Six Digital Trends for 2016

April 13, 2016 | By: Melanie Mulvihill | 2 min read

We are already a few months into 2016 and have seen some of these trends begin to emerge. As marketers, we must stay up-to-date on digital trends and alter our marketing strategy to consider these. According to eMarketer, here are six things that will happen in 2016.

Speech Based Content Search Will Increase
Voice-activated search has been increasing. Consumers are talking to these “personal assistants,” like Siri, through their smart watches, phones and home devices. As marketers, we need to consider personal assistant search strategies and anticipate conversational searches. We also anticipate some sort of paid advertising will emerge.

Messaging Apps Will Grow
WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are both well on their way toward having 1 billion monthly active users (MAUs) worldwide. According to Facebook, WhatsApp currently has 900 million MAUs and Messenger has 800 million. 2015 was a big year for messaging apps, Facebook added numerous improvements introducing a transportation platform with Uber and the ability to send and receive money. In 2016, Facebook will continue to add more services and opportunities in their messaging app, including a virtual assistant. This will bring more marketing and advertising opportunities.

Mobile Payments Will Take Offdigital trend - mobile wallet
Mobile Payments have been slow to take off, but we think 2016 is the year they finally do. Mobile wallets are becoming a standard feature on new smartphones and in order to meet the growing demand, more retailers will begin to accept mobile payments from a variety of payment systems. eMarketer estimates 37.5 million people, or 19.0% of smartphone users, will transact with their phones at the point of sale (POS) in 2016, a 61.8% year-over-year increase. The amount of people using mobile payments with greater frequency, beyond buying their daily cup of coffee, will result in a tripling of transaction value by the end of 2016, to $27.05 billion.

Having mobile payments available won’t be enough to convince consumers to swap out their debit or credit cards, there has to be some sort of incentive, like coupons or loyalty programs. After all, customers do love loyalty programs. Starbucks is a great example of a successful in-store mobile loyalty and payment program.

mobile phoneMobile Commerce Will Increase
In 2015, eMarketer estimates that only 1.6% of total retail sales in the US occurred on mobile. This is most likely going to change due to changes made by companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon. This increase in mobile commerce can be attributed to growing screen sizes, mobile payment systems like Apple Pay and Android Pay, buy buttons on social media platforms and mobile product search.

Millennials Will Be Okay with Releasing Even More Personal Information
The amount of young people willing to give up more of their personal data to marketers and publishers will increase. According to eMarketer, consumers have proven that they do not care about privacy or security. Brands and various companies are beginning to use consumer’s personal data to create more targeted ads, leading to more advertising coordination.

Facebook Will Mainly Be Mobile
In Q3 2015, 47% of Facebook’s users accessed Facebook only on a mobile device and never interacted on a desktop computer. As more and more people access Facebook through their mobile devices and to match the demand of mobile usage, marketers need to think about reformatting the ads and messages used on Facebook.

What digital trends have you seen already in 2016 and what are your predictions?

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