The upcoming tech trends that businesses need to get on board with, or die wondering

Published on:

Artificial intelligence and invisible computers, and consumers who want their service personalised and right now – these are the trends that will see businesses make it or break it this year, according to Australia’s leading digital agency, Isobar. 

Isobar’s Strategy Director Samantha Hardman says things like auto-replenishment of your favourite coffee beans before you realise they’re about to run out, having an ice-cream delivered to your towel at the beach, or even helping farmers to optimise how they go about their work, are just some of the examples of advances in experiences and technology that we’ll be expecting from businesses in 2016.

“No longer is there a significant decision to purchase many things in the connected world,” says Hardman. “Even substantial purchases can be made almost as a matter of impulse. This is the rise of ‘brand commerce’ – the closing of the gap between inspiration, or expectation, and the point of transaction so that, what a consumer wants, they get, often within a matter of moments.”

In its newly-released Australian edition of the agency’s 2016 global trend report, Isobar highlights some of these trends, as well as the opportunities and challenges that exist within each.

Hardman says what we’ve come to know as the normal way to interact with businesses will change dramatically.

“Artificial intelligence is fast becoming a constant part of our lives and we’re starting to see the transition of consumers from being surprised by these highly predictive and tailored interactions into something they expect as a minimum service,” says Hardman. 

“Second to this is the way that brands physically interact with their customers. What we commonly understand to be an ‘interface’ will dramatically shift over the next few years as we experience the rise of the invisible interface. We’ll see more and more sophisticated interactions, from authentication to completing a transaction, taking place. Things like facial recognition and making a payment with a selfie, for example.”

Speed is also important, and we’re in the era of ‘me’, says Hardman. Personalisation is the key to businesses engaging with their customers. 

“An on-demand economy is not just your ‘ice-cream delivered to your towel at the beach’ type of scenario either,” says Hardman. “This is the Uber model applied across a host of other industries, creating a flexible, on-demand workforce, enabled by mobile and powered by a new currency – trust and reputation.

“And while they’re at it, all this juicy data businesses are capturing through online interactions at any point in the day paints a picture about their customers. It presents spectacular opportunities for brands to really connect with their audience in ways never done before. We’re talking things like tailor-made advertising, like a banner advert that changes what it says according to the weather, time of day, and even your gender and information stored on your phone.” 

Hardman says the world is in the process of an economic shift that brands will ignore at their own peril.

“Businesses need to be smart about predicting their customer’s behaviour and tailoring their offering to their every demand. Businesses will be expected to not simply meet but to anticipate needs.

“There are so many possibilities on the cards today and one look at a trend report like this illustrates the exponential rate at which they’re being spawned. We can pretend it’s not happening, we can wait and see where it goes, or we can get in there, get our hands dirty and be part of history,” says Hardman.  

To view and download the presentation head to: