In a time where innovation is king, businesses have to keep up with technological and consumer behavior trends. Investing in future trends early ensures that they are in a position to capitalize on these changes well ahead.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the trends that are expected to drive business growth in the coming year and beyond.
Reliance on automation
Facial technology, bitcoin, and smart talk. These technological gems are predicted to become major contributors to business processes.
- Payment methods – Alternate modes of payment like bitcoin, crypto and digital currencies are foreseen to make a bigger impact this year. People are starting to veer from card payments and move towards direct-from-account payments.
- Facial recognition – Many companies are planning to use this technology on a wider scale. Organizers of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics are planning to incorporate a facial recognition system to facilitate spectator admission into the venues.
- Smart talk – Natural Language Generation (NLG) systems like ‘Alexa’ is now being put to work to answer complex business data queries.
Capturing the youth demographic
As the new decade progresses, the consumer market is slowly being dominated by millennials.
And if we’re going to associate millennials with one thing, it would be social media.
This is why many companies are scrambling to move their marketing efforts to a digital platform.
TikTok, a mobile-centric video application, has experienced insane growth over the past year. By the end of 2019, it has garnered 500 million active users worldwide, ahead of other social networking sites like LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter and Pinterest.
Many marketers said that they expect expenditure on social media marketing to increase by 90 percent by 2022.
On Facebook, for example, 50 percent of users said they have clicked on a Facebook ad in the past. Instagram on the other hand, launched its ‘shoppable post’ feature, allowing enterprises to put product tags in their posts.
Rise of remote work and flexible work arrangements
With more employees having the technological capacity to work remotely, flexible work arrangements have now become part of many businesses’ recruitment packages.
Computer giant Dell offers a variety of flexible work options, enabling its employees to work remotely some or all of the time. The company said that its remote work program has led to a huge success. Employees who were given remote work options tended to perform better than those who didn’t.
Also, with fewer people in the office every day, the company doesn’t need a big office space. It has made $12 million in annual savings since 2014.
Drive for a more positive work environment
It’s people that make businesses thrive. This is why many companies have been putting a premium on manpower: building diverse teams, bringing out the best in their workers and creating work cultures that encourage the best employees to stay.
Toxic environments that demand working even while off-duty, tolerate harassment, and prioritize profit over purpose have proven to be red flags to new job seekers.
Companies have been rolling out initiatives to champion positive workspaces. These include providing flexible work arrangements, performance-based compensation, bonuses and plenty of employee autonomy.
Over the years, more Americans have been intent on adopting a ‘green’ lifestyle. And 2020 won’t be different. Plastic pollution, biodiversity loss, and climate change were found to be the top three environmental issues that concern them the most.
Coffee cups, palm oil and single-use plastics are some of the recent products that faced public discussion. This leaves businesses rethinking both the sustainability of their materials and production.
A study found that three out of every four millennials are willing to pay extra money for sustainable products.
As the millennials continue to take over the market, pressure among businesses also rises. Their products must become more environmentally sustainable to help them stay competitive. Beyond Meat, a small company that produces vegan-friendly protein sources, had its stock prices rise by more than three times since its IPO launch.
Domination of e-commerce
In the next four years, global e-commerce is expected to reach $5 trillion. By 2021, more than 2.1 billion shoppers worldwide are expected to purchase goods and services on the web.
For example, Fashion Nova has utilized the power of online shopping effectively. They have successfully used social media to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in sales.
On the other hand, the focus of e-commerce will shift towards better customer service and overall shopping experience.
Companies are now looking to tap methods that will enable them to personalize merchandising, personalize the assortment of goods and connect the right products to the right audience.
The year 2020 is an exciting time to be in the field of commerce. And if you’re a budding entrepreneur, or looking to earn a degree in business, you should be excited as we’re experiencing a shift in how the market works.
If you have a business, then consider how these trends will help or hurt you. If you’re looking to start a business, consider how will you take advantage of these trends for your business’s success.