11 Jan Key Digital Trends for 2022
We have to say a big hello to the brand new year and now, of course, take a look at the key digital trends of 2022.
We cannot possibly go without mentioning the challenging times we have all gone through over the past couple of years, and it looks as though, thanks largely to the vaccine rollout, this new year will, in many ways, be a reasonably ‘normal’ one for us here in the UK.
Due to these unprecedented times, the world of commerce hasn’t been as anyone predicted, and 2020 certainly didn’t go according to plan.
Industries and how they do business have forever changed because of the pandemic, some tragically will not survive, but many (as a result) can now thrive and that, is partly thanks to digital developments.
Thankfully, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel and with that brighter outlook, we look back on 2021 to see what digital trends evolved and look ahead to the key digital trends to look out for in 2022.
A Brave New World
In just the last ten years, digital and the web have changed so much. Gone are the days when a business could have a website with a couple of pages, pop up a blog and do a little online advertising to market their business online.
These days, there are so many moving parts to running a sustainable business online; you practically need a doctorate to comprehend everything that goes into setting up and running a company with an online presence.
This is probably the reason why so many old school brands held back from allocating some of their budget for online development and bringing their brick and mortar business online. The problem is, by refusing to move with the times, many of them bite the dust.
The global pandemic was a blessing for many businesses who had potentially dipped their toe in the water of digital but weren’t quite yet ready to take a full swim.
Lots of companies had no choice but to dive in and immerse themselves in online marketing and sales; otherwise, they simply wouldn’t have had any of the latter during the lockdown periods.
It has been a fascinating couple of years, and we feel thankful that we are still going strong after almost 25 years. That’s right; we can’t quite believe that we are celebrating 25 years in business this year!
If a global pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we need to be even more grateful for what we have and realise how precious that is.
On that note, we’re so proud to have been helping businesses build their online presence and manage their operations via our digital solutions for all this time.
Some of our clients have been with us for many of those years, and we have grown bigger and better together because of that long relationship.
Our mission in 2022 is to continue our work of helping companies do better business with our web systems and our dedicated customer support.
Our business has developed, but the key areas remain strong, and they are our dedicated website hosting, our Quote Engine technology and our CRM software for business.
We could gladly talk about all of the topics we cover in this blog forever because it’s an area of passion for us; but, you probably don’t have forever to read it, so we’ll give you snapshots instead.
If there is a topic you’d love us to cover in more detail, please get in touch with us, and we’ll gladly oblige.
Key Digital Trends of 2022 and Looking back at 2021
Since the start of the pandemic, health technology companies have been working their digital fingers down to their hardwired bones to help medical professionals communicate, diagnose and treat a myriad of conditions worldwide.
As with many industries, this progress has been forced to try and cope with the challenges faced by those on the front line of medical care.
Automotive Tech Advancements
We have reported on some very big tech developments in the automotive world over the years. Not only are we big fans of the industry, but several of our clients are within the automotive industry.
The way the automotive industry has embraced digital transformation is incredible, and it’s not slowing down any time soon.
When the pandemic hit, car dealer sales did not grind to a halt; they simply pivoted and brought their offering online.
Some leading automotive companies like Morgan Motor Company already had the foresight to offer their customer base the opportunity to make a purchase online, while others seized the opportunity when the going got tough.
While this is impressive, this isn’t the most exciting development within automotive to speak of. Cars themselves are becoming so technologically advanced that you can even make in-car purchases.
“600 million vehicles are predicted to generate in-car transactions of $500 billion by 2030.”
Ptolemus Consulting Group
This technology isn’t technically that new; it’s been around since 2016. But, it has developed into car IQ systems which enable the vehicle to make digital payments for services such as motorway and bridge tolls, refuelling, parking, insurance and more.
This automotive tech is still being developed to ensure the security is robust, but there’s reported to have been heavy investment in the industry in recent months, so watch this space.
AI in Healthcare
Here at SurCo we have been using AI (artificial intelligence) to help enhance our customers’ experience using our in-house developed, bespoke CRM system.
We have reported on the development of AI for several years, and it’s finally starting to come into its own. We probably can’t yet fully imagine the capabilities of AI in the future, but right now, it’s already incredibly impressive.
The use of AI in health has been accelerated through the pandemic and made a positive contribution without a doubt.
However, because this technology is so new and still advancing, questions remain about how it is best utilised long term within the health sector because of the sheer volumes of private and sensitive data.
The analytical capabilities can be used in many ways by all types of organisations; harnessing this in the most ethical way is the challenge here as we develop AI technologies.
The advances in health tech have been astounding.
Telehealth and telemedicine have exploded over the pandemic. While it was around before in different forms, it is now firmly a part of how we communicate with and receive treatment from medical professionals, even within the NHS.
2021 saw a whole new universe created by none other than Facebook, who have now rebranded their corporate company name to Meta.
This is reportedly a move to help them capture the metaverse, including greater development in AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality). Once again, no one truly knows where this digital technology will take us.
If this concept seems a little alien and scary, not to worry, Neo, aka Keanu Reeves from the Matrix, may well be there to protect you.
There were some new kids on the social media block last year.
One of these was Discord, a VoIP communication platform enabling people to connect using voice and video calls, text, and sharing media files.
The other was ClubHouse. Technically, this was launched in 2020 but seriously took off in the latter part of that year and into the last. Clubhouse is an audio version of a social media platform of yesteryear known as chat rooms or online forums.
Brexit and GDPR
Despite having left the EU, the UK has retained the GDPR rules under British law, so it’s still vital for you to follow these rules, which we have covered extensively on our blog and in our regular newsletters.
Last year saw several legislative and industry changes around data collection and use. One of these was the Google third-party cookie rules. With the development of AI and AR, some people inevitably have concerns about how their data is handled.
If businesses focus on building a transparent relationship with their customer base around data collection, storage and security, most will be willing to share their data in return for tailored services and an enhanced customer experience.
Relationship management is the best way to ensure there is trust and meet consumer expectations.
The Year Virtual Tours Became A Thing
When physical businesses had to lock down in 2020, and then in 2021, they soon realised they would need to keep in the hearts and minds of the public and top up the coffers where possible.
They did this by going virtual and providing virtual tours to all of their much-loved establishments online via their website or social media channels. These seem to have been so well received that they look set to stay in 2022 and beyond.
Music concerts went virtual, too, and it was now possible to be at a live-streamed Jack Savoretti concert in Portofino while still in your PJ’s sipping Champagne at home.
The Metaverse doesn’t seem so unconventional now, does it?
The innovation and ability to pivot by so many digital tech companies have been remarkable. That is only set to continue as we move through 2022 and continue to experience the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
SurCo designed our bespoke CRM system many years ago to help our clients employ smart technology systems to help improve customer service, enhance business operations and increase sales.
Customer service has vastly developed in 2021 and will continue to do so with technological innovations in customer relationship management.
The technology goes way beyond what anyone could have predicted just a couple of years ago and is also moving into the AR zone where online retail is concerned. This way, retailers can provide an in-store experience while the shopper can be anywhere in the world.
Autonomous Shopping Experiences
We’re all probably used to vending machines and self-checkout cash points by now, and the once terrifying chip and pin have advanced to us all casually tapping our card or mobile phone over a machine before sashaying out the store.
The future will see this now everyday experience go to another level with autonomous shopping. This is where AI and shopping now become one.
Sure, this may seem unusual and intrusive to begin with, but in 3 years, it will probably seem perfectly normal, certainly in the case of Gen Z.
AI tech will now see stores tracking customers in-store journey, behaviour, likes, dislikes and will see them gain entry via an app, self-serve, leave and be automatically charged via their linked account.
Amazon Go, Tesco, Morrisons and other UK stores are trialling this and more are set to join the autonomous retail trend over the coming months.
In comparison to the start of last year, 2022 seems to have a greater amount of hope and optimism about it. If you’d like to know how we can help you manage or grow your business using any of our web systems, please do get in touch for a no obligation chat.