Amfas Tech | Technology, Blogging & Internet Marketing: Digital Marketing

Top 5 Internet Trends That Are Helping Businesses Acquire More Customers in 2018


From the popularity of digital wallets to the curiosity around blockchain, SMEs and big businesses alike, have leveraged social media trends especially at the break of 2018. Perhaps there has never been a time as urgent as now to adapt and keep up with the trends that are percolating the internet to remain relevant.

Digital Wallets

To understand the growing adoption of digital wallets as means of payment, AmericanExpress has carried out a survey about digital payments trends and online shopping habits. Some interesting outputs include:
  • 20% consumers claimed they were not carrying any cash in their wallet
  • 46% said they rarely or never rely on cash transactions to make purchases
  • 70% of shoppers said they used digital payment methods such as mobile wallets, one0click checkout buttons and P2P payment apps
  • 41% said sometimes or always rely on digital payment channels

To take a closer look at the role of digital wallets in the current Indian market, while its popularity has been on the rise since 2014, demonetization forced a rather reluctant portion of the consumers to adapt too. UPI based transactions noted a 89 times growth in the month before ( 1,03,060 transactions) and the month following ( 91,67,277 transactions) demonetization. A general growth in number of mobile users, internet access and app downloads in India add to the popularity.

Experts believe that although digital wallets offer to speed up the checkout process, avoid wastage on processing fees and are fairly easy to implement, its magic hasn’t reached it potential reach due to security issues. With the introduction of Blockchain that will bring security issues to a minimum, Digital wallets usage is bound to make a giant leapfrog in the coming year. To stay ahead of the curve in an industry, it is now almost essential to be an early adopter of digital wallets.

UGC

It doesn't come as a surprise that businesses are increasingly using social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or even Snapchat to reach out to a wider set of audience. With an additional 121 million users joining social media channels within a single quarter in 2017, it’s a smart choice too. However, since 2018 there has been a major change in trends of social media channels churning out algorithms that prioritize posts from family, friends or acquaintances over content from brand pages, which has been resulting in a steep dive in the organic reach and referral traffic for businesses.

The silver lining to this gray cloud comes in the form of user generated content that is garnering increasing popularity among marketers of small businesses to reputed brands alike. Popular such campaigns include BMW’s #BMWRepost, Starbucks’ #RedCupContest, and Adobe’s #AdobePerspective. A recent survey with a sample size of 4500 people, yielded some interesting results to support this shift.
  • Engagement on UGC promoting a brand was 7 times higher than that of brand generated content.
  • A positive customer generated post resulted in 56% of the respondents being more likely to purchase this product/service.
  • An image posted by consumers is considered 7 times more trustworthy by customers compared to brand ads. 

Social Media Advertising

Businesses have also learnt to combat the falling organic reach and referral traffic using Social Media Advertising, with a million new businesses choosing to advertise on Instagram in just the last 6 months. Currently, there are 6 million brands using Facebook as an advertising channel and 2 million employing Instagram. Social media ads allow businesses to target specific sections of the audience based on interests, demographic, behavioral patterns, locations and more, contributing to its escalating marketability and resulting in spending on social media ads growing by 20% annually. A survey by Animoto suggests that greater than 50% of the surveyed marketers intended to increase their spending on advertising, bolstering advertising agency Zenith Optimedia’s prediction that ‘social media ad spending will overtake newspaper ad spending by 2020.’

Additionally, seeing that video continues to be the most preferred form of media in 2018, and the number of channels supporting the media format in the form of ‘stories’ continue to strengthen their reach, a large percentage of advertisers plan to concentrate their marketing investments on Video ads on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.

Social Media Messaging

Facebook studied the behavior of 12,500 people across 14 markets and recognised consumers’ growing preference towards messaging businesses to ask questions regarding the product, make purchases, appointments and provide feedback. The survey also found that
  • 61% would respond more positively to a personalised message from a business.
  • 50% are more likely to purchase from a business that they can communicate through message.
  • 56% prefer engaging with customer service on messages in comparison to calls.
This shift is not entirely unexpected considering how costumers’ favored means of communicating with a business has been constantly changing from phone, email, social media and has currently settled on social messaging. In a time when messaging is found to be helping brands communicate with their consumers or audience more than ever, it is increasingly important to be ready to receive messages, address the customer personally and take advantage of newer marketing means such as Facebook’s Click-to-messenger ads to be a successful business. The preferce for messaging has also resulted in a sub trend of the rising tide of chat bots. Combined with the estimated savings of $8 billion every year by 2020, and consumers’ increased exposure to and appeal towards chatbots, large number of channels like Wechat, Slack, Viber, iMessage and Facebook have bots.

Blockchain & IOT

The Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain are two topics which are causing a great deal of hype and excitement, not just in the technology circle but in the wider business world, too. A blockchain without getting into the intricacies is essentially ‘a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography.’ IOT is the networked interconnection of devices in daily use, equipped with ubiquitous intelligence. It is based on processing of large quantities from multiple devices of data in order to provide useful information/service. While they can stir up enough change individually, together, they hold the power to bring about adverse lifestyle changes in consumers through out the world.

In-spite of all the advantages IOT offers and the limelight it received through 2017, it’s biggest critiques and fans alike had no choice but to acknowledge the challenges it brought about in the security of consumer data before blockchain. However, in 2018, IOT is predicted to be a lot more secure and hence, have a more widespread acceptance. For businesses looking to innovate, products that cater and compliment IOT will be essential. For every business though, it is important to be equipped to collect large amounts of consumer data from multiple devices accessible and to know how to use it.

Consumers’ dwindling size of attention span and loyalty combined with the flourishing innovation results in a market place that is consistently going through metamorphosis. While adapting to social media messaging or pushing user generated content can provide a nudge in the right direction, it is essential for businesses to dissect current and upcoming internet trends to understand how your business can best benefit from it.


About Author: Afshan is an inquisitive writer and an active listener who loves to bake in her free time. When she is not doing all that, she is sleeping.
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