Will 2022 Be a Year of Even Bigger Change in the World of Digital?

By Stewart Barrett, Head Of Growth for Upflowy

The digital landscape has seen a rapid uptick as a result of the majority of the world being locked in their homes during a global pandemic. As 2022 approaches, Facebook’s rebrand and bold venture into virtual reality with the Metaverse will also cause massive rifts. Let’s unpack the forecasted changes for the year ahead and how they will impact business in the coming year.

Metaverse Future

The recent announcement of Meta, the rebranding of Facebook, is going to have massive implications for the mobile experience, potentially rivalling it as an entirely new platform altogether. Imagine for a second trying to pitch the internet before it was around, we could be on that same precipice with the Metaverse. Given the strong push toward a virtual reality experience, 2022 may have people searching, browsing, and converting in ways we can’t yet anticipate or imagine. When standing in the Metaverse, people aren’t going to spend time typing out their details, they’ll want seamless sign-up or interactive experiences.

Users want a frictionless experience, especially in the acquisition journey. Buttons make processes easy, drop-down menus reduce choice paralysis, and features like document uploaders mean that people won’t have to type out answers again and again. Anyone who is on the hunt for a new job will attest to the joy of seeing the addition of an upload feature, which collects and extracts data from the CV and populates it rather than having to complete pages and pages of forms collecting individual details.

Brands will have to devote attention to UX, especially as a friction-filled journey will lead to massive drop and unfavourable brand perception. It may be the case that the Metaverse will have a variant of QR codes such as a virtual digital pass to initiate flows or onboarding experiences. The Metaverse may even use eye tracking to ensure the user journey is effortless.

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Within the confines of the mobile and desktop experience, user sign-up and onboarding has normally been kept to sign-up forms with rows and rows of questions. More and more companies are switching to flows, as they offer more engagement, greater data tracking options, can better reinforce brand messages, and provide critical context. Flows can also empower even small businesses without the resources usually required to implement solutions like this. It’s key for businesses to understand their acquisition funnels to improve conversion rates.

The Right Questions

The questions that will be asked by businesses to secure the data that they need from customers are also going to change. There will be a push towards greater specificity, as well as personalization. When communicating with a potential customer, their ability to treat them as an individual makes a considerable difference. They’re more engaged because they feel seen and understood. Many companies won’t have sales reps inside the Metaverse, but instead, they’ll have to experiment with the right questions to keep people interested and make their needs/wants feel validated. Brands will want to ensure that all contact points have that personal touch, bringing natural experience into the digital world.

Third-Party Data in the Metaverse

The changing nature of third-party data over the next two years will mean that many companies will have to develop real relationships with their customers. They will no longer be able to rely on bidding on a third-party data platform whereby they can immediately retarget an interested customer. Messaging will return as the leading component to interact with customers, and the right person and the right time will be significantly harder to pinpoint without cookie tracking.

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Voice Command

Voice input, in a similar style to Siri, Alexa and Google may become the new dominant search method. Speaking to AI hasn’t been the most popular way to manage tasks and applications on your phone, it is becoming more widespread thanks to devices like the Google Home. The idea of speaking to your device is becoming more commonplace. This will undoubtedly affect search, more analysis and tracking will be centred around

speech patterns, phrasing and keywords. How people Google and how people speak to Google Home are fundamentally different.

Continued Mobile Rising

The last 18 months have led to massive shifts in mobile use for individuals, as lockdowns dramatically increased screen time. With a strong focus on our mobile devices, many applications, and experiences needed to improve their UI for a mammoth increase in user time in-app. TikTok led the charge, making short-form video content the golden standard, only rivalled by streaming services on televisions and computers. It’s been phenomenal to see the world unite through a television show, whether that be Tiger King or Squid Game.

This mobile-centric shift has been developing, but 2020 and 2021 pushed it into overdrive. The mobile experience needs to have the capability and use of phones in mind. People aren’t interested in long forms, typing a lot, and searching methodically through multiple pages. Minor mistakes take time to reverse, rather than the ease of the desktop experience. Despite LinkedIn having such a strong desktop user base, they’ve put meaningful effort into ensuring the mobile experience is just as seamless. The social network apps will always be leading the way with UX improvements to make surfing and browsing as easy and seamless as possible. TikTok wants its users to be endlessly scrolling through their platform, feeding the algorithm more data.

One thing is certain, 2022 is going to be a year of huge change and opportunity for the digital landscape, and the brands that work to get ahead of these trends today will be the ones that see success in the year ahead.

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