Seems like every week, we have a new digital trend that our clients ask us about.  Some are fun and applicable to our everyday lives, like voice search. And some, even though they are extremely interesting and fun, can be very costly to implement and brands are still figuring out how to make the best use of them, like virtual reality:

Let’s startwith the fun trends:

Voice Assistant

Siri, Alexa, Google Home…among others. If you don’t have voice assistant on your phone or in your home, you likely know someone who does and you’re familiar with the idea. From a search perspective, their introduction is such an interesting concept. Think about how you Google something.

Let’s say you’re looking for a restaurant near you on a computer; you’ll type in the phrase “Memphis, Chinese food” or something like that. If you’re asking on your mobile, you’ll ask in the form of a conversational question, meaning the search engine has to pick up on longer key word phrases like ‘What is the best Chinese restaurant near my house?”.  This requires more conversational copy to be on your website as opposed to keyword-based search engine optimized copy.

It’s also changing the way we shop. You can reorder an item from Amazon just by asking Alexa to place the order. No logging in, no verifying payment information and delivery address – all of that is stored and assumed to be correct.  Years ago, consumers shopping on their smart phones or tablets was a game changer; this is phase two.

 Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Virtual reality sets an entirely new environment for its user who has to wear a headset for the full experience. Augmented reality is layered on top of actual reality. Good examples of augmented reality include Pokémon Go and the Ikea Place app that allows users to layer furniture in their homes to visualize fit, match, etc.

Augmented reality is constantly on“top digital trends” lists as it continues to develop and brands try to figure a way to integrateit into their digital mix

Not-So-Fun Trends

Privacy and Security

Web browsers are changing the way they track users. We had an article about that change via Google Chrome. Users can opt out of retargeting messages (that dress you looked at ONE time on an online retailer that pops up daily on various sites). This is great for the users but not great for advertisers who will have to rebuild the way they serve ads to online users. Some websites are playing around with ad-free content is the users are willing to $1/day for example, to make up lost revenue stream.

At Sullivan Branding, we’ve always followed IAB Best Practice for our clients, so they won’t need to worry about rebuilding digital ad campaigns to meet these new demands.

Accessibility

Making websites accessible for all users was a mandate under the Americans with Disability Act.  Websites are required to be more user-friendly for everyone, with updates like ability to tab through entire website, voice for visually impaired, scale for colors and graphics to make them less stimulating, etc.

Companies are still trying to understand and implement this. While this is a lot of work on companies, the end-result will make a better user experience for everyone.

This is just a digital trend taste. Things change daily, so we’re always staying up to date and keeping our clients informed of cool trends and potential legal ramifications for their online presence.