9 small business trends to watch our for in 2020

It’s important to stay up to date with upcoming trends to retain that extra competitive edge. While already half-way through 2019, it’s time gear up stay ahead of the game for 2020 with the latest business trends.

Customized supply

With continuously developing technology, it’s easy for companies to adopt customer support that is just supposed to be easy. However, customers are individuals that require and expect customized personal care. This is prevalent when for example visiting a website that suggests products similar to your earlier purchases rather than their entire supply. If you just bought a new computer, you’ll see all types of related equipment – which in essence means that the page is tailored to you and your needs. Customers today enjoy a wider range of choices than any time before, but meanwhile show tendencies to gravitate towards a more personal and seamless service experience. Smart personalization engines that recognize customer’s intents are therefore extremely useful to provide personal and tailored service.

Modern customer service

Artificial Intelligence isn’t just for companies with billion-dollar budgets. In fact, small businesses can significantly cut costs and deliver excellent customer service with smart applications. Although AI has many benefits, a world where it has completely taken over our jobs doesn’t exist as of yet. AI should be seen as an extension of human experience, not the replacement.

It’s also important to know when to apply AI. In highly stressful situations, it can never replace humans. However, if it’s used to answer frequently asked questions, it could be a useful tool to alleviate support. This being said, it’s important that the AI can solve those issues rather than provide very monotone and automated answers. For example, if you’re still waiting for your food from Foodora, you don’t necessarily want a reply on their website in form of “if you are unsatisfied, e-mail us on…”. Let’s say that the event occurred on a weekend, you probably won’t get a response until the next Monday. In turn, this leaves you with no way to cancel the order or get a refund instantaneously.

User reviews

While already playing a significant role in today’s society, it’s definitely worth mentioning an extra time. Good reviews influence us to feel more comfortable when buying something that others have already tried and reviewed. It has become one of the key factors in why we decide to buy something and is of essence to online businesses. People tend to hesitate when there are no reviews, and on the contrary, a 4-star rating by hundreds of customers make it immediately more appealing to others. This is a useful marketing tool for small businesses that don’t have the same marketing budget as billion-dollar companies.

Instagram stories

While first being introduced by snapchat, Instagram is now the behemoth that holds power over it. Stories are basically strung together short videos that disappear after 24 hours, which results in authentic and connectable content. Instagram has evolved from a platform dominated by perfectly polished content – into less so behind-the-scenes content that has the power to tell compelling stories while engaging followers. Small businesses have been slow in adapting Instagram and especially weave it into their existing marketing strategy. According to research, news feed posts are growing 15 times faster than the regular feed. Businesses are expected to invest more in conveying the brand through stories in order to build an authentic voice that can connect with followers. This may include posting photos of products and tutorials where users can simply “swipe up” to read more.

Remote work

Today almost four million employees work from home at least half of the time; and about a quarter work from home regularly. As a small business owner, you may be working from the living room or a coffeeshop right now as we speak. For small businesses, real estate is expensive and according to today’s standard, not even necessary. The traditional working norms are long gone, which may include core hours between 9-5 and sitting in a cubicle all day. Technology has reinforced remote working with development of laptops, smartphones, video conferences and chat functions. Thanks to this highly functional technique and collaboration tools, working today is no longer limited by location.

The gig economy

A gig economy is a free market system in which temporary positions a for specific needs are more common than ever. Small businesses might not be able to hire permanent employees, either because of costs or due to very specific needs that don’t require a full-time employment. Freelance workers have therefore become increasingly popular. The gig economy means that freelancers can select among temporary jobs and projects around the world, while employers can select the best individuals for specific projects from a larger pool than ever before.

Contextualize data

The digital economy is pretty much drowning us with data and with this in mind, easy to use application tools are on the rise to contextualize complex data. No matter size, it’s important for businesses to have a data strategy. Data in itself won’t give you a competitive advantage, but insights and actions from it might make you more effective. It’s also important to note that many restrictions have been imposed on how and what kind of data can be collected. These will only increase in the future, with businesses having to work around them.

The 5G launch

The 2020 launch of 5G networks will bring an abundance of new opportunities. It will offer download speed of roughly 1Gbps, which will radically change the way we interact with internet. This further means that interaction will be instantaneous which will be very useful for small businesses to get things done faster. In addition, remote workers will highly benefit from the 5G launch as they will be able to communicate and collaborate much more easily. High quality remote video conferencing and augment reality will make remote meetings feel as if the colleagues were in the same room.

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