2017 has almost come to an end. And if you, the business owners, are already thinking ahead to the next year, these top 2018 business trends is what you need.
Keep up with trends in business will help you know what to expect and of course, help you plan your goals and strategies better. If you do it right, you can beat your competitors to the finishing line by doing something before they do.
Are you ready for it? Here are 10 out of the hottest business trends and predictions to catch on in 2018.
1. Time for Millennials
Millennials are not children anymore.In fact, the oldest of them are now 35. They are known as a notoriously anxious and caution group who are getting richer.
According to statistic, Millennials currently spend on the order of $600 billion every year. As that number grows to an estimated $1.4 trillion in 2020, more and more businesses are catering to millennials. In practice, this means more experiential sales and marketing, less emphasis on glitz and glamour, and a push for consumers to “connect” with brands. Millennials are here to spend money and everybody is courting them.
To sell to millennials, entrepreneurs must find ways to be honest and transparent. The last thing companies want is for their marketing or business to come off as gimmicky or a blatant sales presentation.
2. The rise of experience economy
2017 witnessed the emerge of Museum of Ice Cream in Manhattan and now spread to some other cities of America. It is not a museum but a sprawling warren of interactive, vaguely hallucinatory confection-themed exhibits.
This business model exists to meet the demand of craving experience of customers. And this leads to a 2018 business trends that all about the experience economy.
It’s obvious that customers are far more willing to spend money on concerts, dinner dates and trips. They want to experience an emotional connection. They are looking for businesses with shared value. And more importantly, they want your organization to speak their reasons and emotions. They want a story!
So, if you’re still trying to build your business in the old way, you are in danger!
3. AI drives customer experience
The list of top 2018 business trends will incomplete without AI because it plays a critical role in business’s operation today.
AI or Artificial Intelligence is where machines perform tasks normally performed by humans. But rather than eliminating jobs, they’re actually freeing up employees and resources to provide better service. AI is becoming the norm for many practical consumer experiences. These powerful examples use AI to evaluate GPS data is Google Maps and Google Insight.
Below are few ways AI can help improve the customer experience:
- Automate customer interactions while providing a more immediate and personalized response that eliminates those frustrating moments, like searching through pages and pages of images to find one particular item
- Handle customer complaints using chatbots, reducing service cost
- Customize the customer experience improved the online shopping experience by using past purchases, current weather conditions, etc.
- Detect fraud identify/prevent security breaches
- Improve CX surveys. AI can help reduce survey length by using conversational surveys that employ NLP and machine learning to identify why customers are satisfied/dissatisfied.
4. Customer fight to control their personal data
By far, we tweet, post and share without regard for who see the final product. But in 2018, it will start changing.
Every business that’s been hacked has increased consumer awareness of the risks they’re exposing themselves to on a daily basis. Many companies now that see the dual value in selling a product that doesn’t rely on personal information and does rely on edge computing power.
Edge computing moves the heavy data lifting from the cloud into the world of devices. Data storage and some work is still done centrally, but by moving a lot of the logic to your phone, apps can reduce the latency that normally comes with transmission. This means you hold onto your data, even while it’s powering the same processes and decisions it always has.
5. The frightful 5 monopoly
We are addicted to the frightful five – Facebook, Amazon, Google, Apple, and Microsoft. But we’re stuck.
In fact, most of us don’t really like them, some hate them, but we can’t seem to leave. Why this happens?
They’ve created an ecosystem that’s filled with your friends, families and favorites. They’re created a business model around two specific ingredients – constrained relationship and dedicate relationship to motivate us to stay.
And of course, organizations that are well positioned, will benefit from these changes. As 2018 business trends, successful marketers will look to build on the growth of the big five, using the frightful five’s success to fuel their own.
6. Blockchain everything
Yes, this is Bitcoin but it’s more than that. It’s a completely different way of processing information and Bitcoin is just the tip of the iceberg. In essences, blockchain is a different way to process transactions or records. Like a shared document that can be recorded and remembered several different ways.
Blockchain is emerging in heath-care as well as financial tech. And no matter the fate of Bitcoin as the currency, blockchain will be here to stay. Similar to the Internet itself and social media, blockchain will enable new digital transactions that will disrupt traditional businesses like document authentication and title search.
And you, smart companies, will build skills around blockchain technology to ensure you are the ones doing the disrupting rather than the ones being disrupted.
7. Cloud computing and IoT
In many ways, cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) are linked. For example, you’ll require accessible storage to accommodate the large amount of data and communications IoT applications require.
Cloud computing and IoT couldn’t be stopped talking about in 2017. And we’re expecting more as it’s one of the 2018 business trends.
According to NetworkWorld, business owners in 2018 will benefit from increased storage capacity, growth in cloud services, more applications of IoT, and better Internet quality, thanks to cloud computing.
8. The brick-and-mortar apocalypse
Our economy is growing. Consumer confidence is high, unemployment is at a historic low. Bricks and mortar retailers should be growing. Retailers instead are dying out.
Massive retail debt. The rise of Amazon and online shopping. The shrinking middle class and the experience economy. These are all contributors to the retail apocalypse. And, according to Bloomberg, it’s only going to get worse.
These trends are accelerating as businesses struggle to adapt to the new paradigm.
9. Automation softwares
According to Salesforce report on small and medium-sized business trends, growing small businesses were ” 1.6 times as likely as their counterparts to say they are using technology to automate business processes.”
Whether it’s for accounting, data entry, email marketing, customer experience management, or any number of business processes, entrepreneurs are achieving more with less, thanks to automation. And there’s data to back it up.
You can checkout for tons of automation extensions to help you grow your business on Magenest Store.
10. You’ll get hacked
In 2018 business trends, you’re going to get hacked. Maybe it’ll be personal, maybe it’ll be your business. One way or another, you’re going to have to put up with someone getting their hands on something you’d rather they didn’t. As more and more of our data is put online, it increases the incentive for hackers to find ways to gain access to it.
With nothing to lose for inactivity, large corporations will continue letting standards slide, which means you and your customers are going to have to deal with the repercussions.
Payment processor Stripe, for example, “provide detailed information about disputes and fraud so you can be as informed as possible as users are ultimately responsible for them.” That means, if you accept a fake card, you’ll be paying the price for it.
Beyond 2018 business trends
As technology gets more affordable and advantageous, tech solutions will continue to dominate the small business landscape. But even with the rise of technology, the fundamentals of small businesses remain. Customer service with a personal touch will never go out of style.
It’s all about preparation. There’s still time to prepare if you accept what’s coming!