Business Trends to Watch for in 2020January 2019 / Share
The start of a new year means speculation about the emerging trends that could affect how businesses go about their daily operations. For small and mid-sized businesses especially, it's crucial to stay on top of these shifts to gain a competitive edge.
The experts have had plenty of time to weigh in on where the direction of business is headed in 2020, and we're here to share with you the top trends to watch for:
Offering a full mobile experience is no longer optional
Small and mid-sized businesses are going to need an online presence to stay relevant moving into 2020. OuterBox points out that 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online or on their mobile device in the last six months, so it's important to have e-commerce capabilities even as a smaller retailer.
A full mobile experience also encompasses in-store purchases. Offering the ability to complete mobile payments in-store can improve the customer experience, reports Connecteam. Businesses should be aligning their marketing across mobile platforms and in their brick-and-mortar locations to provide a seamless experience no matter where a consumer is.
Businesses with global-environmental awareness
The eco-conscious trend has taken off with consumers over the past decade, and now businesses are matching their enthusiasm. As Entrepreneur highlights, it's not even a trend anymore - for many, it's a lifestyle.
Consumers want businesses to be authentic is how they embrace making their operations eco-friendly. It's not enough to talk about green initiatives, businesses must take action to help consumers make better choices with their own environmentally-friendly offerings.
Forbes reported on a recent study by Futerra that found 88% of consumers want businesses they shop from to help them improve their environmental impact. This can mean anything as simple as offering reusable shopping bags to committing to offset your business's carbon footprint with larger initiatives.
Technology used to personalize, not automate the customer experience
It wasn't too long ago when businesses and consumers were speculating how technology would soon replace customer interactions. Today, this thinking has shifted. While technology, especially Artificial Intelligence, can be used to automate some business processes, it's not replacing humans.
Many predictive technologies and analysis can be used to enhance the customer experience without taking away the personal touch consumers crave. Businesses can actually use data to provide a more personalized experience and customize services for consumers.
Catering to Gen Z customers and employees
Most of these emerging trends are centered around Gen Z's growing presence in the consumer landscape. According to Statista, Generation Z is now the largest generation in the U.S., made up of 90.55 million individuals. They were born after 1997, so they are just now coming of age to join the workforce and have spending power.
This generation has been steeped in technology, with the ability to make purchases at their fingertips. But according to Concordia University, they are cautious and reasonable consumers. Businesses wanting to compete for their dollars need to meet them where they are (on mobile) with products and services that appeal to their desire to leave a positive environmental impact.
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The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal, business or investment advice.