It is an annual tradition to ask among my colleagues what (digital) trends they see for the coming year. For the trends 2021, I collected a diverse mix from eCommerce optimism to useful office apps.
Frank Müller – the pandemic is an accelerator for eCommerce
The year 2020 has shown that the digital transformation has been extremely accelerated by the Corona crisis – also and especially in eCommerce (both for B2B or B2C).
Companies in the B2C sector have to think about how they can inspire consumers in the online store. Emotions must be conveyed instead of just presenting product catalogs.
Shoppable content – images and video – plays an essential role here. Social commerce will also continue grow in importance.
Soheilla Saberi – hybrid work models will become part of everyday life
2020 has shown that home office and mobile working are possible for many professions and must be made possible. In the future, „hybrid work models“ will become more and more important. Companies are faced with the challenge of complying with legal requirements, as well as of appreciating the needs of employees and reconciling them with each other.
One trend in our company was the Back2Office app, which was developed based on the Power Platform. Originally, the app was created to help colleagues decide between office work and home office, with the side effect of tracking office workloads and thereby optimizing costs.
However, as 2020 has progressed, the app has been instrumental in helping track office utilization, including for health reasons, and documenting contact chains. Admittedly, without the Covid crisis, the app would certainly not have been developed so quickly. We see it positively, as it puts us in the best possible position for 2021.
Generally speaking, this example shows us how helpful power apps can be in implementing innovative ideas at short notice. The finished product can then be optimized as desired, whether for internal use or by customers. The innovative potential of a company increases significantly and problems can also be solved at short notice.
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Delphine Arvengas – Ensuring customer experience on many levels.
There are diverse trends that will become stronger in 2021, from building the 360° customer view to delivering omni-channels.
In addition to the technical basics, companies need to work especially on customer engagement, and meet new expectations to secure their business. Social and ethical trends, such as organic products, fair trade and also support for regional suppliers, will continue to play a growing role in 2021. Companies will also need to innovate ways to create customer loyalty and transform customer journeys into experiences.
Companies should evaluate approaches to provide real value to their customers along the customer journey, such as building customer communities, gamification and better integration from customer service into the entire journey.
Christina Ferroni – Virtualization of marketing and sales
The Corona crisis is transforming customer contact in both marketing and sales. It is no longer about digitalization alone. It is about the possibilities of virtualization to create a similar customer experience as the physical one and to compensate cognitively and emotionally.
For me, getting to know new technologies, applications and methods for this purpose and exploring and using their potential is one of the most exciting trends in business communication in 2021.
Sabine Kirchem – Communication strategies for change
How companies communicate is becoming increasingly important, especially in times of crisis and change. More visual language, more video, but also credible storytelling are necessary to get messages across. Being credible also means showing and maintaining an attitude and not just taking a trendy topic and simply adopting it. The mature reader or customer notices immediately if words are not followed by actions.
In addition, it becomes an exciting balancing act between innovation and tradition. As much as a breath of fresh air is part of communication, something familiar can also reassure and provide comfort, especially when everything else is in flux.
Bernd Sailer – Challenges of Remote Work
2020 was a challenging year for all of us. Technologically – especially in the area of digitalization – the pandemic has virtually catapulted us forward. Many things that were unthinkable at the beginning of 2020 have become possible or have already become a new normality. In particular, a lot has happened in the area of remote work and virtual collaboration in general (events, meetings, education).
However, we are now noticing that despite everything that is possible virtually, a lot of things are falling by the wayside on the interpersonal level. I believe that we will see some new things in 2021 concerning this gap and it will apply both to the technical platforms and tools as well as to the methodology.