Stop Only Focusing on Today: Tomorrow’s Customer is Just as Important
The retail industry as a whole is focused on meeting rising customer expectations. But, with retailers hyper-focused on meeting the today’s expectations, is anyone paying attention to how customer expectations will evolve in the near future? While some retailers are still playing catch-up, the key to truly offering a superior customer experience lies in the ability to look ahead. And Gartner’s Predicts 2016 report does just that. In this blog, we take a look at some of the most interesting findings from Gartner’s report in order to anticipate the expectations of customers in the near future. Continuous, Integrated Digital Experiences Garter predicts that by 2018, 40 devices and things per household in mature markets will talk to one another, creating continuous digital experiences. The installed base of Internet of Things (IoT) units in the home will reach 10,553 million by the end of 2020, with devices ranging from health and fitness products, to IoT-enabled home appliances, to home automation hubs. Retailers today are focused on creating seamless experiences for customers across multiple devices. But looking forward, the customers of tomorrow will expect even more when it comes to integrated digital experiences across an even wider range of devices – something that retailers will need to start thinking about in the near-term. Listening Apps and the Wearable Device According to Gartner, voice will be an increasingly utilized user interface on smartwatches, Bluetooth headsets and other communication-focused wearables due to small screen size. By 2017, apps will always be listening for commands on 100 million wearable devices. In the near future, apps will need to include more features that can be controlled via voice and users will expect to be understood using natural-language speech. A Continuous Experience of Flow Gartner predicts that by 2019 30 percent of mobile apps will disappear and in their place will be a continuous experience of flow between app functionality and content. In the near future, the user experience will have advanced with the creation of an app interaction model that removes reliance on icons and siloed app experiences to one that bridges apps into a seamless flow. Consumers will no longer expect traditional app interfaces. Instead they will want an experience of flow, going from one app to another. Of course it’s important to get in front of your customers and understand the type of experience they expect from your brand today, but those same customers’ expectations will evolve along with technology over the next few years, making it just as important to look ahead to the customer of tomorrow.