Four dominating trends in 2014 are predicted to influence marketing and force brands to build a better relationship with customers. This means companies will develop a stronger mobile strategy, as well as focusing on analytical personalization, social media and rich media.
The increase in ability to integrate offline with online information continues to drive the trends -- especially personalization, reports IBM. Customers are telling IBM's clients they want the retailer to recognize when they go online and the products they recently purchased in their physical store, said Larry Bowden, vice president of exceptional digital experience at IBM.
"Consumers have become extremely powerful with a direct influence over the brand," Bowden said. "They want brands to personalize every experience."
Mobile will no longer become an optional component of a Web strategy. IBM estimates a 300% increase in video consumption on mobile devices. Some brands create instructional videos that have been extremely successful, Bowden said.
Although a recent IDC report sponsored by IBM demonstrates the importance of building up a back-end infrastructure to support a better digital experience for customers, there are also some eye-opening stats. Just more than half of Internet users use a mobile device to access the Web -- about 1.4 billion users worldwide -- By 2017, nearly two-thirds of the global population will access the Internet using their mobile devices -- about 2.3 billion.
IDC estimates that mobile Internet users will spend some 13.9 hours each month online in 2013, increasing to 27.7 hours by 2017. Mobile ecommerce also continues to expand. IDC estimates that 16% of mobile Internet users will buy products online in 2013, and up to 22% in 2017.
While 2.6 billion people -- or 36% of the world's population -- will use the Internet by 2017, this will increase to 3.5 billion, or 46% of the people on the planet.
Internet users are also spending more of their time online -- about 99 hours each month. IDC expects this to increase to 109 hours monthly by 2017. Internet users will generate $13.6 trillion in B2C and B2B ecommerce transactions in 2013 and $23.6 trillion in 2017, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.8%.