Digital Trends 2017: Are Brands and Customers on the Same Page?

As 2016 drew to a close, we offered our predictions on the digital trends to watch in 2017.

We looked at everything from the latest consumer-facing tech innovations, to changes in the way businesses and agencies work together, with a growing focus on products over projects.

Whilst we’re pretty confident in our predictions, we’ll happily admit that they’re not all entirely original – to really break out of the industry filter bubble, perhaps we needed to take a step back.

We thought it would be interesting to gather some insight and see how consumers actually feel about things like chatbots, VR and voice assistants. So, we surveyed 1,000 British adults to find out.

We also pulled together some data from Google’s News index and Keyword Planner, as metrics for how much noise some of the big consumer tech trends are making online, to give our research some more context.

So, how aligned are the digital tech trends generating buzz in the brand world, with the wants and needs of customers in 2017?

View our infographic below to see how the data stacks up…

Digital Trends 2017 Infographic

1 in 5 people surveyed aim to spend less time in front of screens this year
Tweet this
  • Mobile payments are the most sought-after technology in 2017
  • 9 out of 10 consumers claim to have no interest in using augmented reality in the near future
  • 1 in 5 people surveyed aim to spend less time in front of screens this year
  • Mobile payments (40%) and voice search (30%) are the two technologies consumers are most willing to embrace (and they’re also the technologies they are most likely to have used already)
  • 85% wouldn't be comfortable with screenless ordering (e.g. Amazon Dash). 98% said they haven't tried this technology before.
  • Around a quarter said they had heard of both VR and AR but don't really understand what they are. Almost 9 out of 10 claimed they weren't interested in using AR in 2017.
  • Nearly half suggested they just want the products and services they already use to be made better
  • Although largely unconvinced by chatbots and augmented reality, a significant proportion of over-55s are interested in using mobile payments (24%), voice search (22%), and even virtual reality (17%).
  • 1 in 5 want more time away from screens in 2017. This urge to disconnect is most prevalent amongst 25-34-year-olds.

Key Takeaways

Whilst many customers may be unfamiliar with terms like virtual and augmented reality, and claim not to want to interact with these technologies, these attitudes may change quickly if individuals’ initial encounters with the technology are positive. The emphasis is to test, learn and refine new innovations before releasing into the wider market.

Innovation remains important for brands looking to secure a competitive advantage in an increasingly fast-moving digital world, but this should never become a distraction from working on improving the products or services they already offer. However brilliant your product is, there are always opportunities to test, iterate and optimise.

Age, gender and other human factors can have a big impact on how individuals feel about particular types of technology. If you don't truly know your audience, attempts to innovate could easily backfire. The trends brands adopt should always be guided by both customer and market insight. Tools like a customer experience map can help to identify where new technologies can add the most value.

Things to Think About Right Now

  • Voice search should be a focus for all online brands in 2017 - talk to your SEO team!
  • If you're a physical retailer and you don't yet accept mobile payments, consumers could soon start voting with their feet and going elsewhere.
  • With many people aiming to spend less time in front of screens this year, it’s vital that you make your interactions with them count. A poor initial experience could lose you a customer for life.

Interested in digging into the raw data from our survey? You can download it here!

We’d love to know what you think about our findings - Tweet us @computerlovers.

What can digital teams learn from Toyota? Here are 2 great lessons that often get overlooked