A lot of people think »Dang that looks cool!« when they’re looking at photos on Instagram or Pinterest. But until recently, it took a little research – or at least some work – to find and buy the products you saw. As of a few weeks ago, that’s a thing of the past. The “shop-the-look” function for various social channels has an enormous popularity with consumers and Social Commerce has become the norm within a very short time. But as always when a hype arises, so does the question: Is there more to it? Before we could even think about whether to expect something new again. The answer is not surprising, as commercial features on Facebook and Instagram continue to evolve. Each social commerce update awakens desires, desires that become routine within a very short time.
Digital twin: Virtual industrial facilities as a superlative for the optimisation of marketing, distribution, and services
The digital transformation constantly enriches us with new buzzwords and challenges. Internet of things, okay. Digital twin, wait, what? What’s behind future concepts? Are they really as revolutionary as they seem?
Digital twin means much more than the mere virtual representation of a physical product. With the help of the digital twin, not only the physical elements but also the dynamics and processes behind them can be virtually mirrored. The benefits of this virtual representative cast a promising light on the horizon of new work.
Right now searching by voice is a trendy topic. Studies and surveys are flooding the media with tons of data about the expansion of voice search’s market acceptance. This data predicts a future in which the voice will be the main interface (opposite the screen) for each activity. There is talk of an SEO revolution that has triggered hysteria among SEO managers (but don’t panic)!
Digital Business Compass: Handelskraft 2018 »Moving Towards Digital Excellence« Now available to download
Handelskraft celebrated its eleventh anniversary and we proudly looked back on a productive 2017 full of experiments and innovations. But more important than the past is the future. Especially in digital business, interactive retail, time passes twice as fast and one can hardly believe that the times in which a webshop was the ultimate solution of the digital transformation, are hardly a decade old. In the meantime, digitisation means the seamless interaction of people and machines in marketing, sales, and services across all channels – online and offline.
In order to meet the demands of networked customers, whether as consumers in B2C or business customers in the B2B sector, entrepreneurs need to think outside the box. What brought enthusiasm a few years ago is now expected by customers, partners, and employees alike. The quality of the digital user experience decides more and more about the entrepreneurial success. Their excellent implementation requires know-how!
The changes are immense and the challenges for retailers and manufacturers are technically, organisationally, and culturally diverse. So we are all the happier and proud to publish our sixth Trend Book in a row, with this edition also being the first also available in English, with Handelskraft 2018 »Moving Towards Digital Excellence« we are happy to provide leaders from business, e-commerce, sales, marketing, IT, and digital decision makers with a free compass for their digital business, that gives them a concrete overview of the most important digital trends, innovations and industry developments, without getting lost in the buzzword jungle.
The here and now: We’re all busy and always seem to be running short on time. Consumers are looking for any kind of information with their cell phones, and they’re looking for an answer in the blink of an eye. Chop-chop! Google quickly recognised this need and has been refining their mobile image search for several months.
Since last week, users looking for pictures are better able to see if the landing page can provide more relevant content related to their query. For this, Google offers image caption filters apart from the image badges, à la Pinterest. The goal is to guide the user to their desired search result even faster than before so that both the optimisation of the metadata and Google image search as a traffic source gain in importance.
In the same way, the demands on visual content in both B2C and B2B are increasing. The challenge is to create high-quality, usable content, and strong visual means so that readers can quickly absorb the information and (in B2B) pass on relevant insights to the purchasing department.
How exactly can merchants and manufacturers use visual content to generate more qualified leads and support the buying process?
The power of artificial intelligence is raising expectations within retail. Consumers, retailers, and manufacturers rely on their advantages, namely cost reduction, productivity increase and process optimisation. And more and more departments are using intelligent software to increase their performance.
AI applications are not just found in factories or warehouses. Online marketing and advertising activities can also be intelligently automated. Google recently launched the AdSense Auto Ads, a machine learning system for advertisers. This system not only determines the types of ads that each audience sees, but also how those ads are placed.
In this way, Google wants to enablemarketers with its intelligent software, even without a lot of time and resources to reach the widest possible audience.
The widespread use of auto ads could make them one of the most powerful AI developments available. Nevertheless, questions arise: What changes are there and what are the effects of their use?
After months of speculation WhatsApp finally announced the release of their business app: WhatsApp Business. This will enable SMEs to build even closer customer relationships and facilitate customer contact. And that’s just when consumer behaviour becomes more mobile and brands are trying to capture those mobile moments.
Facebook has once again changed the rules of the game. Its algorithm is now taking a new approach. Facebook classifies the content of friends and family members as more relevant, compared to the content that brand and media pages publish. The direct consequence is a lower organic reach and the first impression that arises is that years of hard work on building up one’s own audience and community wasn’t worth it.
But don’t panic, there are some bright spots: The opportunity to get better and make users happier. How do marketers have to react? What alternatives are there? What can brands and the media do to neutralise the effects of this update?
December is synonymous with the closing of projects and company banquets, but also time to take stock of the financial year and prepare for the start of the new year.
In the last two years, new and innovative technologies and intelligent devices have come to market: Virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence with its numerous applications, blockchain, the Internet of things, and all activities becoming increasingly automated.
No new technologies are expected in the new year. Instead, existing technologies, devices, and software will evolve and establish themselves. At the same time, consumer behavior and needs are changing rapidly in the face of these upcoming developments. Businesses should understand that change is everywhere, and should, while watching the impact of these changes, act accordingly.
Of course, this context affects the future of marketing too. We’ll give you a short guide to the four key marketing trends for the year 2018 that all marketers should keep in mind.
This is only one example of how companies are adapting to the new demands of the digital shopper. But what other strategies and aspects should retailers take into account in order not to lag behind and disconnect from their customers?