Do you always miss the business trends or catch up on them when it’s too late? We’re already halfway through January and to be honest we can’t believe how quickly this year is going already. Nowadays, the only way to stay in the game is to stay ahead of it.
Here at Vision51 HQ we are investing in future trends early and as a team aiming to all upskill so that our business reaps the benefits tomorrow. Here are our top 5 upcoming small business trends we have been noticing:
- More emphasis on personalised customer service.
- User reviews will be king.
- Businesses prioritise employee happiness.
- Big data for small businesses.
- The launch of 5G.
Let’s look into each one of them into detail:
1) More emphasis on personalised customer service
Your customer is an individual, you need to provide them with a customised customer experience. One of the good examples of customised service is Amazon. When you visit your homepage on Amazon, you see product suggestions similar to what you had purchased earlier and not something irrelevant. If you bought kitchenware earlier, you see more kitchenware, books you see more books, your home page is yours, its customised and tuned to your needs.
There is too much noise and too many options for the modern customer. They will naturally go towards those businesses which offer them personalised service, reducing the noise and giving them precisely what they want.
2) User reviews will be king – 5 Star all the way
User reviews already play a significant part in influencing us to buy a product. It makes us feel more comfortable if people have already tried something and reviewed it. It has, in a way, become the number one thing we look for before buying something. According to this report by Fan & Fuel, 92% of people hesitate to make a purchase when there are no reviews. Reviews have become absolutely essential to products online, the fact that your product has a 4-star rating by hundreds of customers makes it immediately more appealing to customers.
If your brand is being advocated by real people online, it makes it more trustworthy and results in increased sales. We will see more businesses in the future, focusing on this very crucial aspect.
3) Voice will take over
Smart speakers such as Alexa and Google Home have already gained huge popularity. The number of voice searches performed is also going up due to this. It is said from research that nearly a third of web browsing would be voice-activated by 2020. Given that talking is the natural way of doing things this comes as no surprise. Voice searches are much easier to perform, especially when we are on the go like in a car or while
Businesses will now have to take this into consideration while trying to build an online presence, they have to put out content online that is voice optimised and not just keyword optimised, this is because people don’t speak in keywords but in complete sentences. This is a golden opportunity for small businesses to adopt voice while it is still relatively new.
4) Big data for small businesses
Big data has been so far used only by enterprises to improve the way they do business but soon small business too will start to harness the power of data. Easy to use analytics applications are on the rise now, this would make big data contextualisation easier. It is important for every business to have a big data strategy, which will give them a clear competitive edge. Data that is just big however gives no competitive advantage, the data has to offer clear actionable insights in order to be effective.
One must also be very careful with data, we have already seen some controversies surrounding it. Many restrictions are being imposed on how and what kind of data can be collected. These will only increase in the future, businesses will have to find a way to work with these restrictions since the introduction of GDPR Laws in the UK in early 2018.
5) The launch of 5G
5G networks are expected to launch across the world in 2020 and will open avenues like never before. It is poised to offer average downloads speeds of about 1 Gbps. With such high download speeds, it will radically change the way we interact on the internet. Interactions will be more instantaneous than ever, this will greatly benefit small businesses as they will be able to communicate and get things done much faster.
5G is also the technology that will support the video-hungry audiences of tomorrow. It will also allow new technologies like virtual reality and the Internet of things to take off. This would mark the beginning of a super fast and highly connected world.
These are touted to be the key small business trends for 2020.