In one of its latest ThinkWithGoogle posts, the search engine set out its 10 digital marketing predictions for 2019 – making for a pretty useful barometer of where retail marketers might be well served to channel their efforts over the next 12 months.

In part one, we covered expected trends such as a boom in voice search, omni-channel marketing, a much improved mobile web and the rise of TV viewing online. So which five trends round out the top ten?

6. Chatbots

Chatbots have been around for a while – albeit with some teething problems such as consumers saying they failed to be useful – but heading into 2020, 85% of brand interactions may take place this way according to Gartner research so it’s no surprise that they’ll continue to make marketing waves over the next 12 months.

Google says the new generation of AI Chatbots may win sceptical shoppers over.

7. Personalisation goes data-driven

Data-driven marketing strategies will be used to better personalise experiences, with Google Spain Industry Head Maite Gomex Fraile saying, “With consumers becoming hyper-connected, hyper-demanding, and hyper-impatient, setting them at the core of marketing strategies will increasingly mean offering personalised experiences. Now we have the technology and the data volumes to start making that vision a reality.”

8. Offline and online convergence

The successful marrying of offline with online has been a thorn in the side of brand marketers for years but, it might start to become the norm in 2019 with Google predicting that retailer will consolidate their content to make it easier to attribute and measure actions such as store visits. It says one of UAE’s largest retailers, Landmark Group achieved this last year by integrating its in-store loyalty card with Google Analytics to connect online ads with in-store purchases.

9. More AR in digital marketing

Household names like L’Oreal have already started to roll out AR experiences as part of their digital marketing strategies but investment is expected to spike over the next 24 months. More AR driven online shopping experiences should be expected (Google gives the example of Ikea’s furniture fitting app launched in 2016 as an early pioneer) and Coca-Cola’s recent partnership with NASCAR.

10. Custom content will grow in value

86% of online users prize the reliability of the information they receive above all else with information from other consumers highly regarded. As Google says, “Custom reviews, photos and videos allow you to reach a wide target audience, provide high brand credibility and increase customer loyalty. At the same time they are much cheaper than traditional content.”

We have already seen that online reviews are now more trusted than ever, so could this now be morphing out to other forms of content? Time will tell.