Every year seems to bring major changes to the technology industry. Here are some digital trends to watch for in 2015:
2014 was a year of positive and negative trends for Internet privacy. Major technology companies were put under scrutiny regarding what information they disclose to sovereign governments.
The pressure put on these companies led them to lobby governments to roll back data collection requirements. US companies argue that they cannot compete internationally when their customers fear incomplete privacy and compromised encryption standards. At the same time they are asking for less government scrutiny, many firms in the industry are aggressively marketing themselves as digitally secure.
Apple’s new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus, the first iPhones released since the Snowden leaks, feature end-to-end encryption on all messaging as a default setting. Cloud storage companies that offer increase privacy, like Spideroak, are gaining ground over less secure storage systems like Dropbox.
The negative trend of 2015 that might perpetuate the need for privacy is a Republican controlled House and Senate. It seems unlikely that any sort of reform to the NSA or CIA will not be forthcoming any time soon. Many of these newly elected Republicans are not members of the Tea Party; They are mainstream Republicans who may be more intent on increasing defense spending and less interested in defending civil liberties.
Pay with Your Phone – Apple Pay v Google Wallet
Will 2015 be the year of mobile payment platforms? Apple has unveiled Apple Pay to compete with the struggling Google Wallet. Both are designed to make plastic credit cards obsolete. The new technologies incorporate personal credit and debit card data with the Android and iOS platforms.Both companies hope the customers will adopt the technology because it is more secure and faster to use than traditional plastic. A major holdup for the new technology is upgrading the processing infrastructure.
In order for the platform to take off many companies will have to update how they process credit cards to include mobile phone payment technology as well traditional plastic. If Google or Apple or both decide to help cover the cost of updating the old system this might happen very quickly.
Better Mobile Commerce
Companies are just starting to grasp the power of developing a mobile website. One of the major benefits of a mobile website is expanding the pool of people who can easily order a product. It is currently estimated that 1.75 billion people connect to the internet using a smartphone or tablet as their primary device.
With more tablets connected to cellular networks people can browse while they are commuting on the train. Look to 2015 as year where more companies expand and improve their presence on the mobile and tablet platform.
This may be the year remarketing is embraced as a powerful selling tool. Remarketing works by targeting ads to people who have already visited a particular website. This is particularly useful for selling expensive or complicated products. Customers who are considering such purchases visit a website many times before buying.
Remarketing makes it possible to remind potential customers wherever they are, by using ads that follow them as they browse. For many products and services this offers a much better return on investment than traditional search advertising.
One picture is worth a thousand words! Videos help reach customers who might not have the patience to read a website statement. Videos that explain a product in 90 seconds or less can help reach customers who previously might have left a site before they could see the product’s value. KickStarter and Crowdsource funding videos make it clear that a good video presentation can be very powerful.
Only time will tell how these trends play out in 2015, but the savvy e Commerce marketer needs stay ahead of all of them to remain on top of his game.