Product development has been a hit sauce for the last two years now. Not participating in this debate seems challenging when all that’s been trending is the widespread hiring of expert product managers to changes in product development aspects.
Whether you’re building physical products or a software solution, this comprehensive list of product development trends will share insights on where you require paying special heed.
2022 will be the year of transition between the pandemic and returning to the old ways. From sustainable product adoption to the impact of personalization, this transition year can make or break your market positioning in developing products and serving the consumers.
Here are the top six trends to influence your product development in 2022:
- The key to business success is with digital products
- Demand for sustainability in product development
- Requirements for specialized Product Managers
- Need for the wireless tech
- Personalized products drive development
- Businesses rely on data gathering for rapid product development feedback
Let’s take a deeper dive into understanding each trend in the product development process.
1. The key to business success is with digital products
The year of lockdowns didn’t just push humans indoors but also forced businesses and consumers online. On the one hand, when companies and their products were slowly moving towards their aim of rapid digital adoption, the game for digital commerce turned all over in 2020. Businesses that already set them afoot online saw a massive rise in their demand, while offline stores had to “digitally ” transform themselves for thriving. Other sectors like government and healthcare came up with their “digital” products to meet the enhanced consumer demands.
While these sectors were just scouring through the internet market, product managers had to brush up on other skills to ensure their product’s rapid adaptation in the market. Businesses quickly adapted their digital-first model to serve what the market transitioned with, whether their workspace or products. While the acceleration towards the digital experiences for consumers and businesses started in 2020, it saw a massive demand in 2021 too. While it might be two years with the new organizational approach already, it doesn’t seem to slow down in 2022 either.
2. Demand for sustainability in product development
If you’ve got an eye for anything being talked about in volumes, environmental concerns wouldn’t have skipped your sight. Not just politicians, “practically” came up front talking about the calamities. It took a centerpiece for big brands’ development and marketing budgets. Consumers and businesses alike want guilt-free products and packaging designs, and the demand is increasing over the years.
48% of consumers in the US shared they would certainly switch their method of product consumption or consumption habits to reduce the hazardous environmental effect caused by it.
Therefore businesses looking to adopt the new product development trends will have to start designing products for environment-conscious customers. This would require switching to healthier/ environmentally safe alternatives that don’t compromise the product service quality that consumers enjoyed earlier.
We’re anticipating more sustainable products emerging in 2022
3. Requirements for specialized Product Managers
As responsibilities and product demands increase, product managers are expected to understand the entire product development process thoroughly. But with organizations expanding and focussing on more extensive teams for developing new products, it’s putting undue pressure on Product managers to manage broader teams. Therefore businesses are considering product managers with specialization to take over dedicated areas and not in whole.
These product specialists will focus on components like market, growth, operations, personalization, user design, and experience.
However, it might take some time to entirely suffice the specific pipelines for the expanding business requirements for digital businesses. Till then the traditional companies will have room to focus on their product quality and growth. At this crucial transition phase, businesses first need to identify the business requirements and challenges and then stretch accordingly. Presently it’s perhaps unlikely to fill the talent pipeline with the right talent. However, businesses will build their perfect team for product specialists to handle each product delivery section.
4. Demand for the wireless tech
Headphones do not require plugging anymore, and mobile phones are charging without stacking the charger inside. Online streaming services like Netflix supersede cDs and DVDs. Clearly, the new era demands wireless products to streamline their services without disruption. Customers are plunging for intelligent lives.
Experts are expecting the total collection for the smart home automation market to be USD 72.30 billion in 2021 to USD 163.24 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 12.3%. Therefore Product Managers and business leaders in the automation market need to have an intelligent lookout for providing enhanced digital experiences to survive the market transition. Wireless tech is emerging as the new favorite in the smart appliances world from home security, lighting, and personal voice assistants.
5. Personalized products drive development
Several market studies depict the consumer preferences of paying extra if products are customized according to their requirements. They will pay more, but they’ll share more data to enjoy personalized services. As per Deloitte research, 20% of consumers will pay for a premium subscription for a customized product.
The one-product-suits-all narrative seems to be transitioning and following the demand; businesses are building products according to personalized consumer requests.
For example, companies in the beauty and hygiene industry customize their products according to consumer lifestyle and medical history. These inputs are integral to their product development lifecycle. The eCommerce and apparel sector also includes catalogs based on different body types and style preferences to help customers choose their best fit.
As more organizations accumulate data on buyer preferences, they anticipate personalization to play an integral role in product development.
6. Businesses rely on data gathering for rapid product development feedback
The rapid adoption of data is driving the market. With the massive adoption of IoT in every regular smart device, data gathering is no more a high catch. Data collection eased market research and consumer targeting for businesses, and it fastened the preliminary designs to reduce the product development lifecycle.
One in every three businesses considers consumers to be their prime innovation motivation. Hence, to thrive in the transitioning consumer market, collecting and acting on these Data is imperative.
Over the decade, close to 161% of searches gather product feedback, while the product researcher searches increased by 47% over the last five years. To meet the increasing demands, businesses need to leverage the products themselves to collect user data.
Since 2021 independent software developers are developing products with embedded data analytics tools. However, while the feedback loop is heavily dependent on data gathering, only one in many businesses can meet the requirements substantially and act on them.
Continuous data gathering becomes more crucial when the product life cycle drops down, and more competition emerges in the market.
Bottom Line: Are Businesses ready for the exciting opportunities which lie ahead?
If organizations do not pledge to push the envelope further to try and transition with the market, this will be a lost cause.
The trends are set to make working and executing efforts more enticing than ever. Alongside, decision-makers should be mindful of different trends originating throughout the year.
While the trends enlisted above cover a wide area from operations to marketing, one crucial thing that drives them all is consumer preference.
Where to Learn More
Understanding consumer preferences is easier said than done. Fortunately, there are many proven methods, both qualitative and quantitative, that you can employ in your research. If you are new to user research, we highly recommend the following courses to get started.
- User Research – Methods and Best Practices
- Data-Driven Design: Quantitative Research for UX
- Journey Mapping
If you’re looking for live mentorship and work through a project, check out the dedicated User Research Bootcamp by the IxDF.
And finally, if you’re unsure about user experience design, here is a free and open-source library of UX literature that you can explore in your own time and learn more.
Hero image source: Dashdevs