In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic - OPTASY would like to offer DRUPAL website support for any Healthcare, Government, Education and Non-Profit Organization(s) with critical crisis communication websites or organizations directly providing relief. Stay Safe and Stay Well.

Which of the Digital Predictions for 2017 Will Have the Biggest Impact on Your Business?

Which of the Digital Predictions for 2017 Will Have the Biggest Impact on Your Business?

by Adrian Ababei on Dec 23 2016
“Fortune favors those who dare” it's a saying which, adapted to the digital context of 2017, will easily turn into: “Fortune favors agile brands!”
 
How agile is your brand?
 
Nowadays it sure isn't enough to just “jump back on your feet after each blow you've taken from am unexpected, unforeseen quake in the digital marketplace. You need to to go beyond that if you want to remain relevant in your market: you need to be able to predict and, if possible (and this is what truly influential brands do), to be the one “causing” these major shifts.
 
How quickly do you embrace innovation? How adaptable and capable are you, as a web development company in Toronto, to “decipher” the given data of the actual digital marketplace for predicting and even “writing” its future trajectory? 
 
It's no “shocking” news for any brand operating in the digital ecosystem that SOCIAL and MOBILE have been the trends that acted just like some “dictators” of the digital world in 2016.
 
You had to shift quickly from “mobile friendly” to “mobile first”, from “going social” to almost “moving your entire business on social media”, to collecting all the valuable data issuing from your the social media accounts for drafting all your future business decisions.
 
What other new influencing “actors” will step forward on the digital market stage, in 2017, for stealing all the spotlights and for impacting your business to a great extent? Let's find out:

 

1. Immersive Content Experiences

 
2017 will be less about “consuming” content, but about “experiencing content”!
 
Therefore, be prepared to respond to this ever-growing challenge: telling your story to your audience in a way that should “provoke” them to interact, to participate though their imagination. Accept the fact that your online customers want to be challenged to stop playing the role of passive “content consuming” users, that brands have given them in the past, and to accept far more active roles instead, to get involved.
 
So, to resume: 2017 will be all about experiences and, if we tackle the issue immersive content experience, we can't but point out a type of content that will dominate the digital market in 2017:
 
VR-content: you can no longer ignore the tremendous popularity that virtual reality content has gained in 2016. You either embrace it and incorporate it into your brand's whole online content strategy or your business gets overtaken!
 
Where do you add that some of the influential brands are putting a great deal of efforts for making the usage of a headset culturally acceptable (given the immersive software's growing popularity).

 

2. Conversational Experiences

 
See? If “engage” has been “the star word” of 2016's digital landscape, it looks like “experience” will be the one rocking in 2017.
 
Conversational experiences are, in fact, messaging apps “with a human touch”, we might say. Since we've already pointed out that virtual reality will rule in the year to come and since we've talked about the idea of “experiencing content” as opposed to “consuming content”, here we can easily “detect” a growing tendency towards dialoguing as opposed to instant messaging.
 
Conversational interfaces will definitely “seduce” users with their personal touch: they'll get to ask questions or to perform certain tasks during a pleasant conversation, rather than going through a bunch of drop-down menus or to keep typing text messages.
 
It's convenient, it's far more “natural” and “humanized”. And speaking of the latter, predictions for 2017 point out the key role that “intelligent assistants” (your “dialogue partners” so to say) will play in boosting conversational interfaces' popularity, but about this aspect we'll be talking about in detail in one if our 2017 posts (it's a promise!).

 

3. Chatbots

 
Even though chatbot experiences are strongly linked to the conversational interfaces trend that we've just point out, we still see it as a trend on its own instead of just a “segment” of the previous one.
 
After Apple's now more than famous Siri, other major brands (Sephora, Mastercard) have started to adopt the “man-machine type of communication” trend. 
 
Chatbos are here to stay and you should not just consider, but actually prepare your plan for starting to integrate your own brand's future chatbot into your business strategy for the year to come.
 
It provides that human touch (that users have been craving for and that now they are “demanding” for) that “humanizes” digital interactions, so reflect on that during this short period of time left till we all welcome 2017!

 

4. Application Program Interfaces: API 

 
Now this is the digital trend of 2017 that will test not just your agility, but your ability to seize opportunities of growth in tying together (and therefore sharing, too) with other technology/software companies for mutual benefits.
 
By far the best example of such successful partnership between Ebay and Paypal, who've understood an opportunity of growth by tying together through API (in the name of an enriched “user experience”).
 
How about you? Are you willing to cooperate with another “player” in your market and to embrace digital transformation with the help of an application program interface?

 

5. Big Data and Analytics

 
Everything can be measured now in the digital world! 
 
Now, how are you going to turn this fact into the driving force behind your business's success in 2017? 
 
You should start by getting the most out of your data. Examine really closely your analytics, dig up all the valuable information about your customers, those that will help you put together their accurate profiles.
 
In other words: take no decisions, either minor or major, and start putting together no strategy, no business plan for 2017, before you've closely analyzed all your data! Learn to “exploit” analytics and adopt a “data-driven” business mentality in the year to come!

 

6. Glocalization

 
What do you get when you combine two powerful trends of the digital marketplace, globalization and localization? You get a superpower-concept: glocalization! A concept that Toronto developers have started to incorporate in their web projects.
 
Resulting from the whole “user-centered philosophy, this trend is predicted to become even more “demanding” in 2017. 
 
How does it impact you, your business? Well, you need to start “speaking your customers languages” and to adapt your whole online presence to their own cultural environment. 
 
Gone are the days when users were thrilled by the mere fact that they were able to access their favorite websites from wherever they were and to buy their desired items with just a few clicks: so simple and convenient.
 
In 2017, even more than in 2016, users will start to expect more, to get even more demanding: they'll expect the websites/apps they'll access to offer them “online experiences” and not just products and services. 
 
And you do agree that no user will enjoy a whole experience to the fullest if it's not in his mother language and fully adapted to the cultural context that he's a product of, right?

 

7. Platforms Will Rock in 2017

 
It's the perfect time for you to start embracing a “platform thinking”!
 
Big brands like Apple, Android, Uber and Airbnb are already enjoying the benefits of such type of business mentality. It's about “cutting out the middle man” after all!
 
And it's definitely not just about your own obvious advantages, as a company (for we'll continue to delve even deeper into the “User's era” in 2017): it's about streamlining all the processes/transactions taking place on your cloud-based platform and therefore about making your customer's whole experience more agreeable.
 
Give it a try! If big brands are doing it already, why shouldn't you see it as a digital trend with a huge impact on your business' growth, too?

 

8. User Experience

 
“There is nothing new under the sun”, you might say. Enhancing the user's experience has been the ultimate goal of companies operating in the digital markeplace.
 
It's true, yet you should expect an exacerbation of this reality (for it's no longer “just” a trend). 
 
As already stated, customers will become more and more demanding and therefore more and more hesitant to engage to brands that don't pay attention to their preferences in detail.
 
What can you do for coping with this reality that 2017 will enhance? 
 
Use all the valuable data at hand and adapt all your strategies to the key information you have in your analytics: what do your customers want, what do they need, how do they land on your website, what pages to they prefer, what can you tell about their preferences from the comments they post on your social media accounts etc.?
 
Collect all the valuable data, analyze it and use it for perfecting your customers' experiential journey on your website/app!

 

9. Video Content Will Be King

 
That's right! The “Content is King” expression will turn into “Video Content Is King” in 2017. 
 
Putting together video content is no longer the issue now (since it's got easier than ever to make a video), but “crafting” videos is.
 
Those who manage to impress and to engage their audiences with truly stunning, visually-appealing and powerful (through the loads of emotions they're upgraded with) will be the ones benefiting from this digital trend.
 
Will you be one of these agile business owners?

 

10. Age of Community

 
2017 will be all about co-writing brand identities!
 
What does this mean? It means that you'll need to start (if you haven't already) co-opt your employees and your online customers in the “writing” of your brand's identity.
 
It means you'll need to “loosen the reins” and to be more receptive to the input that your own “community” of users will offer you. And you should encourage them to offer it to you.
 
Here are 2 examples of big brands doing just that, co-opting their customers to “help” them shape and reshape their own brands:
 
  • M&M with their “Vote for Your Favorite Peanut” contest
  • Ziploc with the “Inspiration” section on their site where customers get to come up with new, innovative ideas for using their famous plastic bags
 
Take some time to reflect on all these predictions for the year to come and to consider to what extent each of them will impact your brand. Then, decide which should be the first measures to take for being one step ahead of these 10 predictions before they even get to turn into some highly influencing trends!
 
 
Development

We do Web development

Go to our Web development page!

Visit page!

Recommended Stories

5 SEO Best Practices When Building Your Magento Store
  The eCommerce market is getting more competitive. As the digital world expands at a rapid pace and online stores become the norm, eCommerce retailers must find new ways of differentiating their brands from the competition. A reliable method of building a solid online presence is search engine optimization (SEO).  To generate more organic traffic on your website, you need to improve your search engine rankings. With the right SEO strategies in place, you will not only rank higher on Google but also get more value from your Magento eCommerce store.  Keep reading this article to discover five SEO tips for driving better search engine rankings and organically grow your business.   Tip #1: Optimize Meta Tags.    Title tags and meta descriptions help search engines understand the content on a page. Optimized and well-written meta tags can attract more visitors to your site and increase your organic traffic.  SEO-friendly page titles have between 50-60 characters and include the main keyword from a particular page that you target. When it comes to meta descriptions, their length should be between 50-160 characters and incorporate primary and secondary keywords. Although inserting keywords is essential to improve your SEO, it's also important to pay attention to the way your description sounds. It shouldn't be forced or unnatural.    Tip #2: Realize an SEO-Friendly URL Structure.   When working with Magento, it is advisable to use the following URL structure for your pages:  website.com/category-sub-category/product name/ for product pages website.com/category/ for category pages website.com/category/sub-category/ for sub-category pages   To remove the "index.php" part from your URLs, you need to enable URL rewrites. You can do this by clicking on Stores - Configuration - General - Web, then enter the Search Engine Optimization tab and then click on YES in the Use Web Server Rewrites section.  By doing this, you'll create cleaner, more readable URLs, which will make it easier for you to complete a website migration in the future if that will be the case.    Tip #3: Spend Some Time on Product Descriptions.   As many eCommerce sites sell products manufactured by other companies, the product description they receive from the manufacturer is often the one actually used on the site. Consequently, product pages may end up containing little valuable content that doesn't provide significant insights to visitors. Also, Google doesn't usually rank these websites very high, so you need to start creating your own unique product descriptions.   Tip #4: Accelerate Your Site's Speed.   Today, speed and accessibility are what digital customers are looking for. Around 40% of people abandon a website that doesn't load in less than three seconds. A ranking factor used by Google for mobile is page speed, so it's essential to take all the measures to accelerate your loading speed. Here are some tips for this: Migrate to a new host. Try searching for a Magento hosting package as it will be optimized for Magento's infrastructure and capabilities.  Use browser caching. By doing this, users that visit your website won't need to download the same files each time they enter your site, which improves load speeds.  Don't forget about a content delivery network. There some free options on the market that you can use with confidence.    Tip #5: Leverage Magento SEO Plugins.   Fortunately, Magento has high-quality extensions for boosting your website's SEO, like ReloadSEO or SEO Suite Ultimate. Investing in SEO extensions is a great way of taking your SEO efforts to the next level and improve your SERP rankings and organic traffic.  Or you could let a team of experts like Optasy do the hard work for you. We can help you build your SEO-friendly website and grow your business in the digital world. Don't hesitate to contact us for more details.  Photo credit: Myriam Jessier on Unsplash.     ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Apr 22'2021
These Magento Extensions Will Boost Your Sales - Part Two
  Our last article discussed some of the critical Magento extensions for marketing and customer experience. This blog post contains valuable insights into other essential Magento plugins that target financial, shipping, and analytics aspects. Keep reading to discover how these extensions can improve your conversion rates.    Magento extensions for payments    Stripe Payments This Magento extension is used for processing credit and debit cards, as well as mobile wallets. If you want to position yourself as a trustworthy seller and deliver safe and secure payment options, Stripe is a must-have.  Benefits: Great integration. Stripe recognizes and accepts all major credit and debit cards and a wide range of currencies. Modern features. With Stripe, you can also use mobile wallets such as Apple Pay or Google Pay.  Compatible with a multi-store scenario.  Provides secure payment processes by using advanced machine learning algorithms.   OneStepCheckout This is a very handy extension that simplifies the checkout process of your Magento store. Shopping cart abandonment is a real problem for online retailers nowadays, and the Magento eCommerce platform offers an overwhelmingly complicated checkout process.  By installing OneStepCheckout, you'll make it easier for your customers to complete a purchase and increase your conversions. Benefits: Accepts all major payment providers. Cost-effective checkout solution. User-friendly and responsive design. This extension looks and works great across various screens and devices. Highly customizable. Adding and removing fields is easy with OneStepCheckout.   TaxJar Sales Tax Automation Sales tax can be a burden for many business owners. Fortunately, TaxJar can do it for you. With its automation capabilities, this Magento extension helps you prepare returns and calculate your taxes more efficiently.  Benefits: Real-time sales tax rates and calculations. Access TaxJar's APIs and real-time sales tax rates at checkout without compromising on the performance of your website.  Seamless and automated filling. With TaxJar's AutoFile feature, you can rest assured that your returns will be submitted correctly, on time.  Global rates. You can also use Tax Jar for taxes across multiple countries with accurate rates.    Magento extensions for shipping   Delivery Date FIne-tuning the delivery schedule for your customer needs will definitely boost your store's credibility and profitability. With Delivery Date, there will be no more missed packages due to the ultimate shipping customizability feature.  Benefits: Flexible. Allows the customer to select the date and time of their delivery.  Delivery notes. Customers can leave comments and provide additional instructions for the delivery.  Exclude dates. Delivery Data allows you to exclude any date from your delivery options.   ShipStation ShipStation powers shipping efficiency of all sizes. Order management is essential for large eCommerce stores, and it can become challenging. This Magento extension supports businesses in managing their shipping without headaches. Benefits: Returns are easy. Returns and refunds are streamlined for better customer experiences. Centralized orders. With ShipStation, you get to keep all your orders and shipment details in one place.  Order confirmation.    Shipping Suite This complex Magento extension provides customizable shipping and logistics for eCommerce stores. Shipping Suite is a 3 in 1 solution that allows you to take complete control over your delivery process through 3 innovative shipping management tools: shipping table rates, rules, and restrictions.  Benefits: Shipping approximations. Your customers are well informed about their shipping in advance thus reducing cart abandonment.  Highly customizable. You can choose which delivery providers to use and select the rates based on location.    Magento extensions for analytics   Google Analytics plugin for Magento 2 Easy yet powerful, this extension helps retailers track their web store's traffic more efficiently.  Benefits: Better customer insights. This extension allows you to track your customer's activity in your store.  Enhanced marketing. With better customer visibility comes better monitoring of your marketing campaigns.   Improved personalization. By understanding your customer's behavior more clearly, you can act upon personalizing their experience on your site.    Advanced Reports This Magento extension helps marketers with data visualization and management. It includes several reports and monitors different sales performance metrics in your store.  Benefits: Specific reports. You can analyze your reports based on categories. Payment and discount tracking. With Advanced Reports, you'll be able to see how your discount codes are performing and which payment methods lead to the most conversions.    Magento extensions for security As security is getting more and more critical in the digital environment, security extensions are a must to keep your online store secure.    Two Factor Authentication  Through this extension, you can improve your protection against fraud and identity theft. The Two Factor Authentication (TFA) algorithm adds an extra layer of security to your website and reduces the risk of cyber theft. Benefits: High compatibility. TFA works with several operating systems.  High security. The secure code sent to your configured smartphone to complete the log-in process is only available for 30 seconds. This prevents someone from hacking your website.  Failsafe. With TFA, your eCommerce site will be secured even if the security of your passwords is jeopardized.    Fraud Prevention To avoid fraudulent purchases and payments, installing this Magento extension is a must as it helps you track and block suspicious payments. Benefits: Automatic fraud detection. The extension automatically blocks purchases that match previous suspect purchases.   Custom blacklisting rules. You can create blacklist rules based on various customer attributions like name, address, ZIP, or IP address.    Conclusion Magento is a reliable choice for building and managing robust eCommerce stores. However, to make the most out of its capabilities, installing Magento extensions is necessary. You're now familiar with the most popular and useful plugins for enhancing and securing your website.  If you're still unsure which extensions you should select for your site, send Optasy a message. We'll gladly support you in your journey towards building your successful eCommerce business.   Photo credit: geralt on Pixabay.  ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Apr 19'2021
These Magento Extensions Will Boost Your Sales - Part One
  As one of the most popular eCommerce platforms, Magento empowers retailers to build engaging, shoppable customer experiences in the digital world. By leveraging next-generation technology and a massive extension library, Magento helps B2B and B2C organizations create highly personalized shopping experiences for their customers.  Since the level of customization is so high for Magento users, they can often find it hard to choose from so many options and decide which plugins and extensions are truly efficient for their business needs. That's why we've created this article, to shed a light on some of the most useful and reliable Magento extensions that can help you make the most out of your Magento eCommerce website.    Magento plugins for marketing    Facebook Pixel for Remarketing This Magento extension collects data from your customers that browse your products and then runs your ads to those users when they enter the social media platform. You want to keep your product in front of your customer's eyes and here's where retargeting and remarketing play a crucial role.  Benefits: Automatic. Collecting user details is done automatically by Facebook Pixel—no installation is required on your end.  Easy exporting. Facebook Pixel lets you easily export products you want to promote on Facebook. Event tracking. You can personalize the way your customers interact with your brand and content by tracking events in your store and sending that information to Facebook.    Omnisend If you're searching for an all-in-one omnichannel marketing automation tool, then this suite is the right choice for you. Keep in mind that this is not a typical email marketing tool. Omnisend allows integrating multiple channels (email, SMS, web push notifications) in the same automation workflow. This extension can be integrated via an open-source plugin developed by a 3rd party.  Benefits:  Robust automation. In the era of digital workspaces, being able to bring all your channels together and integrate several channels in the same automation workflow is a must.  Easy message building. The visual email composer offered by this extension allows users to use a template or build their content from scratch in minutes. Streamlined targeting. By using segmentation based on profile data, shopping behavior, and customer engagement, targeting is much easier to manage.  Contact capture. With the help of landing pages, embeddable forms, and dynamic pop-ups, you can capture contacts more easily.    Mconnect Customer Specific Product & Price Personalization is a big deal in today's digital world so this extension should be part of your arsenal. How does it work? Let's say you want to personalize a particular segment of customers to receive a specific sale. With this extension, you can update it so only particular customers see your sale prices. The same way goes for on-site product listing so you can show customers only the products they are interested in.   Benefits: Persoalization, personalization, personalization. If you want to thrive in today's competitive digital landscape, your site content and your omnichannel campaigns must respond to your customers' needs. Customization. With Mconnect Customer Specific Product & Price, your customization capabilities are endless and will allow your store to respond to customers with products, prices, and relevant content.  Priority for prices. You have the power to decide which price gets priority for a particular segment.   Magento extensions for user experience   Yotpo Reviews According to a recent study, 91% of 18-34-year-old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Customer product reviews are an invaluable resource for developing customer trust. Yotpo's Magento extension supports you in collecting and publishing reviews on your website from customers that have made a purchase from your store.  Benefits: Social media integration. You can easily share your reviews on social media. Product images. Any customer can upload images with the items they've purchased for more credibility. SEO boost. Use snippets, Google Seller Ratings, and Product Listing Ads to boost your reviews index.   LoyaltyLion Any successful eCommerce marketer knows that a loyalty program is essential to transforming customers into a community. This Magento extension improves the customer experience by allowing you to provide referral codes and rewards to your customers thus encouraging them to share your services with friends and family. Benefits: Loyalty points. With this extension, your loyal customers have the opportunity to earn activity points which they can use later to claim special rewards. 100% customization. You can personalize your shopping program so that it fits your business and customers. Loyalty tiers. Your most loyal users will earn the best rewards which will motivate your shoppers to interact with your brand on a constant basis.   These are the most powerful Magento extensions for eCommerce websites that target marketing and user experience. We'll be back with part two of this article to discuss more details about Magento extensions for payments, shipping, analytics, and security. If you want to expand your Magento web development capabilities and empower your website to build robust digital experiences, check out Optasy's leading services in developing thriving web experiences.   Photo credit: geralt on Pixabay. ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Apr 16'2021