The digital landscape is continually changing, and the amount of new lingo thrown around can be as daunting as the first day at a new job. As new website trends and technologies emerge, it’s a challenge to keep on top of what’s worth the investment versus some passing trend that fades away and ends up being a waste of time.
Interactivity is a major player in the field with technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), voice commerce, and augmented reality (AR). These new features, though they may sound a little scary, are actually helping to reshape the way we look at, use, and develop websites.
AI allows smart machines to learn from experience and perform human-like tasks, such as production and recycling. Websites incorporate AI in various ways, including chatbots and algorithms, to help create a more personalized user experience. AI is a hot website trend, and chances are you’ve interacted with an AI bot in some fashion, whether it’s getting support on your favorite site, ordering goods online, or even watching your favorite streaming service.
By the year 2025, the global artificial intelligence market is expected to reach $60 billion. Comparatively, in the year 2016, that same market was $1.4 billion. (Source: Accenture)
If you’ve ever interacted with the chat feature on a website, chances are you’ve dealt with a chatbot. These almost human, but not quite human, chatterboxes can feel straight out of the digital Uncanny Valley catalog. Chatbots have become increasingly popular as the underlying technologies, like language processing, have continued to evolve. Today’s bots are more informative, responsive, and more useful. Love them or hate them, this is a website trend that is staying awhile.
In times like these, online shopping has become an integral part of our daily lives, from groceries to clothing and household necessities. This $600 billion industry continues to grow year over year, and it’s only going to increase as AI becomes more affordable for smaller companies and organization. Business owners use AI on their websites or eCommerce stores to analyze how users interact and research. Customized filters and recommendations based on a user’s preferences and image enhance the user experience, increase sales, and decrease returns.
Have you ever noticed the recommendations that apps like Netflix or websites like Amazon suggest whenever you use them? It’s that awkward feeling when Netflix somehow just knows what you’re into watching even when you don’t? These recommendations are powered by AI, continually adjusting algorithms to better serve the consumer through implicit data (user behavior) and explicit data (user activity). Through a system called a “recommendation engine,” companies can build associations between users, items, and content to serve up suggestions on products to the user. This website trend is especially beneficial for companies who depend on upselling to boost profits.
It feels like you can’t toss a rock these days, not that we’re throwing rocks all willy nilly, without hitting a smart speaker or someone talking about how great having smart speakers is. These mini geniuses are all the rage, powered by AI and integrating themselves into our lives and homes. Without the use of a browser, screen, or any hardware other than your phone or assistant, these devices allow you to conversationally interact with a company’s brand and make online purchases through a series of voice commands. Which brings me to the next website trend to consider: voice commerce.
What’s all the fuss?
Roughly 60 million people in the U.S., or 24% of the population, own a smart speaker, such as Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, which is up from 7% in 2017, according to the Smart Audio Report survey conducted by NPR and Edison Research earlier this year.
Over 1.5 billion devices are used as voice assistants, with that number expected to increase to 8 billion by 2023. (Source: Juniper Research.)
As online sales continue to increase, brands are struggling to build a voice commerce presence, as Amazon is leading the race and shifting power to the users. eCommerce consumers are looking for unique experiences that come from a well-designed system that leaves them feeling valued. This helps build rapport between consumers and brands.
What does this mean for retailers?
As technology continues to advance, brands who take advantage of this website trend will be able to:
- Find a new stream of revenue – Voice commerce could be another channel to sales and new leads.
- Improve search – Creating voice-first search options will provide an optimized user experience.
- Invent new ways to engage – As voice assistants continue to rise in popularity, we could see the emergence of conversational commerce where brands can more actively engage with users throughout the sales process.
Gotta catch ’em all! Pokemon Go took the world by storm in 2016, and since then, we’ve seen AR technology rapidly spreading across the digital world through videos, mobile apps, and even eCommerce websites in innovative ways. AR provides a captivating, interactive experience where real-world environments are enhanced with graphics and overlays that bring imagination to life literally right before your eyes.
Augmented Reality in the Wild
Here’s a few examples of where you can see AR in action:
- IKEA – This beloved furniture and interior decor brand uses augmented reality to place their products into the user’s space, like a couch or a vase.
- Football Games – Broadcasters rely on augmented reality to show viewers the visual trajectories of a ball or player or lines on the field to enhance discussions on strategies and plays.
- Navigation Apps – Enhanced apps can lay the route on top of the street view making navigation a more powerful experience.
The future of these technologies is looking so bright you’re going want to wear shades. You can watch them grow by keeping an eye on big brands like Amazon, Google, and Apple. When you’re ready to implement these technologies on your website, contact us!
Vector images used in this article were sourced from Vecteezy.