It’s that time of year when we start looking ahead to the future, as 2019 looms and retailers try to identify the ways in which consumer trends will change over the upcoming 12 months. We’ve scoured the best industry research to find the most common trends people are expecting in 2019.

Data Privacy

We’ll start with an easy one. 2018 was the year that gave us GDPR, the Cambridge Analytica Scandal and several high profile data breaches, so it’s no surprise that data privacy will continue to be at the front of both consumer and retailer minds going into next year. Recent research suggests 70% of UK consumers are still unhappy with the way their data is collected and building trust will be a big part of marketers’ jobs in 2019, especially those also looking to increase personalisation.

Video Advertising

2018 was the year of video, and nothing looks set to change going into 2019. Marketers spent over £16bn on video advertising this year, and with good reason. According to marketing video specialists Wyzowl, 70% of consumers they surveyed had shared a brand’s video in 2018. As well as the obvious choices like YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as retailers own websites are becoming an increasingly effective spot for video advertising. Given that most consumers recently reported they would rather watch a video than read text to learn about a product, we’re likely to see a lot more brands investing in high quality video next year.

Chatbots

Chatbots – software designed to answer queries in a conversational style – help answer customer questions quickly and efficiently, as well as collecting and collating a wide range of customer questions and feedback throughout their journey. These can be successfully used both on your own website, and in social media messaging platforms like Snapchat or Facebook Messenger.

As the software becomes more advanced, chatbots will play an increasing role in customer product suggestion in 2019 and be able to answer ever more complex queries. This feeds into the trend you are likely to hear most about…

Machine Learning

We’ve been hearing for a few years now that machine learning is just around the corner, but it looks like 2019 will be the year we, finally, fully round that corner. Top retailers like Arcadia Group are already using machine learning to drive omnichannel marketing and message personalisation, but machine learning is increasingly becoming available for smaller brands and agencies as well. With Machine learning already transforming the way many marketers work and increasing suggestion that early adopters are least likely to be “left behind” as the technology matures many marketers will be driven to seriously consider it as a part of their 2019 strategy. 2019 will also see the launch of Vendably’s own platform which uses machine learning to help retailers optimise data, make better decisions, and ultimately, sell more skilfully.

Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is already making headlines across a variety of industries, but there no sector that will find it more vital in 2019 than retailers. With changing shopper preferences continuing to drive footfall off the high street, a rapid pace of technological change in everything from procurement to payment to fulfilment, and the continued domination of eCommecre giants like Amazon, adapting to new conditions will be at the forefront of retailers’ minds next year, if it isn’t already.

Voice Search

Ok, so this one won’t really be a new trend – which is why we’ve left it till last – but it will likely continue the trend we’ve seen this year in the growth of voice search. With one in five mobile searches now being made by voice, and this figure expected to grow to half by 2022, marketers will need to change the way they think about long-tail keywords, as well as preparing to start optimising their adverts for smart speakers and other voice-activated devices.

What trends will you be watching in 2019? Tell us in the comments, or Contact Vendably Today to find out how you can sell more, skilfully, next year.