2015's Top Digital Trends—So Far

Business.com / Technology / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

New digital developments of 2015 have the power to generate greater business growth. Make sure you are taking advantage of new technologies.

Today’s biggest business trends are all about digital. From marketing software testing to payment processing, successful businesses rely heavily on digital technology.

New digital developments increase each year, garnering the power granted by technology to generate greater business growth. Digital makes doing business more efficient but the trick is recognizing the best digital technology fit for your business.

Below are some of 2015’s top digital trends.

Payment Security

Payment fuels businesses. Whether online or in a brick and mortar establishment, staying current on all available payment options is crucial. Newer methods offer better security for both businesses and customers.

Chip-enabled credit cards have been in use in Europe for years. Sometimes called EMV cards (Europay, MasterCard and Visa), each have an embedded microprocessor chip that stores and safeguards users’ information. According to Chase, the chip decreases fraud by providing “dynamic” authentication versus the “static” data provided by a mag-strip card. Contactless reader payment systems also provide a secure payment option.

For instance, Apple Pay allows users to store their credit and debit cards on an iPhone 6, which includes a Near Field Communication Antennae. At the time of payment, holding the iPhone near a contactless reader transmits payment information in the form of a unique, encrypted Device Account Number. However, as with chip-enabled cards, accepting Apple Pay requires installing a compatible point of sale terminal, which are available from many payment service providers.

Related Article: Digital Wallet: The Future of Pay, and Why You Should Care

A/B Split Testing for Marketing Optimization

Software for A/B (split) testing can deliver a great boost for sales and marketing. Using A/B software provides quantifiable test results that paint a clear picture of what works to increase site conversion rates. It allows businesses to continually test improve their processes and optimize their conversion funnels.

Crazy Egg rates the following list among the best testing software available:

  • Google Analytics
  • Optimizely
  • Visual Website Optimizer
  • Unbounce
  • KISSmetrics
  • Crazy Egg

While just about any A/B testing software has a learning curve, the results generally justify the time spent on the testing.

Digital Sales Acceleration Technology

Being competitive means employing methods that speed up sales. According to business analyst James W. Phillips, “The ‘Sales Acceleration Technology’ industry is the business space between CRM and marketing automation which facilitates, and thereby accelerates, all processes pertinent to the sales pipeline.” Phillips lists several items made possible by the cloud, including:

  • Contract Technology
  • Data Visualization
  • Business Intelligence
  • Gamification
  • Presentation Technology (e.g. Slide and Screen Share)
  • Predictive Analytic Tools and Technology
  • Video, voice and social selling technology

A rapid sales pipeline means more completed sales within any given time.

Website Design

Businesses often grow due to a high demand of product and one of the first places consumers will look for a product is on the web. Providing a positive user experience through an interactive, user-friendly webpage highly increases the chance of a consumer making a purchase.

Beyond just looking nice, a website must have the capability of identifying a user’s needs and desires, while ultimately driving the user’s experience and guide them through the conversion funnel. On top of that, businesses must also provide an equally positive experience for mobile devices. According to Smart Insights, some influential digital tools for business growth through optimized websites include:

  • Content curation tools such as Curata, Storify and Quora, that manage the creation and publication of content from different sources
  • Dynamic content recommendation and personalization tools such as Barilliance or Idio that connect users with the data most relevant to them
  • Tools that share content within social media sites, such as AdRoll
  • Moz and Analytics SEO are integration tools encompassing SEO, content and social media platforms
  • API platform integration tools
  • User engagement evaluation tools
  • Integration with “Wearables, Augmented and Virtual reality” options such as Apple Watch apps and Google Glass

Related Article: Under the Radar Digital Trends You Need to Know About

Increased Web Security

Providing a visually appealing website full of great features can attract and maintain loyal customers. However, once on the site, businesses must safeguard users’ security. Website security goes far beyond payments. With cyber attacks on the rise, businesses must address all security concerns. HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) makes websites more secure.

Google describes HTTPS as a means of securing information through TLS, or Transport Layer Security protocol (a step above SSL security). Protecting users’ data is incredibly important, as data breaches can steal confidential data as well as corrupt existing data. Most websites routinely request and store users’ personal information, from email addresses to payment data. TLS includes three layers:

  • Encryption of exchanged data
  • Data transfer integrity
  • Authentication ensuring direct communication with an intended website

Providing digital security is a big part of providing a good customer experience that will result in continued patronage. Businesses still using HTTP should strongly consider changing to HTTPS.

The Benefits of Digital Technology

Combining business expertise with innovative digital technology is a sure way to help supplement business growth. Both customer satisfaction and business efficiency depend on the interactive user experience and is vital for any consumer facing business to survive.

Embracing digital trends may entail restructuring some existing IT structures and practices, which can be a challenging process; however, done correctly, it provides long-term benefits and ultimately sustainable business growth.

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