9 digi-trends to watch out for

September 9, 2015 10:47 am The UK Domain

Whether it’s at home or at work, here are some digital trends that we think you should look out:

  1. Making a website just got easier

It might come as a surprise to hear that government research says that nearly 2 million UK businesses are not online. No matter how offline your business might seem to be, having a web presence is really important – even if your main services can only be provided in person, for example at a tattoo parlour or hairdressing salon. Where Google processes more than 100 billion search requests each month, potential customers will typically start the search online for your services online.

But the good news is, you no longer have to be a geeky genius to build a website – there are some brilliant tools out there that will help you stand out from the crowd. Just visit The Grid or Wix – both making the web development process a piece of cake.

 

  1. Yes there are lots of new screens and devices – but is their longevity?

Hype surrounding wearables has been exciting, but now the world of the Apple Watch is finally upon us, these new devices will only take off once we see some amazing apps on them that will change our lives. It might happen, in fact you might have the brainwave that’s about to make it happen – but it’s only fair to say that smartwatches will only take off if they bring greater utility to people’s lives.

 

  1. Subscription Vs. Freemium Vs. Pay-as-you go

The way digital content is consumed and monetised is in flux. The sharing economy means that consumers are prepared to borrow rather than buy items outright – so long as they can borrow as much as they like, or at least access a certain amount for free. Companies like Zuora are good examples of a business that is continuing to innovate subscriptions models.

 

  1. Bitcoin may have stumbled, but the concept is not dead

Yes, Bitcoin did take a backward step, but the very notion of virtual currencies made us think about how consumers pay for things online. It will be interesting to see how the world of the cryptocurrency rears its head in the future.

 

  1. Is Facebook the be all and end all?

The business world has long been trying to monetise captive audiences on Facebook. It’s such a far reaching social network, it’s no wonder. But there have been murmurs of Brits leaving Facebook – something to the tune of a 600,000 drop in users last December, not logging into the site.

If you are using Facebook to cleverly reach your users, fear not, huge swathes of prospective customers are still active on the social giant. But in terms of using it as an exclusive channel to build your business, it’s perhaps not best to put all your eggs in one basket.

Attention should be focussed instead on building your own digital property first. Don’t simply outsource your digital presence to a third party such as a social network, build your own website and then use social networks to amplify noise on top of that.

 

  1. Do we listen? Yes. Do we respond? Yes. Do we harness… not as well as we could…

Monitoring engagement with your brand on social media is common place and is especially exciting if mentions are positive. Businesses have also got better at responding to messages from their customers over social media, whenever they have questions. But the question remains whether brands are harnessing the positive posts about their brand in one place? Recommendations from actual customers on social media are an extremely powerful way to engage with likeminded prospects – so why not use a tool like Stackla to harness all the positive posts onto your website.

 

  1. Pay in a new way…

Mobile payments are so close to comprehensively changing the way we buy and the way we sell. Contactless payment was an important part of the process; tech giants like Apple then building relationships with banks and building the technology to facilitate purchases with the tap of a mobile was another. This is so convenient it’s only a matter of time before it catches on in a big way.

 

  1. …and sell in a new way

In May this year, Denmark said it planned to allow petrol stations, clothing stores and restaurants to stop taking cash payments. But some smaller, cash orientated businesses – such as those selling their wares at market stalls – shouldn’t be worried about the impact this might have. New technologies such as those provided by Sumup provide a simple payment solution that plugs into a smartphone – meaning businesses of all sizes can easily accept card payments.

 

  1. Drones

Buying items on a computer and having flying robots deliver them to your doorstep? If this actually comes to full fruition – there is no doubt, we will officially be living in the future.