Thanks to available technology and ever-changing consumers, businesses must work hard to keep up with all the changes being made. While certain aspects of business remain relatively the same, there are new-age trends that have been popping up and taking over and look like they may be here to stay. Here are some of the most common business trends that you can expect to see over the next few years:
Everything will become Automated
There are a few things everyone wishes could be automated. For example, at some point or another, everyone has probably wished that dishes could do themselves. You’ve probably also wished that your appointments could be made for you and that your car could drive itself. While a few decades ago, people could only dream of self-driving cars and free personal assistants to take care of scheduling your life, they’re quickly becoming a reality.
If you haven’t seen the video of Google’s robot assistant setting up a haircut appointment, prepare to be amazed. While the idea that a robot can call and set up an appointment for you doesn’t seem too far-fetched these days, seeing it happen is kind of magical. And the fact that it seems like a real person is a little bit eerie.
In addition to the automation that Google is leading with its assistant, other companies are partnering up and automating different industries. For example, there are now self-driving semi-trucks making deliveries throughout the country. While we still have a way to go in automation, it seems that most everything and every process will be automated, (at least to a point), within the next few years, revolutionizing businesses in every industry.
The Migration toward Ecommerce Will Continue
While brick and mortar stores still have their place, the shift to ecommerce has brought about some incredible changes that have affected the world for the better. It’s now easier than ever before to sell products and do business internationally, better connecting the entire globe. It has also made shopping more convenient that it has ever been. With companies like Amazon, you can buy almost everything you need and have it shipped to you within a couple of days without ever having to leave your home.
It is projected that by 2021, ecommerce sales will reach $4.5 trillion, and it’s safe to assume that many stores will begin to migrate to an online platform. While they may keep their physical locations open, they will focus more on their online sales. New businesses will undoubtedly open online before anywhere else and perhaps stay solely online as well.
Artificial Intelligence Will Start Taking Over
The artificial intelligence takeover doesn’t necessarily mean that robots will rise up and enslave mankind as portrayed in all the movies, but AI could start to take over jobs and replace the need to have a person managing certain tasks and responsibilities. AI is already being implemented specifically in customer service functions, and the results are amazing. Nobody likes having to hit a ton of numbers to get through an automated menu and eventually be transferred to an actual person, but with the latest AI solutions like chatbots, nobody seems to mind—or know the difference.
While AI can’t completely replace customer service agents at this point, it is capable of stepping in and taking over certain functions and duties to help agents focus on more important tasks and to serve customers past office hours. Chatbots are now able to walk customers through the entire onboarding or purchasing process, answer any frequently asked questions, and interact with customers in real-time conversation. While AI may still be limited now, as it continues to develop, it will likely be able to take over other roles—even outside of customer service—and enable employees to focus on the more important tasks.
Professionals will become more Niche
With the Internet so widely available, it’s easier than ever to find niche businesses, products, services, and others interested in the same niches you are. As more and more niche businesses open up and more niches become available to those interested, professionals will narrow down their expertise and offer services geared toward those people and businesses within their specific niches. Take Aaron Kelly, for example; a respected attorney, Kelly has experience in a number of fields relating to business, but his main area of practice is ecommerce. He has honed in to focus on blockchain and DLT.
Cryptocurrency will become more Common
Cryptocurrency has had a lot of hype around in the last couple of years. Although it has been around for nearly a decade, it wasn’t until recently that it took off and gained popularity among the general public. Because of that, many people have written it off as a fad, but it’s looking like instead of fizzling out, cryptocurrency will become a no-brainer. Even now, with ICO lists, blogs, communities, and businesses building on foundations of crypto and blockchain, it has become a big part of business.
Cryptocurrency allows international deals to go through more quickly and with less regulation, it offers a form of diversification, and so much more. As new as it may seem, it will likely settle into an everyday part of business life.
As times change, technology develops, and the demands of the public shift, business changes too. For example, billboard advertising and direct mail marketing campaigns still have their place but are considered outdated in comparison to the now-standard digital marketing techniques that businesses use. We’re already starting to see some big changes in business from automated delivery systems to AI customer service agents, and it’s safe to expect those and other trends to continue in the coming years.
What other business trends do you expect to see over the next few years?