Staying on top of business trends is key to keeping your business relevant and aimed in the right direction for the future. It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day of your business, forgetting to look at the broader picture of the business world. In order to make the best business decisions for your company, you must make the effort to notice the changing needs, wants, and desires of current consumerism.
Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence
The presence of AI in the form of chatbots and virtual assistants has become common in a range of industries and is growing as a preferred method of communication for customers and clients at a rapid pace. Many people don’t feel comfortable chatting with a business or customer service representative on the phone or don’t have the time. A chatbot option can be far more convenient. These AI alternatives can provide helpful answers and also handle more tasks than representatives ever could.
Considering that most people expect quick responses to their customer service inquiries, acquiring a chatbot is an excellent trend to seriously consider for your business. Chatbots with today’s available AI can understand complex inquiries and interactions and can give quick response times. They give the perception of a dedicated one-on-one personalized interaction that customers prefer, often without the customer having to repeat themselves to employee after employee after being transferred around multiple times.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) >H2
Both AR and VR are being adopted more and more in the business world. AR is a computer-generated image superimposed on a view of the real world. VR, on the other hand, is a fully computer-generated 3D world. The transformative effects of both AR and VR show incredible promise in industries such as health care, industrial field services, retail, design, modeling and real estate, to name a few. For example, imagine the power of giving a VR tour of the interior of a building under construction—or the enhanced shopping experience an extra layer of AR could give to products on a retail website.
Subscription e-commerce services offer consumers an incredibly convenient and highly personalized method of getting products on a recurring basis. The growth in recent years has been tremendous. Niche vendors like Loot Crate send monthly gift boxes that target fandoms like Harry Potter or Star Trek. In Amazon’s checkout, customers can sign up for recurring orders of everything from shampoo to diapers. The current booming state of the subscription economy makes it one of the biggest business trends. Although this model isn’t a possibility for all companies or businesses, it’s worth looking into as either a potential option or even just a valuable opportunity to learn more about the minds of today’s consumers and what is important to them.
Remote Workers (AKA Teleworking)
The newly-popular arrangement of having employees work remotely, or teleworking, is catching on—and for good reason. The advances in communication technology and capabilities in accessing the internet in a variety of ways have allowed teleworking to become a common and accepted work method. Employees are still able to collaborate and are showing more satisfaction with their jobs when they are allowed this flexibility.
A significant number of companies are still reluctant to embrace this style of work, even when it’s a viable option. However, studies suggest remote work can save companies money as well as create loyal employees, making teleworking a win-win situation.
Highly Personalized Services
Consumers these days are expecting highly personalized and tailored experiences. More than ever, consumers are also willing to spend more money to have this experience, and the companies that make the effort to deliver these results are pulling ahead. From handwritten notes to simply calling your customer by name, the more you personalize a service, the more consumers will feel invested int their purchases.
This business trend applies to both brick-and-mortar businesses and online businesses. Since e-commerce is such a huge part of our society, highly personalized services are one of the big ways brick-and-mortar businesses are staying successful and in business. Offering consumers a memorable, one-on-one, quality experience is a vital goal to hit.