Consumer applications have been the backbone of the internet revolution in India. Right from the late 2000s when the industry observed a slew of consumer applications coming in, the consumption patterns of the consumer have changed from visiting a physical outlet that comes with all its problems to finding what consumers like online or at their doorstep, with much more flexibility and an unmatchable comfort factor.
The technology evolution in the category has already changed the way services, shopping, backend management and ancillaries function. By the turn of the decade in 2020, the following will be the top defining factors for any consumer application to stay in the game.
Artificial intelligence and predictive analytics
With the entire e-services setup running on algorithms, it is only natural to have mechanisms, which will automate the process. Artificial Intelligence will start playing a big role to optimise the real-time consumption-inventory-dispatch mechanisms. AI will also get on personalising content for individual buyers instead of the standard cluster and segment-based models being used today. Prediction Analytics will analyse markets and draw out niches in real-time to push and sell products or services where possible. They could even find out newer niches for existing products, which couldn’t have been thought possible.
At least 97 percent of consumers rely on some manner of product experience. The next evolution in product experience is Augmented Reality. Steps ahead of Virtual Reality, it doesn’t ask for any special equipment. Just a scan or a click and consumers can share their issues and receive customised services at a drop of a hat, or almost experience a product in 3D setting instead of having to go to a physical store or after installing/implementing at a physical location. Very nascent at the moment, working with QR code activations, Augmented Reality is the way to 2020 for the industry to keep higher engagement and conversion rates.
Conversions from homepages versus product pages
Users visit a site for a product and then visit other single products. Visits to homepages by first-timers are only about 27 percent, while cumulative product page visitors account for the rest 83 percent. The current focus of superior home page experiences will change to making product page experiences more personal and interactive. What currently is a product picture, description and review layout will change to a product experience zone with videos, mini-formats talking about the products and retargeting, which will help with a better response and conversion time.
Still a novelty with Siri, Alexa and Cortana just coming up, voice search is the way of the future for the industry too. Users want to have conversations even if it’s with the internet. And a conversation that happens in regular language instead of codified commands makes for a much better experience. Speaking at one’s own pace, without any accent or MTI issues will be the product hygiene in Voice Search. 2020 will see Voice Search change from searching the internet for random things to a major SEO and keyword channel revenue stream.
Chatbots and private messaging
Individual attention with personal conversations will become the norm. Chatbots and messengers will become more responsive to sentences and queries for conversations and will revert accordingly. Since reorganising personnel will mean taking manpower off chatting functions, AI will turn into a constant learning machine and start reverting accordingly. Conversations over private messaging will also cease to push pre-made cluster-based packets. Instead, new plans-prices-products will be made and pushed instantly with the help of AI at play.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)
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