Trends for Small Businesses to Watch

After years of steady expansion, many entrepreneurs are keeping an eye on macro-trends that could hint at where the market is going next. From more effective operations to an emphasis on sustainability, high-tech tendencies will still impact smaller retailers. Learn what your customers are expecting from their brands and start to evolve your service accordingly. Small business owners trying to stay ahead of the curve must keep an eye on those eight emerging business trends.

Task automation
Forrester Analytics forecasts that firms will be looking for ways to become more efficient while saving money.

Unlike what news headlines would have you think, task automation does not mean robots are coming to steal our jobs. Rather, Forrester reports, a business will focus on upskilling their employees, investing in professional development and departing manual, repetitive tasks to calculations.

Going green
Sustainability might be regarded as a tricky marketing hook for many businesses, but today’s customer is seriously interested in going green. Gen Z and millennials are particularly conscious about the brands they purchase from, and both of these customer groups are going to have the vast majority of buying power for decades to come.

The gig economy
The so-called “gig market” consists of an increasing number of contractors and freelancers working in temporary or flexible positions. By some estimates, there are already 57 million individuals already working in the US gig market. Remote and gig workers are far more inspired, more elastic, and more dedicated to professional development compared to those in conventional roles. For smaller businesses, remote and gig employees are a valuable way to find talent and grow your staff.

Amazon’s FBA
E-commerce is growing quickly, and for smaller businesses seeking to have a foothold, Fulfillment by Amazon might be the tool you are seeking. FBA enables sellers of goods to market through Amazon, reaching clients all around the world. More than 50 percent of units sold worldwide were sold by market sellers on Amazon in Q2 of 2019. List your merchandise on Amazon and avoid the hassle of storage, packaging, shipping, and customer support. As soon as you send your merchandise to an Amazon fulfillment center, the e-retailer protects the rest and you also pay some of the earnings to Amazon in return.

Virtual reality and augmented reality
Together with automation applications, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) is poised to become some of the greatest technological improvements in how brands interact with their customers. The international market for AR and VR is predicted to expand by 34.5percent from 2019 to 2025. Early adopters of VR and AR are property entrepreneurs, training applications, gaming as well as for corporate team-building exercises.

The need for data protection
Cybersecurity is already a massive issue for small business owners, and it is not going to get better any time soon.

Analysts watching this space have noticed an uptick in the amount of artificial intelligence (AI) applications being weaponized, used to improve present strikes by feeding more information into an intelligent algorithm. Natural language processors (NLPs) and movie AI tools may be used by bad actors to create fake audio and video, defrauding customers into paying thousands of dollars.

Smaller store footprints
Though some companies are forgoing physical places altogether, other little businesses are just downsizing. Kiosks and mini-stores are on the upswing, empowered by new payment methods that enable merchants to accept payments with little devices. 1 experiment by a merchant shifted their operations to kiosks within a shopping mall; the little spaces created around $1 million annually, an extremely impressive dollar-per-square-foot indicator.

Personalized customer service
Millennials and Gen Z customers expect personalization in their brands. Research firm Gartner predicts that by 2020, “smart personalization engines used to recognize customer intent will enable digital businesses to maximize their profits by around 15%.” As an example, on Amazon’s homepage, every customer becomes special product suggestions based on their profile and search history. This sort of personalized service that delivers highly specific recommendations to clients has become the norm, rather than the exception.

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