How will customer engagement evolve in 2021?

The Airship team looks at the evolution of customer engagement. 

Airship COO, Bernardo de Albergaria

Undoubtedly, there was a lot of change in 2020, with the global pandemic driving unprecedented shifts in consumer behaviour and digital adoption. 70 per cent of consumers increased their time using a mobile phone during COVID-19 according to Statista. And a Salesforce study found that 57 per cent of consumers say engaging with companies has transformed during 2020, while 88 per cent of customers expect companies to accelerate digital initiatives due to COVID-19.

As we all look ahead, the question for many is: How will customer engagement evolve in 2021?

To find out, Airship spoke with thought leaders and experts from the BBC,, Salesforce, Vodafone and more. They shared their vision for customer engagement in 2021 and key insights on the evolving role of mobile apps, location, loyalty programs and touchless experiences. Here’s a sneak peek into some of them:

Bernardo de Albergaria, COO at Airship told us: “Marketers next year will focus on growing direct customer relationships that deliver mutual value and build retention and lifetime value. And that means mastering native mobile-first channels like apps, SMS and mobile wallets to send the best messages and to enable seamless conversions and transactions throughout the customer lifecycle.”

Leslie Tom, Senior Vice President, AppExchange Marketing at Salesforce, said:
“Brands need to future-proof their business with a customer-first strategy that builds trust and fosters innovation. The big lesson learned over the past year is that brands who were already taking this approach were able to pivot much more quickly, continuing to serve and delight their customers in the time when their customers needed them most.”

And Attila Wohllebe, Senior App Marketing Manager, at Hagebau Connect, shared this thought: “The consumer response to the pandemic clearly shows that mobile apps will become even more important in 2021 and the years to come. There is no getting around mobile apps if you want to offer a holistic, customer-oriented experience.”

You can download the full “2021 insights & Predictions in Customer Engagement” ebook here to find out what the 17 industry predictions are and whether your brand is already prepared for them.