As mobile continues to gain a greater role within retail, brands must focus on five major trends in 2017, according to a report from DMI.
Trends that may impact mobile applications this year include:
Reimagined human-centric customer service;
Big and small data insights;
Wearable technology and virtual reality devices;
Cloud and hybrid technologies; and
A variety of innovations such as blockchain currency, AI assistants/chatbots and even automotive apps.
The report recommends retailers focus on combining Lean User Experiences (UX) with design processes so that customer experiences are designed with the end user directly in mind.
Additionally, brands must identify the problems they want to solve with data before buying or selecting a platform. If the tools are already in place, retailers should distribute the power of data within their organization, providing access to data scientists and marketers who can make the most of it.
The reported also recommended organizations start planning early for the iOS11 operating system and the 2017 iPhone 8 release, and ensure their web sites and apps continue to deliver a great user experiences across all new devices. As virtual reality and augmented reality become more practical on mobile devices, brands also must start evaluating and experimenting with VR and AR to understand how these tools can help their employees and customers.
Cloud platforms are another technology enhancing the mobile experience, but DMI has one major warning for those using solutions such as AWS, Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure: keep an open mind in selecting a cloud provider and re-evaluate them every three years.
When it comes to innovating for 2017, retailers should monitor the popularity of blockchain technology and further experiment with AI assistants and chatbots. DMI was actually bearish on innovation labs, saying that they’re too slow in decision making, processes and delivering results; don’t take enough risk; and aren’t clear on what problems need solving.