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What’s set to shape CX in 2020?

31st Oct 2019
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Twenty years ago, the Pantone Colour Institute began a tradition that has become ubiquitous across the paint industry today – the Pantone Institute ‘colour of the year’. In equal part trend forecasting & marketing hyperbole, over the last two decades, the award has served to elevate a single colour to superstar status amongst consumers & brands for the coming year. 

While the Pantone Institute created its own tradition, in the process influencing a generation of brands & consumers, most organisations are beholden to external factors such as shifting customer expectations & technological advances, when it comes to setting a course at the start of a new decade.

Below are three trends to be aware of as we look ahead to see what will influence the customer experience paradigm in the UK next year. 

AR takes the stage…

Sure, it’s taken a while for AR to move beyond Pokémon GO, into real-life practical applications with genuine business ROI, but that might all be about to change in 2020! Toyota recently launched a new AR program that allows users to try out ten of their cars without even picking up the keys.

It’s not just Toyota that is using this kind of AR feature though. Companies such as Target & even Amazon have found that AR can not only enhance customer experience, it can also be particularly effective when it comes to minimising the number of returns from online shoppers, meaning retailers keep more of their sales because consumers more fully understand what they’re buying at the initial point of purchase. 

Technology in this area is also catching up with brand expectations too, with companies like Microsoft delivering second generation augmented reality headsets (lighter versions of the old Mach 1) & wearables that will soon make AR more immersive than ever before for retail customers, in-store employees & warehouse workers alike. 

Shopping is about to get #social… 

As consumers, we can all recognise the benefits of a seamless online or in-store experience, & most of us will also be able to recognise the influence social media plays in many of our regular buying decisions too. 

It’s because of the increasing overlap between these two areas that in 2020 we can expect technologies like syte.ai & the term ‘social shopping’ to both gain a lot more reach & wide-spread traction. 

Imagine taking a photo of a t-shirt you see someone wearing on the high-street or being able to click the purse that your favourite Instagramer is holding in their latest post & then seamlessly purchase it.

Thanks to the developments of smarter, more easily integrated AI capabilities over the last 12 months & the eCommerce vision of platforms like Pinterest, Instagram & Facebook, social shopping is one step closer to becoming the norm for consumers all over the globe. 

Is it still all about the need for speed?

Thanks to popular movements such as Extinction Rebellion in the UK & enormously influential figures like Greta Thunberg, today’s consumers don’t just want their products & the information about them more quickly than ever before, they often also want to understand the environmental impact of these purchases & the logistical elements used to deliver them too.

Yes, modern consumers want to be able to go to your website or app to compare prices, styles, delivery dates & recommendations for other things they may like even more, but increasingly this is not coming at the expense of, but in line with environmental awareness. 

In 2020, the smartest retailers & brands will look to gather dispersed data sets from sources such as sentiment analysis on social media, IoT sensors in-stores & website AI/deep learning tools to make shopping experience as easy, personalised & sustainable as possible – be that product recommendations based on social media use, in app notifications from collected in-store data, or recommendations for greener delivery options.

Not even DeepMind (Alphabet’s AI research firm), can see into the future! However, as the end of a decade approaches & thoughts begin to focus on the New Year ahead, you can be sure that come the end of 2020, if you’ve followed some, or all of the points above, you will undoubtedly have fostered a far more loyal, engaged & greener customer base – & what’s not to like about that?

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