2021 Year in Review – And What it Means for Your Business

As 2021 officially comes to a close, we thought we would take some time to highlight what the year brought us in terms of technology advances and how it relates to what we do here at Americaneagle.com. 

Mobile is the New Normal

Each year, mobile, and more specifically taking a mobile-first approach, becomes increasingly significant. This means that businesses are now optimizing their websites for mobile devices, which accounts for design, development, user experience, convenience, and more. While businesses – and society in general – were heading this way naturally as technology continues to advance, the COVID-pandemic certainly accelerated it. With almost 7 billion mobile users worldwide, mobile-first just makes sense.

Furthermore, in March, Google began ranking the mobile version of a website in conjunction with the desktop version, as opposed to just ranking relevance based on usability and optimization of desktop. This update only further emphasizes the significance of mobile.

What does this mean?

Businesses looking to keep stride with their competition will need to ensure they’re optimizing their websites for mobile devices. Those that aren’t run of the risk of losing both their customers and their ranking on Google for good.

Granting Permission with iOS 14.5

In April, Apple released iOS 14.5 ultimately changing the way web users control data. Through the App Tracking Transparency framework, Apple now requires apps to ask users’ permission before they can track any behavior outside of the app itself. Protecting online users’ privacy has been a hot topic recently, so this update was released to allow for more transparency, choice, and control over how data is used.

What does this mean?

Digital marketers are going to have to find alternative tools and solutions that collect data without interfering with users’ privacy. Some example of technologies leading the charge on respectfully collecting users’ data include The Privacy Sandbox, contextual advertising, and application programming interface (APIs).

User-Centered Design with New Core Web Vitals

In June, Google rolled out a new set of Core Web Vitals (a set of user-focused metrics designed to measure a page’s health in terms of user experience), ultimately changing the way it views and ranks web pages. While original and relevant content will always be important for SEO, the search engine stalwart is now evaluating website performance based on how well users interact with the website. The three new vitals include a Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) rating, the average loading time of the main content of the page; First Input Delay (FID), the time from when a user inputs an action or command and the page executes it; and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), website page stability while it loads.

What does this mean?

The new Core Web Vitals as a ranking signal means that websites that fail to apply and meet the standards for best practices will be given lower ranking scores than the ones that do. Google is continuing to move toward more user-centered designs, so the sooner companies begin making UX improvements to their websites, the greater their advantage will be.

The Rise of Social Commerce

Social commerce, or the ability to purchase a product or service natively from within a social media platform such as Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, etc., is a relatively new concept. And although the it’s still in its infancy, it shows no signs of slowing down. Social commerce blew up as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses needed a way to get their products in front of consumers, and with more than 3.6 billion users worldwide, what better way to do so than with social media.

What does this mean?

Businesses that are seeking new opportunities to reach both existing and new customers, should most definitely be leveraging social commerce. It provides a variety of benefits some of which include consistent audience growth, higher search ranking, and customer loyalty and retention. If that’s not enough to convince you, here are a few stats from Inmar Intelligence to help:

  • 98% of socially-engaged shoppers use social media for personal use
  • 62% of socially-engaged shoppers follow brands or retailers on social media
  • Social commerce as an industry is expected to be worth $36.09 billion in 2021 alone
  • 91.9% of U.S. marketers in companies with more than 100 employees were expected to use social media for marketing purposes in 2021.

A Whole New World – Literally

In October, Facebook announced its company rebrand: Meta. Facebook, Instagram, and various other online platforms now fall under the parent name of Meta. As part of the rebrand, the company plans to launch new platforms and technologies, including immersive virtual and alternate reality experiences that are expected to drastically change the online landscape, otherwise now known as the “Metaverse.” As significant advances in virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and machine learning continue to be made, the future of the online world is something we should undoubtedly pay attention to. 

What does this mean?

While it may be too soon to know exactly what impact the Metaverse will have on businesses, and society in general, industry experts predict that it’ll be notable. For enterprise businesses, specifically, experts predict that the Metaverse result in opportunities with sponsorships of events and concerts, remote work, games, process manufacturing, and more.

Americaneagle.com possesses extensive experience in a range of digital capabilities. From website and mobile app development to experience design, digital marketing, hosting and security, and more, we’re your trusted partner for all of your digital needs. Contact us today to kickstart your 2022 strategy. 

About Author

Taylor Karg
Taylor Karg is Americaneagle.com’s Marketing Content Writer. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. Over the years, she’s gained experience writing for B2B brands across a variety of industries. Taylor prides herself on her ability to tell a story – and having fun while doing it. When not interviewing or writing, Taylor can be found eating tacos and watching the latest Netflix, Hulu or HBO series.

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