In mid-June, online retail giant Amazon made waves in the business world when it was announced that the company would be acquiring grocery chain Whole Foods for a staggering $13.4 billion. This deal is representative of a larger shift in global business, away from traditional brick-and-mortar locations towards a more robust digital marketplace.
As businesses continue to restructure to accommodate the growing digital marketplace, executives from all industries must recognize an important lesson from Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods: even a grocery chain must now take on characteristics of a tech company in order to thrive in the new economy. In order to position your business for sustained long-term growth, it is critical to adapt and incorporate emerging technology trends that will support your digital presence.
Read on to see five key trends driving successful businesses in the digital economy today.
1. Messaging apps have surpassed social networks
According to a Business Insider report released in late 2016, messaging applications have now surpassed and surged past social networks in terms of active monthly users. This trend, coupled with decreasing development costs and more intuitive AI, has helped to propel chatbots into the mainstream.
2. AR and VR gain traction at the enterprise level
Though augmented and virtual reality have yet to make a significant impact on the consumer side, these emerging technologies are finding a home in enterprise settings. According to a Tech Pro Research report, 67 percent of businesses are considering using AR, while 47 percent are considering VR for future initiatives—including product demos, video tours and employee training.
3. Social media shifts its content
Despite the fact that messaging apps now have more active users, social media platforms are not going away any time soon. Rather, they’re simply adapting to the times. Moving away from text, these channels have seen a significant surge in video content. Today, more video content is uploaded in 30 days than the major U.S. television networks have created in the last 30 years. 87 percent of online marketers use video content, while nearly half of people will watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos per week—just two out of many popular social channels.
4. BYOD drives hybrid enterprise app adoption
A Crowd Research Partners study found that 72 percent of organizations have already started investing in BYOD policies for employees. This business model is driving demand for hybrid enterprise apps that can compartmentalize private and professional device functions while strengthening communications and streamlining administrative processes.
5. Virtual assistant interoperability becoming a necessity
As more connected devices flood the market and machine learning becomes more fluid and intuitive, experts believe that virtual assistants will become significant factors for business success in the coming years. In fact, through 2022, the virtual assistant market is poised to grow at a CAGR of 30.3 percent. As such, savvy businesses are already developing applications that can easily integrate with popular virtual assistants on the market today.
Best approach to these emerging digital marketplace trends
While it is important to stay current with emerging digital trends for your business, it is absolutely imperative that you don’t pursue these initiatives haphazardly. It takes a clearly defined strategy and a team of developers and designers that understand the importance of user experience to ensure that your project is effective, deployed on schedule and within your budget. Learn how the Uptop team can help you put a plan in place to best leverage these digital trends.