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Software Testing Trends 2020: What To Expect?
Friday October 26, 2020
There are numerous perspectives on software testing. It doesn’t generally include utilizing the product. It isn’t just about detecting bugs. Software testing trends are changing.
Testing can begin around the prerequisites phase. Contemplating what the product ought to do, where threats could be, and how the customer/user explores the product is all part of testing.
You can feel the change is already in the air. Numerous organizations are beginning with Agile, DevOps, Scrum, and Continuous Delivery.
Everybody is centered on conveying new business values actively.
The product can be developed and released significantly snappier than in previous years. This highly affects outdated testing systems and vocation.
Testing and QA experts have to be ahead of evolving patterns.
Let’s see where the software testing industry is going in the coming year (2020) to remain one level ahead.
1. New goals of the tester
Till now the goal of the tester was, for the most part, observed as preventing bugs from being conveyed with the software, he/she will perceive how the benefit of testing begins streaming up in the development procedure, and how the greatest value of the tester in the coming year will be to offer tools like risk assessments, tests, etc. that guarantee not just achieving durability for a few weeks before launching but that the software is steady constantly.
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Testers will focus more on automation that helps engineers continually test their progressions.
Additionally, by cooperating with the developers, detecting the bugs they are inscribing into the code as they do it, rather than testing the program and detailing them a couple of weeks or months after the code was written.
2. Don’t Neglect Quality
Testers ought to become mindful that testing is an undertaking that can be chosen by anybody as it is an emerging trend.
Not just as assigned testers with quality advising power, to be truly caring about your job, the final result, end-users, and organization, well, you have to do a quality test!
Having a common obligation in the development group towards quality and performing test sufficiently mutually will have one of a kind impact in 2020.
Quality is subjective depending on each person’s preferences, so it is vital that testing is done from various perspectives.
Development is getting more specialized in new innovations and systems.
In this way, if testers have to pick one aptitude it ought to possess or learn, in order to make up for the lost time and figure out how to test these new advancements as quickly as possible.
3. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Testing
Artificial Intelligence gets a huge number of modern advancements in the data technology area.
Trending terms like Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Neural Systems, and so on have already become the overwhelming focus.
The best part is frameworks are building more frameworks.
In the banking sector, you could utilize AI and Machine Learning methods to show continuous transactions, and in addition predictive models of exchanges as per their probability of being deceitful.
Companies are trying to drive digital technology with this emerging trend.
With such precedents, a software tester should comprehend the product testing trends of these innovations and describe challenging test situations to find out and approve the results.
Additionally, testing such frameworks will require developing systems that test themselves.
Henceforth, it is recursive test management.
4. It’s about Performance Engineering, Not Performance Testing
Performance engineering will supplant performance testing in the coming year.
As opposed to executing performance test scripts, the attention will be on breaking down how each of the components of the framework cooperates with each other.
The different components of the framework incorporate security, performance, usability, software, hardware, business value, configuration, and user.
The performance engineering is tied in with teaming up and emphasizing the elements of the most noteworthy esteem and conveying them swiftly to guarantee an excellent product.
Thus, performance engineering will help in surpassing customer desires in the year 2020
5. From Traditional to Test Automation
Now testing is not just about performing tasks in those old traditional ways.
Specific tools are utilized to manage the performance of tests to think about the genuine outcomes against the supposed outcomes.
Primarily the regression tests which need tedious activities are automated.
Thus, automation tools will be utilized for both non-functional and functional testing by testers in 2020.
The test automation encourages the testing group to concentrate their time and endeavors on making experiments as opposed to handling testing needs.
Test automation tracks and deal with every testing need, the kinds of testing needed alongside the test inclusion.
Test automation guarantees excellent software is conveyed.
6. Growing Selection of Open Source Tools
Open source tools are extremely helpful for business and will have a crucial role in the year 2020 as well.
There are numerous perks of utilizing open source tools, one of which is no expense, as they’re free resources and have access to all.
Other than this, it is effortlessly customizable, is more adaptable than some costly exclusive products.
Clients do take part in designing it, so, it truly gives you the opportunity to plan the manner in which you need and there are various integrations for your ground-breaking Test Automation as well.
A controversial point could be that of security, as being accessible to everyone doesn’t give a sense of security, yet when it experiences more usages the odds of discovering the bug and settling it increments.
7. Internet of Things
Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the quickest developing innovations in this era and IoT is a challenge for Test Automation.
An entire set of data online is associated with one another through the web.
The hardware is controlled by a devoted program that associates them to the web and from that point, it interfaces with every other thing.
As awesome as it might sound, there are various vulnerabilities in the framework.
Consequently, the programs or products which are associated ought to be tested for quality, functionality, and most significant security in 2020.
8. Testing Budgets will keep on Developing
It is nevertheless clear that with such enormous concentration and interest for amazing, high-grade products, and with significant IT patterns, for example, BigData Analytics, AI, Mobility, Virtualization, and Cloud Technologies, software testing has turned out to be something other than just a requirement.
This will push the companies towards dispensing a greater part of their IT financial plan for software testing and QA budget.
Eventually, the Role of the Tester is Evolving in the Coming Year
The greatest chance for the software testers without bounds will be the job they’ll have as a part of the procedure:
- Who they will serve?
- What advantage do they give?
- How would they cooperate with the other software teams?
Every one of these viewpoints will change later on to make the software development process quicker and to finish the product and deliverable quicker.
The single way to be resistant to the interruptions in the software world is to get ready for the future.
Thus, to be ahead of the trend, the software testers have to stay updated on the transforming testing curves.
The above-mentioned trends will encourage testers in advancing their efforts by obtaining the proper skills and tools for 2020.
20 Predictions about Software Development trends in 2020
Cloud, Container, Programming, Database, Deep Learning, Software Architecture, Web, App, Batch, Streaming, Data Lake, ByteCode, No Code
In only a few weeks, 2020 will end and we will welcome the new year 2020. For the Software Development industry, 2020 was a great year as Software and Digitalisation are affecting every sector. The trend will continue and will impact the world even more in 2020.
Predicting the future is difficult. Predicting the future of Software Development is even more challenging and risky. I don’t own any Crystal Ball. But I can use my “ Human Learning” to make predictions about Software Development trends in 2020.
I will predict the most important stacks of Software Development: from Cloud to the ByteCode.
1. Infrastructure: All roads lead to Cloud
2020 was a great year for Cloud vendors. Not only the startups are using the cloud but also conservative and security concern companies like Government Organizations, Health Care, Mining, Banks, Insurances and even Pentagon are moving towards the cloud. The trend will continue in 2020 also where companies of all sizes and types will move or at least plan to move in Cloud. Gartner recently published the following figures for 2020:
So, if you are a decision-maker still pondering about moving towards the cloud, maybe you should rethink your strategy. If you are an individual developer and still have not tried your hands in the cloud, 2020 will be a perfect time to give a try. Most of the big Cloud providers ( Amazon, Microsoft, Google) offer free credits to give hands-on experience in the cloud. Google is the most generous in this respect: it offers 300 USD free credit for one year.
2. Cloud: AWS is awesome but others will catch up
As a first cloud provider, Amazon AWS ruled 2020. With the widest portfolio of services, Amazon AWS will continue to rule in 2020 as well. As Canalys has published the Q3, 2020 figures: the Big Cloud providers ( AWS, Azure, GCP) hold a 56% market share whereas AWS alone holds 32.6% market share:
But other Cloud providers are also planning aggressively to close the gap with AWS. Microsoft has specifically targeted large enterprises. Recently Microsoft has pipped Amazon and got the 10 Billion USD deal from Pentagon for its cloud Project “ JEDI”. This deal can boost Azure reputation and similarly dent the armor of AWS:
Google is driving the Cloud Native Computation Foundation to standardize Cloud operations. Google’s long-term goal is to make Cloud migration easier so that companies can later move from AWS to GCP. IBM has recently bought RedHat with a whopping 36 billion to have a share in the Cloud market:
2020 will see a lot more acquisition and merging. Also, many startups will come with new ideas and innovations e.g. Multi-Cloud services. From the neck-to-neck fight of the cloud vendors, companies can only profit from reduced prices and more innovations.
3. Containerization: Kubernetes will be Cooler
In the container orchestration field, once there was a fight between Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, and Mesos. Kubernetes has emerged as the clear winner from the fight and only grows stronger. Cloud is a Distributed Systems and Kubernetes is it Operating Systems ( Distributed Linux). In Kubecon + CloudNativeCon North America 2020, 12000 attendees have taken part which is a 50% growth compared to the same event in 2020. Here is the exponential growth of Kubecon + CloudNativeCon in the last four years:
There is no slowing down of Kubernetes in near future and it will only become stronger in 2020. You can make your safe bet on Kubernetes in 2020 as the Backbone of the Cloud Native movement. Just a side note, Docker Enterprise is recently sold to Mirantis with an undisclosed amount:
Only a few years ago, it was all about Docker but now it is all about Kubernetes. Docker failed to monetize in its heydays and tried to gain money a few years later when the industry has already moved away. Another example that timing is everything in the modern tech world.
4. Software Architecture: Microservices will be Mainstream
In the Software Architecture paradigm, the shift towards Microservice Architecture continued in 2020 as shown by Google Trends:
As the industry moves towards Cloud in 2020 and beyond, the Microservices Architecture will be more dominant. One of the main reasons for the rise of Microservice Architecture is that it fits perfectly with Cloud Native, fast software development. In a previous Blog post, I explained the basic principle of Microservice Architecture and its advantages/disadvantages:
Microservice Architecture: A brief overview and why you should use it in your next project
Background for Microservice Architecture and advantages of Microservice Architecture over Monolithic Architecture
I assume there will also be a trend to go back to Monolithic Software Architecture as for many use cases, Microservice Architecture is overkill and designing Microservice Architecture is challenging. What are the best practices to design Microservice Architecture? I have written a summary in a blog post previously, which may be helpful:
Effective Microservices: 10 Best Practices
10 Tips to implement Microservice Architecture the right way
5. Programming(overall): Python will eat the world
Be it Machine Learning, Data Analytics, Data Processing, Web Development, Enterprise Software Development or taking the photo of Blackhole: Python is everywhere.
Also, popular programming language ranking site TIOBE ranked Python as the third most popular programming language behind Java and C :
What is even more interesting is that the popularity of Python has doubled in 2020 (from 5% to 10%). I know that there are many limitations and flaws in the TIOBE index, but it is the most widely accepted ranking of programming language. I have written an article where I have listed top 10 in-demand programming languages and Python tops the chart:
Top 10 In-Demand programming languages to learn in 2020
In-depth analysis and ranking of the top programming languages for job seekers and new developers
6. Programming (Enterprise): Java and JVM will reign
As shown by the TIOBE index in the previous paragraph, Java is still the most dominant programming language on the planet and will be dominant in 2020. Java’s runtime, JVM is one of the best pieces of software engineering and offers a solid foundation for Java. Many popular languages like Kotlin, Scala, Clojure, Groovy use JVM as their runtime. Recently, Oracle has changed the license for JVM:
The change of license means all companies who will use Java, Kotlin, Scala or any other JVM languages will be affected and need to pay whopping subscription fees. Fortunately, there is the OpenJDK initiative which will still keep the JVM free of cost. Several companies will provide Enterprise support for JVM:
Because of its “ Cargo Ship” like size and speed, JVM languages are not best fit in today’s Serverless computing. Oracle is driving the “ GraalVM” initiative to make Java nimble, fast and better fit in the Serverless world. As there is no other alternative to Java that offers Enterprise-grade stability and trust, it will continue to rule in 2020 and beyond.
7. Java Enterprise: Spring is here
Once upon a time, there was a huge competition between the Spring Framework and Java Enterprise Edition (JavaEE) in the Enterprise software development. But Oracle has given a walkover in the competition by being inactive in JavaEE. That triggered the formation of the “ Micro Profile” initiative and eventually the formation of JakartaEE where Oracle has open-sourced its Java EE source code.
While all the politics and movements were happening surrounding JavaEE, Spring Framework has won the JVM Enterprise framework war with very active development and quick to react with the changing environment e.g. Cloud-Native support. In 2020 also, the Spring framework will be the no. 1 framework in the JVM ecosystem.
Two very attractive projects are under development to make Java smaller and nimbler so that Java would be a good choice for Serverless computation.
One framework is Micronaut:
The other framework is Quarkus:
Both Micronaut and Quarkus are targeting to use GraalVM and will attract the Java community even more in 2020.
8. Programming: Rust, Swift, Kotlin, TypeScript will make the breakthrough
In another Blog post, I have discussed in depth why it is worth learning the modern programming languages like Rust, Go, Kotlin, TypeScript, Swift, Julia, Dart and how they offer better alternative to existing programming languages:
Top 7 Modern programming language to learn now
How Rust, Go, Kotlin, TypeScript, Swift, Dart, Julia can boost your career and improve your software development skill
Recently, Microsoft announced that they are exploring heavily the Rust programming to develop secure software as shown below:
Also, Amazon has recently declared that they are sponsoring Rust:
The Programming language Kotlin also emerges as the main competitor of Java in the JVM world with Google declaring official support for Kotlin in Android:
The trend will continue in 2020 and many other Giant companies that are probably having a deeper look in Close door in the new generation programming languages like Rust, Swift, TypeScript, Kotlin will come forward and declare their support openly.
Recently, Facebook has announced the React-Fiber project to completely rewrite the React core algorithm for better Concurrency and user experience:
What about other Frontend Web Frameworks e.g. Angular (Angular2+) and Vue? Angular is also a solid Web Development framework especially suited for Enterprises. I am sure that Google will invest heavily in Angular in the coming years. Vue is another very popular Web Framework which is backed by Community and several Giant Chinese Corporations. If you are already using either Angular or Vue, no need to migrate to React in 2020.
11. App Development: Native for Enterprises
In the Mobile App Development, the Hype around Hybrid App Development or Cross Platform Native App Development has slowed down a bit. Hybrid App Development/Cross Platform Native App Development gives faster development velocity as you need only one team instead of two. But the Native app gives better user experience and better performance. Also in Hybrid/Cross-Platform App Development, the App always needs to be tweaked to have advanced features. For Enterprises, Native App Development is still the preferred solution and the trend will continue in 2020. Airbnb has published a detailed Blog post why they have ditched the leading Hybrid App Development Platform “React Native”:
Sunsetting React Native
Due to a variety of technical and organizational issues, we will be sunsetting React Native and putting all of our…
Although Facebook is trying to improve React Native and Google is pushing hard its own App Development Platform Flutter, they are mainly suited for Prototype, POC, MVP or feature light apps whereas Native App Development will continue its reign in 2020.
One interesting fact among the Native App Development is that Google is promoting Kotlin and Apple is promoting Swift as the main programming languages because of the developer-friendly and modern features of the languages. Google has recently reiterated its support for Kotlin, which is good news for Kotlin adopters:
12. Hybrid/Cross-Platform App Development: React Native
There are many use cases where the Hybrid/Cross-Platform App is a pragmatic option. In this area, there are many options: the already existing Xamarin, Ionic and the newer React Native, Flutter. Facebook has built React Native based on the highly successful and mature Web framework React. Like its Web counterpart, React Native is also the dominant framework in Hybrid/Cross-Platform App development as shown below:
As React Native and React share the same base, they offer high Code re-usability and offer the option: “Write once, Run Everywhere”. Another added advantage of using React Native (or other Facebook Framework) is that Facebook uses React Native to develop its own Mobile App. Google is late in this domain but has gained significant traction in last year with its own Cross-Platform Native App framework Flutter. Flutter offers better performance but needed another not yet mainstream Programming language Dart. React Native will continue to dominate in this field also in 2020 considering all the changes happening in the React Ecosystem.
13. API: REST for peace
REST is like the 800-pound Gorilla in the API domain. It is the de facto and most widely used technique in the API based communication between services. There are also some other options in this field. As you may have correctly guessed if you have read this article carefully until this point: gRPC from Google and GraphQL from Facebook.
Both of them are interesting technology but offer different capabilities. Google has developed gRPC as a reincarnation of the Remote Procedure Calls techniques (e.g. SOAP) but on Steroid. It uses Protobuf instead of JSON as the messaging format. On the other side, Facebook has developed GraphQL as an aggregation layer to avoid the chatty and frequent REST calls. Both gRPC and GraphQL have gained success and excel where they fit. In 2020 also, REST will be the most dominant API whereas GraphQL and gRPC will be used as a complementary technique.
14. Artificial Intelligence: Tensorflow 2.0 will dominate
In the Deep Learning/Neural Network domain also, Google and Facebook are the main players. Google has given us TensorFlow which is based on a popular Deep Learning framework Theano. It quickly became the main library for Deep Learning/Neural Network computation. Google has even delivered a specially designed GPU ( TPU) to speed up the computation of TensorFlow.
Facebook is not far behind in the Deep Learning field, as they probably have the biggest collection of images and videos. Facebook has delivered a Deep Learning library PyTorch which is based on another popular Deep Learning library Torch. There is a subtle difference in the way both the framework works. TensorFlow uses Static Graph for its computation whereas PyTorch uses Dynamic Graph for its computation. The advantage of using a dynamic graph is that it can correct itself on the fly. Also, PyTorch is more Python friendly, which is the main programming language in Data Science.
As PyTorch was gaining more and more popularity, Google has released TensorFlow 2.0 in October 2020 which uses the dynamic graph and more Python friendly:
In 2020, TensorFlow 2 and PyTorch will fight neck to neck. Considering the larger community of TensorFlow, I assume that TensorFlow 2 will be the dominant library for Deep Learning.
15. Database: SQL Supreme but Distributed SQL will be the Holy Grail
During the Hype days of NoSQL, many people were laughing at SQL and pointing its limitations. Many posts were explaining how NoSQL is much better and will replace the SQL. But once the Hype was over, people soon realized that the world cannot live without SQL databases. Here are the rankings of the most popular databases:
As we can see from the above chart, the SQL databases hold the t op 4 spots. The reason SQL is dominant is that it offers d urable ACID transnational guarantees, which are the most essential requirements for the business applications. The NoSQL databases offer horizontal scaling but with the price of compromising the ACID guarantee.
The Web-scale companies are looking for the “ Master Database” i.e. a Database which will offer an ACID guarantee like SQL databases and will offer horizontal scaling like NoSQL database. At this moment, two solutions partially fulfill the requirements of “Master Database”: Amazon’s Aurora and Google’s Spanner. Aurora offers almost all SQL features but no horizontal write scaling, whereas Spanner offers horizontal write scaling but does not support many SQL features .
In 2020, the two databases will hopefully come closer or someone else will come up with a “ Distributed SQL”. If that happens, he will probably get a Turing prize.
16. Data Lake: MinIO will rise to prominence
As discussed in the previous section, the modern Data Platform is complex. Companies usually have OLTP databases (SQL) to support ACID transactions and OLAP databases (NoSQL) for analytical purposes. Also, Enterprises have other kinds of data storage e.g. for Search (Solr, Elastic Search) or Computations (Apache Spark). Companies build their data platform based on Data Lake i.e. Data is copied from OLTP databases to Data Lake. All other types of Data Applications (e.g. OLAP, Search) use the Data Lake as their Golden Source.
Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) was the de facto Data Lake until Amazon came with Object Storage S3. Scalable and Cheap, S3 soon became the de facto Data Lake in many companies. The only problem is that using S3 binds the Data Platform tightly with Amazon AWS Cloud. Although Microsoft Azure has Blob Storage and Google has similar Object storage, they are not compatible with AWS S3.
A new O pen Source, S3 compatible Object Storage MinIO could be the rescue for many companies. With Enterprise-grade support and built for Cloud-Native environment, MinIO offers Cloud Neutral Data Lake:
Microsoft has recently announced MinIO in Azure Marketplace with the slogan: “ providing Amazon S3 API compatible data access for Azure Blob Storage services”. If Google GCP and others also offer MinIO, then it could be a great step forward to facilitate Multi-Cloud.
17. Big Data Computation: Spark will continue to sparkle
In modern days, Enterprises usually need to run a computation on their large-scale dataset, which needs Distributed Batch Job. Hadoop Map-Reduce was the first Distributed Batch computation platform. Recently, Apache Spark has taken the place of Hadoop as the king of Batch Processing. How Apache Spark can give better performance than Hadoop? I have written a blog post previously to have an in-depth analysis of the Modern-day Data Platform:
Programming language that rules the Data Intensive (Big Data+Fast Data) frameworks.
A brief overview of Big Data frameworks
Spark has specifically targeted the limitations of Hadoop Map-Reduce i.e. processing everything in Memory instead of saving the Data in storage after every costly operation. Although Spark uses the CPU and Memory hungry JVM for Batch processing, it will rule the Batch processing framework in 2020 and beyond. I wish someone will develop a more efficient Batch processing framework using Rust, which could replace Spark and save the huge Cloud bill of the companies.
18. Big Data Streaming: Flink for the future
A few years ago, real-time stream processing was not possible. Usually, a micro Batching framework like Spark Streaming was used which has given “near” Real-time Stream processing. However, Apache Flink changed the landscape by offering a real-time stream processing capability.
Until 2020, Apache Flink could not gain enough Traction as it could not compete with Spark’s marketing. The table has turned once the Chinese Tech Giant Alibaba bought Data Artisan (the company behind Apache Flink) in January 2020:
Flink should be the number one option if a company wants to process real-time stream processing in 2020 and beyond. Although Flink also suffers the same way as Spark by using the CPU hungry and heavyweight JVM and handing over a large Cloud bill to its users.
19. ByteCode: WebAssembly will see mass adoption
Several companies (led by Mozilla) developed the WebAssembly, the low-Level Byte code format for the Browser, to run any supported Programming language in Web. The MVP of WebAssembly is released which supports near Metal programming language (e.g. C++, Rust):
WebAssembly has enabled computation-intensive applications like Games and Autocad to run on Browser. The goal of WebAssembly is even bigger and to run outside the browser as well. WebAssembly also offers inherently the Security and Sandboxing due it its Web support. It also means that WebAssembly can be used in the following “ Outside the Browser” scenarios:
- Hybrid native apps on mobile devices.
- Serverless Computations with no Cold start problem ( Cloud)
- Server-side computation of untrusted code ( CDN)
In my prediction, 2020 could be a breakthrough year for WebAssembly and many giant corporations (including the Cloud Vendors) and community will embrace it.
20. Coding: Low-Code/No-Code will gain momentum
The rapid digitalization and Industry 4.0 revolution means that there is a huge gap in Supply-Demand for Software Developers. As a result, many people or companies cannot implement their ideas because of a lack of Developers. To lower the barrier the entries into Software Development, there is an attempt to make Software Development with no Code (No Code) or with Minimal Code (Low Code). This effort is known as LCNC (Low-Code No-Code) and has gained some success in 2020:
The goal of this movement is that anyone can develop software if he/she has a cool idea with no coding experience.
Although I am still skeptical about using the LCNC frameworks in production, they can lay the foundation for others. Companies like Amazon, Google can build a solid product on this foundation ( the same way AWS Lambda flourishes on the foundation of Google App Engine).
It is worth to have a look at the LCNC movement which will get more traction in 2020.
If you found this helpful, please share it on your favorite forums (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn). Comments and constructive criticisms are highly appreciated. Thanks for reading!
Modern day Software Development is quite large, complex and diversified. My list of predictions is by no means all-inclusive. I only tried to predict the trends about the domains I have the minimal expertise and I thought very important. Also in many cases, the decision making margin was minimum and I could be proven wrong in the end of 2020. Also, the choice of Tech Stack always depends on the use case. So, if you want to select a Tech Stack in a specific field, then please do your own analysis and do not take the points I have mentioned literally.
My goal was to give a brief overview about the Software Development trends in 2020. I hope you will have a successful and full of fun 2020.
If you found this helpful, please share it on your favorite forums (Twitter, LinkedIn).
If you are interested in Software development trends, you can also read the following articles:
Top Email Design Trends to Follow in 2020
The core idea behind interactive email design is to enable the target users to interact with email elements without having to follow a link to the website. Interactive elements in an email add gaming experience to the communication, thus improving the engagement indicators for your email campaigns. The newly announced AMP for Email will enable users to interact with email content in a variety of new ways, even without leaving the email for your website. Below, we take a look at some simpler ways to add interactivity to your email content. So far, interactivity in emails is often implemented with the following elements:
Emails with integrated surveys and polls
Before, to learn what users thought about your product, you needed to add a link to your website or to a separate survey page. Later on through 2020, more and more often surveys could be found right there in the email, making it easier for the customer to fill them and thus increasing the chances to get feedback.
With a rollover, a user can see the product from different sides — the image is changed when they hover the cursor over it.
Keep in mind, though, that to date, rollovers only work properly on desktop devices. On a mobile device, there is no mouse hover and that’s why tapping an image will simply link users to the website.
This technique offers your users more freedom as they can choose which of the multiple elements they want to take a closer look at.
When you design interactive emails, keep in mind that some email clients won’t display them correctly. For example, MS Outlook isn’t good with interactive elements. However, this problem can be easily solved with segmentation — for example, you can create a separate segment of Gmail users and send interactive emails only to them.
Animated images are known for catching the eye, so much so that some companies use nothing but an animated banner — a GIF image — and a button with a link to the website. The smaller this GIF is in terms of MB the better — too big a file will take longer to load. Besides, some email clients have an upper limit for the displayed image size. Take a look at this example of a GIF-presentation for a product category:
Here’s an example of an email with an animated model line:
A GIF animated image in an email can simply serve as a stylish decoration:
Animation doesn’t always involve a sequence of different images. You can make a GIF out of a video to visualize a certain concept or tip:
3. Responsiveness and accessibility
These two concepts are similar in a way, but not exactly the same. They’re particularly important when it comes to email marketing automation. A responsive email means that it will look great on all types of devices, both desktop and mobile. For example, KanbanFlow emails are well-adapted for different devices:
2020 Major Email Marketing Trends for B2C: Improve Your Marketing Strategy with eSputnik Today
Trends this year continue to gravitate toward more targeted personalization and segmentation. To keep up with new challenging expectations set by the generation of more demanding customers, companies have to come up with more targeted and client-oriented offers. It’s no longer enough to say “Our product is good, because it makes life better.” “Our product is good particularly for you, because it makes your life better” is a new motto for all marketers who want to win the customers’ attention for good.
With the introduction of AMP for email by Gmail, the concept of interactive content has also greatly broadened. Email campaigns have been a powerful marketing tool long before now, but AMP support took them to the next level of responsiveness and functionality: now a customer can perform many actions straight in the email body without the need for additional new pages.
eSputnik has been in the forefront of all the recent email marketing practices; it’s ready to share insight into how applicable this or that innovation can be, and which businesses can benefit from them.
There have been a lot of misconceptions around the AMP technology in email, and not all of them are totally misplaced, even today. AMP-powered emails shouldn’t be identified with the AMP technology: these are two different tools with different technical capabilities. Introduced back in 2020 by Google, AMP is primarily a technology that allows instant website page downloading on mobile phones. It has been used to build AMP websites and AMP ads. Since May 2020, the AMP technology can support email as well by enabling it with more dynamic content and functionality; it has nothing to do with email smooth loading though.
Alongside a few other providers, eSputnik was the first ESP to offer AMP-emails support, what gives the company a meaningful advantage over other players. With a number of successful cases in the portfolio, we’re ready to share the information we have on AMP-supported campaigns and their practical application.
- To start sending AMP-powered emails, make sure it’s supported by email clients (Gmail and Mail.ru as for now) and your ESP (eSputnik, Stripo, Amazon SES, SendGrid to name a few).
- Register with Google as a dynamic email sender. Make sure you meet the registration requirements – mainly authenticate the emails using SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, and have a low rate of spam reports.
- After you’ve been whitelisted, run a testing campaign to see how AMP-powered emails look on a desktop and on a mobile device: some editing might be needed.
Advantages of AMP-Supported Emails
Regardless of the type and size of the company, you can use AMP technology to enable your campaigns with app functionality and add more dynamic content: users can perform any action – browse through a catalog, select a product category, proceed with payment – right in the email body without the necessity to download extra pages.
Right in the email, a customer can view the product, choose its color and size, and fill in the delivery address and payment details. The data on the available sizes and colors, and the corresponding price is updated in real-time. For example, if an email is opened three days after its delivery, the recipient will see the data relevant for the time of the open. If the deal specified in the email has expired by the time of the open, the recipient will know about it.
How Else the AMP Technology Can be Employed in Emails
Apart from the above mentioned online shopping, the AMP technology can enable performing the following actions directly in the email body:
- book a room/movie ticket/bus or flight
- RSVP to an event in real-time
- fill in a survey or questionnaire
- leave feedback and react to the comments
- use calculators
- manage a subscription
All of the above is not final information on AMP. Numerous updates are coming as the technology was introduced to the email marketing industry only since May 2020. However, even now it’s possible to see the benefits it can bring for your interaction with customers, and convenience is the major one. The smoother and easier the shopping experience is, the more likely people would be to use your service again. Follow eSputnik’s blog for new updates on the AMP technology and other trendy tendencies in the email marketing world.
Simply creating a good product is no longer enough to succeed in the market. With competition so intense, today’s marketers should build a more targeted campaign plan to meet specific customers’ needs, and this is where Advanced Segmentation steps in.
In simple terms, Advanced Segmentation is a tool that allows creating complex segments based on all the available customer data: personal information, browsing behavior, activity on all or any of the company’s channels, purchase preferences, etc.
Advantages of Advanced Segmentation
- Real-time data processing
- Profile unification
- Unlimited conditions
- Unlimited segments
- More accurate subscriber filtration
- Data connectors
- Web tracking
How it can work in the eSputnik system: you can send targeted campaigns – Email, Web Push Notifications, Mobile Notifications, SMS, Viber ads – based on segments you’ve created using all the client data you’ve managed to obtain. Instead of composing different campaigns to different segments, you can create a single campaign that will be sent to different subscribers based on the conditions you select.
For example, you need to create a promo for different segments, based on gender, age, and shopping preferences. For one segment (Kate example), you select the following conditions – female, 25+, loves sports; for another segment (John example) you select – male, 30+, loves casual style.
This is how one campaign template will look in their emails:
In the eSputnik system, you can create unlimited segments based on unlimited conditions which you specify by yourself based on data you have. If you’re aware of the customers’ marital status, current job position, clothing size, color preferences, etc., create additional fields with these conditions and build even more personalized campaigns. Since all the data is processed in real-time, your subscribers will receive only relevant offers and will be notified if a particular deal has already expired.
Advanced Segmentation gives you unlimited possibilities to make communication with your customers more personalized. It unifies data from all the channels and allows instant editing to meet the changing needs of your audience.
Geomarketing is another buzz word that has been around the marketing world over the last few years. Basically a subcategory of Advanced Segmentation, geo-marketing is a feature that allows incorporating customers’ location-based data into your marketing strategy. It helps deliver campaigns relevant to the particular audience at a particular time. Geomarketing includes:
- Geotargeting: delivers campaigns based on customer’s positional data (city, region, state, etc.).
- Geofencing: delivers campaigns only to users within a particular location.
To obtain data for geo-marketing, the user must register on the website or in the app and subscribe to emails, web push notifications, or mobile push notifications. The information about the location is collected based on where they perform any action on the received campaign – such as open the email or click on a link in the web or mobile notification. The data is updated when the customer changes their location.
The location-based data can be teamed up with other information on the customers – hobbies, shopping preferences, favorite activities – to achieve enhanced personalization for more relevant offers.
The Difference Between Geotargeting and Geofencing
|Best used to reach customers who live or regularly move around a particular area.||Best used to reach customers who occasionally enter the area near your store, for example, a gas station, parking lot, shopping mall. Most beneficial for big chains and companies that have multiple stores in different locations.|
|Targets users based on a wide scope of geographical information, a zip code, country, state, etc.||Targets users based on more specific information, for example, locations within 100 meters or so.|
|Mainly relies on the IP address||Mainly relies on WiFi and GPS|
|The location information can be supplemented with additional info, such as age, gender, preferences, etc.||The location information is likely the only condition: the campaign will target all users who enter or pass through a particular area.|
How it can work in the eSputnik system: for example, a doughnut chain plans to send web pushes to their customers in New York, and creates a dynamic segment with the following conditions:
They can employ geotargeting and send the below notification to all their customers based in New York. They can employ geofencing and send the below notification to all their customers who are located within walking distance from Dun-well Doughnuts.
Geomarketing is a relatively new concept in digital marketing, meaning there still remain a lot of questions to be answered. And the major one definitely concerns privacy and security. Is it okay for companies to gather data? Which services can be trusted? Are there any ways to measure this trust? There is likely to be much debate around this issue, which most probably won’t result in a single answer applicable to all businesses. We at eSputnik recommend one good practice to follow when deciding to opt for location-based campaigns: ask your customers. Tell them why you want to target their movements and how you will use the data. Explain how they can benefit from the location-based offers and ask for feedback if you already run similar campaigns. Be ready to provide an opt-out and respect your audience’s choice: geo-marketing should aim to improve your service rather than ignite distrust and suspicion.
In the era of globalization, more and more businesses go beyond local markets and explore new territories, meaning their audience is becoming multilingual. The Multilanguage option by eSputnik is the solution that enables you to send multilingual campaigns via all channels: Email, Web Push Notifications, SMS, Mobile Push Notifications, and Viber.
You can collect the language data via subscription forms, surveys, or in a personal profile, add it to the client’s contact card, and build your campaigns based on this data. You no longer need to create different templates for different languages: build one template, fill it with the corresponding content in the selected languages and switch between the templates in one click.
No doubt, today English dominates almost every sphere of business, online communication in particular. However, a large part of internet users are non-native English speakers and about 55% of the online audience would be more likely to respond to offers presented in their native language. So, if you’re serious about reaching all of your customers, it might be a good idea to come up with content that resonates with their preferences, provided it’s now become easier than ever.
Email Marketing Is Here for Good
An email has long been generating the benign conditions for ecommerce prosperity, and it’s not likely to change in the near future. However, new technologies make their way into the company-customer interaction, and everyone willing to be ahead of the game should keep a finger on the email marketing pulse. Above, we’ve listed several trends of 2020 that every marketer should be aware of at the least, and incorporate in the overall marketing strategy at the best; but the full list is definitely way bigger. Follow the eSputnik’s blog to stay up to date with the latest digital marketing trends and how to add them to your strategy arsenal.
The primary goal of email marketing is to engage users into further communication with the brand. And in this, you shouldn’t underestimate the visual component of email marketing. Interactive elements and animations will add a fresh touch to your communication with subscribers. Just keep in mind that your audience is diverse and the message should be personalized for everyone regardless of their device, email client, and preferences.
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