Technologies that once seemed like a stretch of the imagination are now at our fingertips. In 2021, digital innovations, like virtual reality (VR), are available to businesses, who try to keep up with these trends to remain relevant and competitive. This is not always an easy task to do, as businesses can be overwhelmed by all the quickly emerging trends. Here are 5 of the most important digital trends that businesses need to keep an eye on.
Virtual Reality (VR)
VR technology allows its users to immerse in a 3D environment and experience it as if they are there. The most obvious use for VR is entertainment and gaming. With VR, you’re able to explore fantasy worlds, attend concerts, watch sports games, and visit tourist sites in a more engaging way. Besides entertainment, VR has practical uses for businesses, such as safety simulations and staff trainings in fields like interior design. Promisingly, VR has the potential to revolutionize our online shopping experience. Imagine being able to browse products in virtual stores that simulate real-life ones, all from the comfort of your home.
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
PWAs are websites that provide users with a similar experience to that of native apps downloaded through an app store. No installation is required with PWAs, as they are available via web browser. Benefits of PWAs include fast load time and reduced device storage, with features that closely resemble those of native apps, like push notifications and offline browsing.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI refers to technology that is capable of accomplishing tasks typically associated with intelligent life. The benefits of AI include its ability to process large amounts of data in a manner more efficient and detailed than humans can. For example, AI chatbots can handle more customer service cases and respond faster than workers, all while simulating human speech using NLP. AI can also help with targeted marketing and the personalization of user content, driving up engagement. Overall, AI benefits both the internal and external processes of a business, automating certain tasks and making the work easier.
Voice & Visual Search
Growing in popularity are voice and visual search as alternatives to typed search. A voice search feature allows users to speak into their devices or to their virtual assistant (e.g., Amazon Alexa) to make an online query. Similarly, visual search is an internet search using pictures instead of words. Companies have already started developing image recognition technology, like Google Lens that allows you to “search what you see.” As per Gartner, early adopters of voice and visual search will increase their digital commerce revenue by 30%.
Blockchain technology is a system of recording information that is very difficult to hack and corrupt. It is secure and doesn’t require an intermediary, like a bank, for a transaction to occur. While often associated with cryptocurrency, it is growing relevant to digital marketing. Among blockchain’s many benefits include the security of customer data and personal information, ad buying without mediators, and the detection of fraud.