We are three-quarters into 2019 and the business world continues to change rapidly thanks to technology, which affects consumer behavior. In the past five years alone, we have seen an increase in automated services and programs that have made running a business much easier and more efficient. We are no longer restricted to the office, since smartphones and tablets let us conduct many of our business tasks on the go, including managing new accounts and syncing our calendars. We can count on more advances in technology to reshape the business landscape as well as customer profiles. Let’s take a look at the top four business trends we can expect next year.
1) Internet of Things — Machines are talking to each other – literally. Right now, we can turn on an appliance from our smartphones while on our way home from work. Or, we can ask a digital assistant (e.g. Alexa) to turn on the TV. This technology will expand to larger, more complex machines that will make business decisions, possibly reducing management in corporations.
2) 3D Printing — This technology has just started to scratch the surface this year. It will grow exponentially to print organs, building materials, toys, cosmetics, and food. There will be minibuilders, which are robots that utilize 3D printing to manufacture objects of any size. These minibuilders could replace construction workers. However, it can be a new opportunity for small construction firms to gain more business by completing more projects.
3) More Personalized Customer Service — Through machine learning, businesses can suggest products similar to a customer’s previous purchase (or purchasing history). We have seen this on a customer’s homepage of corporate giants such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Also, when purchasing an item online, you will see other products in the same category that were recently viewed and/or purchased by other customers. Personalized customer service will be taken a step further with more notifications on sales as well as reminders to restock certain items.
4) Stories for Branding — Corporations use feeds to spotlight their products. This branding practice is now changing due to the popularity of stories, short videos that focus on the moment and disappear after 24 hours. They are more authentic, which is appealing to customers. According to TechCrunch, stories on WhatsApp have reached 450 million daily users and Instagram reached 191 million. Stories will continue to grow and businesses will need to change their advertising strategies to capitalize on them.