected homes in the world
– are on a Gigabit tariff in 2020. This will allow brands to
develop higher quality content.
Gigabit broadband is also capable of supporting innovations like
VR and the 'internet of things', increasing the use of
targeted television adverts, and improving mobile apps.
Mobile devices will play a crucial role in the shopping habits
of younger consumers this year but widespread laptop adoption will
also continue as individuals use PCs to complement their
smartphones and tablets.
We predict those aged between 18 and 24 will be the most
pro-PC age group this year, after finding that 86 percent
owned a laptop in 2015. Companies should now design their web-based
services with both PCs and mobiles in mind – recognising that
different devices are used at varying points of the customer
Web communications will become even more visual during 2016,
with our research suggesting 2.5 trillion images will be
shared or stored online, up 15 percent on last year.
The growth of image-sharing could help companies turn the social
media environment into a transactional one, as networking sites
begin to offer functions like 'buy' buttons. But brands
will need to tread carefully, crafting images which feel authentic,
are a cause of interest, and are of a high quality.
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