The New Year has begun. We are midway through January already. But this is no normal new year – this is 2020 – the start of a new decade. The internet is part of our daily lives, and we are all much more aware of technology, society, politics and capitalism and how they all work together. All of this means that businesses have a great opportunity to redefine value and offer innovative products and services based on this. But what does the next ten years look like? What trends do the Dale Street Digital team think we will see in business, design and tech and how will they shape the brands of the future?

Trend One: Sustainability

Saving the environment is becoming more and more important as a business value. You only have to turn on the TV or flick open a newspaper to see reports on climate change and the social disruption it is causing. This is leading to more and more consumers demanding that the products they buy and the services they use are environmentally responsible in a way that is meaningful to them.

This means that many businesses are having to re-evaluate their fundamental values with some going so far as to say that profit is no longer their number one priority. Instead, they are looking at how they are impacting on the climate, our society and the world as a whole – and making changes to transform themselves.

Trend Two: A cashless society

Technology is having a massive impact on the world of finance and the way that individuals think about money. We are well on our way to becoming a cashless society, where notes and coins are a thing of the past, and digital money takes over. People are already well versed in using their fingerprint or face to authorise payments, and this trend only looks like it will continue to grow.

More and more of our personal data is becoming entwined with our money in a bid to bring about personalised payment possibilities that are seamless. The more data that is embedded into our money, the easier it is for brands to offer us various different products and services that are suitable for our needs.

More and more non-traditional financial institutions are entering the market and driving this trend forward, and we can see a future where payment systems are almost invisible. Businesses therefore need to ensure their payment experiences are evolving and changing to keep up with the market, and that they are continuing to offer their customers something different than their competitors.

Trend Three: Increased personalisation

Data and personalisation are not just restricted to the financial industry, they are forcing changes in other industries as well. The introduction of 5g and advances in biometric tech mean that we are sharing lots of data about ourselves whenever we are online meaning that brands can now use this to help them design products and services that may appeal to us.

Over the next ten years this will continue to develop to the point where our digital and physical selves start to blend, with hyper-targeted customer experiences becoming the norm.  However, this trend does come with a word of warning. With all of this data flying about, privacy and security become even more important. Even when transactions are as seamless as possible, people still need to be aware that they have made a transaction and they are in charge of their own personalise experience – and things like GDPR will help with that.

Trend Four: Using AI to enhance human intelligence

AI is not new; it has been around for a few years now but in the past the focus has been on enhancing organisational efficiency through the use of automation. The focus is now beginning to shift more towards blending human skills with AI intelligence to power disruptive business strategies in a helpful and collaborative way.

The relationship between people and machines needs working on, to help us to plan more carefully for how AI may impact on economies and social trends. Design can help us to understand AI in the way that AI helps us to understand business.

Trend Five: Design for life

Similar to the first major trend of sustainability, people are now asking brands to offer them products and services that are reflective of the environmental, political and social causes they care about. In the past designers have tended to concentrate on designing just for human life, but now they need to take into account the life of the whole planet as well.

To conclude then, from 2020 onwards, people will be forcing businesses to care more about the planet and their impact on it – and this will be reflected in business, design and technology. Businesses will need to be responsive and innovative in order to succeed.

Helping your business to succeed is at the core of what we do here at Dale Street Digital. If you want to make the next ten years even more successful than the last ten years, get in touch with us today.