New products and trends. 2016 naturally entails even more online growth. 1 billion people now log in to Facebook every day. We are flocking to the Netflix, Uber and Airbnb: parties that do not own any cinema, taxi or building but that do it significantly better than the 'old' parties. And yet that brings us all less together: it all becomes even more individual. More personal. But we also have more options: 2016 will be even more feasible. Here are the 13 online consumer trends that you as a company can take into account this year.
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I write the online consumer trends because in fact all consumer trends are about the internet. Our physical life merges with our online habits: shopping, work, social life, TV (we watch now more online video than TV: TV is going to disappear!), studying, traveling, music, food and health. Thanks to 4G, the internet really becomes mobile. Do you remember the first CD player? DVD? IPhone? It is less and less about the 'early adopters', and more for the masses. Building up a user group of 50 million is going faster and faster. Many new services only become truly valuable to the individual when many people use them: Wikipedia, review sites, question and answer sites ... in short: crowdsourcing.
As a consumer, we therefore gain more and more power. Our feedback on new services (permanently in a beta stage) and products is becoming increasingly important. Together we can write a company into the ground with assessments. The revolution of crowdfunding is that there is first looked at whether there is enough need, and only then the product is made. And also give online petitions strength in numbers. You see that especially with the Geenpeil initiative. No matter how you look at it, it shows how quickly a group of people can organize themselves and reach the critical mass. Famous Dutch people and 'celebrities' those that bind a large group to them therefore also gain more and more influence.
Higher consumer expectations
It is going fast with all technological developments. As a consumer, that ultimately provides us with more convenience and more added value. The engine behind it is big data analysis: insights into consumer click and purchase behavior across different channels. This allows you as a company to better respond to the existing and latent needs per customer. More and more tools are becoming available to process big data, such as the winner of the Loey Award 2015 Elastic and IBM Watson. A good example of the application is'anticipatory shipping'from Amazon: items are already packed and distributed based on purchase patterns before the items are actually ordered. For this Amazon looks at previous orders, searches, shopping carts and returns.
Companies with a focus on continuous added value at every contact moment in the customer journey, on the one hand ensure a strong distinctive capacity, but on the other hand also for higher consumer expectations. You expect the same proposition, personal communication and service everywhere. This means that in more and more sectors parties will fall over that do not go fast enough. Think of sectors such as retail, the financial sector and traditional media. Loyalty is becoming less and less obvious.
Volksverlakkerij such as "you never guess what happened then" ("clickbait') and blank pages (written for Google and not for the reader) and have to wait for things (because we want'instant gratification') consumers are accepting less and less. "Binge watching'of series is one thing nowadays.
Everything even more personal
Recently became the private app Camarilla launched: share your photos with up to 15 friends. You get feedback one on one: the whole world can no longer see how you interact with your mother. It looks like WhatsApp, but it goes a step further. You saw this need before at SnapChat, where young people are massively hidden from their parents' view.
You do not use the above apps? Then you might use Facebook and Google. Both create a relevance bubble: Google shows standard search results based on your personal context, and Facebook fills your timeline with messages that you will likely click, respond or like. People who complain that there are only stupid things on Facebook have taken care of it by just interacting with stupid things. Typically Facebook has 1500 messages to show you and you only get 300 really shown: Facebook determines what you see and what you don't see. Spotify can send you a list of music suggestions every week (Discover Weekly) based on your personal interests. AH has finally started with personal offers: exclusive deals. And recommendations (known from: "Customers who bought this product also bought this product") will also be used for content consumption, such as Strossle for example, does with artificial intelligence (AI). (coming soon to Bloeise!)
Internet is getting smaller
Not only because of the relevance bubble mentioned above. Facebook, Google and Apple want to give you less and less reason to click outside of their world. Facebook in particular focuses on this: posting videos is rewarded with extra reach, with instant articles the content of media parties is directly displayed on Facebook and Facebook is experimenting with M, a virtual helper that allows you to order flowers via chat, for example. (read more about this here Facebook developments). That makes Facebook a kind of Matrix.
On July 13 I would fly from Sofia to Burgas at 10.30. When I get up, I check my phone and immediately get a message from Google Now: your flight is delayed. Really handy I can tell you! Now Google has last year 70 new apps connected to Google Now. This shows the content and messages of those apps in one timeline (app indexing). And that is desperately needed. Because:
Information overload: TL; DR
The pronounciation "In 20 years we had to process 20 times as much information" is incorrect. It is 114 times according to Martin Hilbert. (And indeed, this long article doesn't work either!) In 2015, according to Cisco, we had 3.47 connected devices per person. The expectation is that this will be 6.58 in 2020 and 14 in 2025. For now, those are: mobile, tablet, photo camera, music player, smartwatch.
Every device brings apps, settings and messages. With more and more devices you will be working full time on adjusting, managing and using information. It is becoming too much for more and more people, as witnessed by the new phenomenon Facebook addiction.
According to Danijel Bonacic from Tam Tam, the solution for the information overload lies on the one hand in merging app content like Google Now does. On the other hand in smart notifications: filtering, sorting and collecting messages for the right moment. You need context for that and AI can determine that context.
Next 'connected devices"Connected devices and sensors are becoming increasingly popular in the personal and public environment: smart TV, smart car, smart fridge, home automation, smart bricks, smart bike paths and smart lighting. The latter will take a huge flight. Municipalities are responsible for the maintenance of street lighting. When renewing this, every municipality will be asked: will we also include WiFi in it? And sensors that ensure that the lighting only comes on when someone is there too? And what handy sensors about the weather, traffic or air quality? This trend is called smart city. This has been going on for some time, but this year KPN is rolling out its LoRa network, with which devices can exchange pieces of information easily, quickly and easily, such as location, status and quantity. The Internet of Things applications are numerous:
- Where's my cat? Where has he been again? Also handy for children 🙂
- Is the waste container full along the road and does it have to be emptied?
- Has the lift stopped with an error message and are there people in it?
- Does the front door open while nobody is home?
For the record: consumers will be worried whether or not this is IoT and which infrastructure is implemented with which sensors. What matters is that this new technology offers many new possibilities. Then the question is: who converts that into handy nice easy services? Only then will we adjust our behavior as a consumer. This is also about achieving mass. See here the genius of a Steve Jobs: the best man knew how to sell innovation. It is now really a matter of waiting for a new party that will offer smart all kinds of smart services itself. KPN has therefore installed the infrastructure for IoT, but there are already crowd source solutions, such as The Things Network in Amsterdam:
I can already hear you thinking: nice. But for now I will stick to mobile. And that is already a trend: millennials (born between 1983 - 2000) only use the smartphone (and other handheld devices) for the internet. Reason enough for Google to lower websites that are not mobile friendly as of April 21, 2015 in the search results of mobile users. Such as Danijel Bonacic already wrote:The mantra 'mobile first' is replaced by 'mobile only': as a company you have to be ready to facilitate the entire customer journey on the mobile."
According to Google in 10 different countries there is now more mobile traffic than desktop traffic: a mobile only website without a desktop variant is even for Google acceptable. That means that Google expects desktop traffic to fall away. Facebook is already 50 percent mobile only used (and 70 percent via the mobile app, but with overlap with the desktop use). More and more banks are making it possible to pay via the app, and the arrival of Apple Pay will give mobile payments a further boost. On Black Friday (yes, that American phenomenon to which Dutch marketers apparently also have to refer; trends from America continue to lead) 56 percent of mobile sales. And more and more apps are being added with which we pay, such as parking apps and media apps.
A nice exercise: create an item in your agenda for next year and write the 10 apps that you use the most. Next year you can see how that has changed. For example, this year the Netflix app has been added for many. App recommended: SafeDrive. This will reward you if you can leave your phone during a ride.
YES WE CAN!
Obama's motto remains brilliant because it also reflects the spirit of the times. This is a wonderful time to live in. Yes, there is still poverty, but that is getting less and less, explains Hans Rosling simply out of this. Africa becomes free from polio. Hunger is declining in the world. Sustainable energy production increases. And: more and more people get internet access (thanks in part to Project Loon and Internet.org) and therefore more options. Even though Bill Gates had lived in a different time or city, he might not have made the impact on the world he made now. (and still makes if philanthropist). Then Bill Gates might have been a potato farmer. Internet helps development in poor countries. (nice example from India) Think of geniuses such as Einstein and Tesla: they have been able to develop through the right environmental stimuli. With the billions of people going online now, today's Einsteins and Teslas also have the opportunity to develop. Do you think it is going fast now in terms of innovation in the world? You haven't seen anything yet.
The world is becoming more manageable. I write this article from Sofia, where I live half my time. That trend is called digital native. Education is freely available on every conceivable subject: law and ethics, robots, big data (good career move by the way!) or just how you got one secret entrance before you make Batcave, the Flintstone car, submarine or solar panels makes. Education because you have to and because you can.
This also gives democracy a different shape, Geenpeil is a good Dutch example of this. In the words of life hacker Martijn Aslander: “... they have put together something that is legally valid: putting a signature online for a referendum in a secure way on a secure site…. They did something in a few weeks' time that the government would take three to four years."
As a consumer you have influence on the world with your purchasing behavior: fair trade is increasing, more and more animal-friendly alternatives are being introduced in the supermarket, eco-tourism is on the rise… And also our media behavior. Think about the waves of indignation Martin Shrekli or Martin Palmer. Yet that sometimes remains too superficial: Look - Condemn - Share, without looking deeper into the background or consulting a second source. Fortunately, verifying news is now taught as standard in primary schools.
There is of course still a lot of dishonesty in the world. Like how the money of the world divided is. Who the book 'This can not be true' if it blog van Joris Luyendijk can soon be overwhelmed by a feeling of hopelessness. Yet there are initiatives to turn the tide, such as Our Money. And virtual money like Bitcoin can also provide the necessary innovation. The technology behind Bitcoin is the technology behind it: Blockchain. How does that work?
Money is needed to trade. Trade is recorded in accounting. Those accounts exist in themselves: they are closed. Intermediaries and third parties (banks, governments, notaries) give us the confidence: yes, that party has money and can pay. That trust makes trade possible. Blockchain makes it possible to conduct joint bookkeeping via the internet: open and from everyone. All dates, times and balances are then freely available to everyone: a so-called 'single source of truth '. Incorrect transactions are not included. You can program a Bitcoin in advance to be used for 1 purpose only: compliance in advance. In America, for example, poor families receive food stamps because when they receive money they do not always use it for food. Virtual money that you can only use for food could replace those food stamps. All this results in fewer intermediaries and therefore less bureaucracy.
The consumer does not trust (and for any reason) its own bank. Only Triodos and ASN Bank can count on trust, and they also work hard for that (here my own substantiation for the choice of Triodos for my business account). This general dissatisfaction results in more growth for Triodos and ASN, and also more openness for new initiatives. Millennials are according to The Huffington Post open to have their banking run through PayPal, Square, Apple, Google or Amazon. And the third investment fund of Peak capital also focuses in particular on startups in the financial sector.
"I'll be back". "You will be assimilated". "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that". The fear of self-thinking machines is getting worse books, films and games already programmed with us (word joke). In August, Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk (from Tesla and SpaceX? ...) presented the role model Iron Man) and Bill Gates one warning for AI. Because. The first robot has learned one ignore the command. A machine can now be done in the same way learn as a human. And the discussion is about the independent killing of people by robots in war. The AI issue is actually the technology issue: throughout history, technology has been the driving force behind both positive and negative developments. Consumers are increasingly opting for media entertainment and less for depth (what the demise of investigative journalism means). When AI provides a better and easier life, most will be ahead. For AI you need an interface and a knowledge field.
Voice as an interface
"Look at them staring at all those screens". Any parent at the kitchen table, a commuter in the train or concert goer will be able to say this. AI can put an end to that. AI allows interaction with an object without a screen. Siri from Apple and Google Now for example, that you met voice command can give all kinds of assignments. More and more context is being processed in the answers. Now is Microsofts Cortana further, but yes ... only on Windows Phones.
Chat as an interface
Return to the screen. Facebook is working with M to create a virtual assistant that you control via chat. The interaction and tasks are now still by one team performed, but with the intention of slowly transferring it to M. Mark Zuckerberg has as personal objective for this year to build an AI for home and at work, so the topic definitely has the attention within Facebook. The moment Facebook M makes available, 1.5 billion people have a virtual assistant. Chat as a way of communicating is more popular than calling: it is easier, you can do with several people at the same time and also share photos and videos.
Then the knowledge field: the knowledge to unlock via AI. A concrete example: there is a proliferation of medicines. You cannot expect a doctor to know how three different medicines work together when there are many thousands on the market. Unfortunately, side effects therefore occur regularly. IBM Watson is used to bring that knowledge together and thus make it available to everyone online. 43 percent of respondents to a survey Ericsson are open to an AI medical advisor:
AI is constantly learning to do certain tasks that people can do. Image recognition is taking flight. Facebook has been struggling with it for tagging photos for some time, Google is also busy and recently you can also have an AI assessed How hot (howhot.io) you are. Or your partner.
Yes virtual reality should certainly not be missing in this list. If only because Mark Zuckerberg strongly believes in it ... and so it will gradually introduce us. You may have already seen the first step: 360-degree videos in which you move around in the image by dragging. Watch. Also on YouTube. Zuckerberg sees the developments of online media consumption as follows: text, photos and visuals, video, 'immersive 3D video". We are now in the transition to full video (thanks to 4G); Zuckerberg expects that within two years our timeline will mainly consist of video. Then 'immersive 3D video', which simply stands for virtual reality. The Oculus Rift is finally available ... for the ridiculous price of € 699 excl. VAT and shipping costs. Will be anyway eagerly decreased, while there are numerous alternatives such as Samsung's Gear VR for $ 99. Google Cardboard is even cheaper.
The question is whether we will go to the VR en masse, and then what that will do for our society. Here is a stimulating vision that might not even be that far:
You can reach Funda recently also view houses with an Oculus Rift. Google offers a free virtual lesson program with which you and your classmates can visit the Great Wall at the same time. According to virtual reality specialist Robert Overweg from Beyond Sports everything becomes digital: pop stars, drawings, thoughts, people and environments. His company helps Ajax, PSV and AZ to improve their football performance: “It creates empathy when you can watch the match through each other's eyes. And a competitive advantage when you look from the opponents."In the future, he is also thinking of virtually attending a football match. Why sold out?
According to Super data 70 million VR headsets will be sold in the next two years, Juniper estimates three million for 2016. Microsoft is working on the Hololens: a kind of Layar but with glasses and much better. So there is a lot of investment, but that was also the case with Google Glass. What exactly do consumers want? According to Ericsson the following:
New distribution of B2C products
V&D is bankrupt. Multiple retailers will follow. While pure online players such as Coolblue actually open stores. What exactly is going on? As consumers, we want convenience and value for money, and online shopping is often cheaper and easier than physical shopping, with more choice, better availability and all kinds of extra services. This is all possible due to the scale that the internet entails, while a physical location costs hard cones every month. Today's shopkeeper must really ask: why do people still shop? For example, there was a wine shop in 't Gooi that decided to close the shop and only occasionally rent a room for tastings.
All that online shopping ensures a complete turnaround in the distribution of consumer goods. That brand in your new delivery options:
- Same day delivery: ordered today, delivered today. (for example Coolblue.nl, also delivery on Sunday and by appointment) According to startup Fadello feasible for many retailers.
- Pick up points: ordered today, picked up tomorrow or today. (for example ah.nl). 70 to 80 percent pick-up points are used in England. The benefits for consumers: you don't have to be home and pick up when it suits you. The benefits for the retailer: new contact with the consumer for possible cross-selling, and you can also realize your flow of goods through that point.
- Pick up today: ordered today, picked up today (for example bol.com)
- Delivery in the evening hours;
Uber also looks at delivery services under the name UberESSENTIALS. The idea: to use the space in private cars to deliver packages. So that even inside ten minutes can be delivered. In the Netherlands there is already the startup Trunkrs.
*UPDATE* Vans in the street. Trucks in the shopping street. Ordering online from us causes a mess in the inner cities. The logistics network Cityhubs the Netherlands wants to make an end here: city distribution that provides the final delivery to the final address for 40 cities.
3D printing always seems to be a solution looking for a problem. There are interesting developments in this, such as 100x faster printing, printing food (Bah!), A gun (that is not a free speech), a new one hand, jaw or skull. But here too is waiting for a breakthrough. When that breakthrough ever comes, it will have far-reaching consequences. When more and more consumer products can be printed, you only need raw materials and printers.
Fully in line with the above trend New distribution of B2C products is the growing demand for experience. According to Pine and Gilmore there is a logical development in building up economic value: raw materials, products, services, experience, transformation. Example: coffee beans, coffee, a coffee machine at work maintained by Douwe Egberts, a White Chocolate Machiatto prepared by a barista, a holiday in the Amazon where you get life-changing experiences. To distinguish themselves from online shops, stores can focus on personal attention and experience. You can gradually see this change in stores that also organize workshops, tastings and even fashion shows. After all, possessions make us less happy then experiences.
We are now fully in the process: from products to services. Why would you buy a product if you can also purchase a service? When did you last buy a CD? Or a DVD? Why would you buy a drill if you can do it too to lend? Or a car? Or a boat?
The latest trend responds to all of the above trends. We are becoming extremely dependent on the internet and online applications. Cyber security (and probably also cyber hacking) is high on the agenda of most countries. Wars are also conducted digitally, as witnessed by declaration of war from the hackers collective Anonymous at ISIS.
Now some consumers in this area are perhaps most concerned about possible download fines. That's what Dutch Filmworks wants there work out of it. More important are the hacks that capture millions of personal data. Reason for the official reporting obligation for data breaches in the Netherlands as of 1 January 2016. The Dutch Data Protection Authority is now called the Personal Data Authority and can impose a fine of up to 820,000 euros if the reporting obligation is not met. According to Ericsson, 18 percent of consumers will have less confidence in a company or product when it is hacked:
Conclusion online consumer trends 2016
Everything online. On the mobile. Connected to other devices. Tailored to us personally. As an app. For an optimal experience. Completely virtual with your friends and content. Smart thanks to AI. So that we are not overloaded with information. Ordered and delivered within an hour .... Otherwise your customer will be dissatisfied. With all possible consequences.
That's quite a list. For the time being there is no single party that can respond to all points. The playing field continues to grow, new niches continue to emerge. It is all about choosing an optimal proposition for an interesting target group where you can build up sufficient mass. First comes your added value. Then your earnings model.
But pay attention: these are the trends. For the most part, things that went well last year will continue to go well this year. Trends come and go. My advice for 2016: stay informed of technological developments. Keep a close eye on your competition. But focus primarily on the behavior of your customers. Are they satisfied? Then you are doing well.
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