January 26, 2016
Consumer trends describe the ways in which everyday people go about researching, finding, and obtaining the products and services they want or need. The following consumer trends will give you some valuable insight when it comes to opportunities for innovation in the coming year.
Search without Search Engines
Google has been the world’s primary search engine for more than two decades, and while it shows no signs of slowing down, things are certainly changing in the way that people search for things. Last May, Business Insider posted an article about Facebook’s addition of a search engine that would allow users of the social media platform to not only search their friends’ posts, but also trending topics and products. During 2016, this integrated search engine will give brands a huge boost in visibility. This year, consumers will be able to make purchases, post social proof of those purchases, and even make their payments directly through Facebook links.
In short, this search feature will further integrate ecommerce with social networking, thus providing consumers a brand new way to buy. This means that social media marketing will become increasingly more important throughout 2016.
Snapchat Will Become the New Norm
With the introduction of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, entrepreneurs and even major brands quickly discovered that they could use those sites to reach their target demographics. Snapchat is proving its worth as a marketing tool as well, and according to a recent write-up from MSNBC, even Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton, two of the 2016 presidential candidates, are turning toward the platform to reach their potential voters. What’s more, last year in 2015, Snapchat introduced Discover. This portal of sorts allows big brands to push messages and stories out to media consumers with a single “snap”.
Marketers who have not yet considered Snapchat as a marketing outlet may want to do so in 2016. As of November 2015, there were 100 million people using Snapchat daily, and that number continues to rise. In fact, people view more than six billion videos each day via this channel, so it is important to capitalize on the potential exposure.
The Adoption of Big Data
The last couple of years have created a lot of chatter about big data. Many major brands spared no expense to set up servers to collect and store data, but few of them knew what to actually do with that data once they had it. There are, however, a few very big exceptions. ConsumerEssentials.com is a startup with very high hopes. The site’s goal is to provide “Top 10” recommendations for consumers who are researching the very best product of its type, whether that product is a new car or even a can opener. They do this by analyzing big data from huge retailers like Amazon, and as a result consumers can turn to this site and others like it for the most precise product recommendations available.
Big data is going to play many very important roles in 2016, and the businesses that can adequately collect, filter, and analyze the data will dominate the market.
Marketing on the Oculus Rift
2016 will mark the official launch of the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality sensation that truly makes its users feel as if they are immersed in another world. Since the platform is brand new, it is safe to assume that its marketing and branding capabilities will be somewhat limited for a while. However, as more and more consumers begin to adopt the virtual reality experience, Oculus will inevitably become yet another very important way in which marketers interact with and influence consumers.
Whether or not the virtual reality platform truly takes off in 2016 remains to be seen. Its importance to marketers will depend on the adoption rate. Nonetheless, marketers need to consider the ideology of providing their target demographics with an engaging and stimulating virtual world through the use of cutting-edge technology. This way, when the technology truly takes off, they will be ready.
In conclusion, 2016 will undoubtedly be a year filled with new technologies, big data, and increasingly popular social networks that help to shape the methods by which people make purchasing decisions. In order to create or maintain their relevancy within their particular industries or niches, marketers, business owners, and entrepreneurs must embrace these upcoming consumer trends and formulate a strategy around them.
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