2017 has been another year in which technological advancement has led to changes in consumer trends, but what do the experts think 2018 and beyond will have in store?

Here are four predictions of what is expected to change the Customer Experience landscape in the coming years.

1. Growth of live video solves the omnichannel challenge

By 2021, live video will account for 82 percent of the world’s internet traffic – an important factor to consider for companies engaging with consumers.

Online customer interactions with sales staff via live video will solve the challenge retailers have with high traffic websites that yield much lower conversion rates than instore visits. Importantly, it will also bridge the gap between the online and offline experience.

People still like to buy from people, and enabling online customers to buy from people – via their phone or laptop – at their chosen time and place creates a massive opportunity for retailers to help address the challenges of time-pressed consumers, enabling them to find what they need faster and more conveniently.

2. Live video creates new customer facing roles

Live video is adding a new dimension to the way brands engage with their customers. Sales staff roles will extend into providing more of a visual and audio experience for online and instore customers than simply carrying out a transaction, ultimately helping to improve Customer Experience and drive increased customer loyalty.

3. Stores become lifestyle destinations

The bricks and mortar of retailing continues to change; shops and shopping malls will become lifestyle destinations.

Customers will continue to research and make their purchase decisions online and still visit the store to immerse themselves in the brand experience.

Live online product and brand demonstrations will be broadcast through shopping centres, stores, and websites simultaneously, which will provide localised and personalised content and experiences for shoppers within shopping locations and in the comfort of their homes.

4. Live video + augmented reality = better Customer Experience

Live video featuring augmented reality (AR) will soon become the norm. Whilst the live video element still provides the human interaction, AR will provide product and brand information overlaid on the live video stream.

For example, a sales person can show pricing and graphical measurements alongside the physical product in the live video. This extra information provides support to the sales person and importantly, helps the customer in making a purchase decision.

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