Tis the season...for gifting! As the year slowly winds its way towards a close, everyone’s got their eyes on the bright future ahead. And while 2016 is quickly making its way to be a promising year (Oculus Rift, anyone?), enterprising marketers are always looking for the next big thing—meaning they’ll have their eyes set on so much more than what’s new in 2016. Here are our top 5 trends in tech that we predict will enhance the digital gifting experience in 2020:
Internet of Things: More Effectively Integrated Gifting Experiences
Think of modern day marketers looking to get ahead by ensuring their brand is effectively integrated across all their social media channels, but only a step further. Instead of solely relying on CRM databases, brands of the future can adopt the use of electronic objects that integrate real time experiences—ones that’ll take the user’s actions and lifestyle into account—during the digital gifting process.
For instance, an athletic brand could offer its users an incentive in the form of an electronic armband that measured their movement each day. The users that accumulated the most points could then redeem them for products online. Alternatively, brands could also gift users with smart technology that rewarded them for certain lifestyle choices like a “smart” thermometer which would reward the user for saving energy.
3D Printing: Bring The Gifting Experience Straight To Your Door
Since the advent of 3D printing has made it increasingly accessible for individuals to purchase (and modify) 3D printers, it stands to reason that 3D printers will be available in just about every home by 2020. This is especially great news for brands looking to connect with their audiences in more meaningful ways as it eliminates the cumbersome hassle of having to manually mail and ship out gifts. Instead of having to wait to receive their gifts in the mail, the consumers of the future will be able to print out gifts directly from brands themselves in the comfort of their own homes
Digital gifting has never looked quite so sweet.
Improved Machine Learning
By allowing “smart” machines to access users’ social data and past purchase behavior histories in 2020, they’ll be able to “learn” what construes the perfect gift for their users in just a matter of moments. They should also be able to compile this valuable treasure trove of CRM data to determine the optimum channel in which the gift should be delivered, providing the ultimate best in class gifting experience possible.
The idea of virtual reality is awful close—after all, with the rise of daring innovations like Oculus Rift making its way to consumers by 2016, the virtual reality of 2020 will likely feature a highly interactive virtual gifting experience. Brands could take advantage of these advances in technology to create virtual shopfronts and customized experiences for their users, allowing them to interact with the brand in seemingly real time. The virtual space could then reward users for their participation with virtual gifts within their own applications, like a pet store that rewarded you with a virtual pet (think Tamagotchi of the future!) of your own in exchange for visiting their virtual store.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
As modern AI continues to advance, we like to think that the AI of 2020 will be just a little bit more clever than its 2015 counterpart—and a little more user-friendly, too. With advances in facial recognition technology already being pioneered by Snapchat and Facebook Messenger, it’s easy to envision brands in the future being personified as real human beings. Much like our humble little Siri, brands in 2020 will be able communicate with their users directly through varied digital mediums imbued with the very personality of the brand.
Imagine it’s almost Christmas and you need a last minute gift for your wife. Not knowing what stores are open quite this late, you head on over to Facebook Messenger to get some ideas. Using social media data gathered about your wife, Facebook’s Messenger would then happily help steer you towards a set of gifts it thinks your wife would like.
Now that’s what we call a holiday miracle.