The competitive nature of the business world today can be challenging for entrepreneurs and in order to stay relevant in 2020, they must be able to recognize the upcoming business trends and take advantage of this knowledge.
Here are seven business trends to watch out for in 2020.
1. Capturing the Youth Market
With the internet being an essential part of the everyday lives for younger generations, it’s essential for companies to do their best to relate by moving their marketing to a digital platform. As they age, the youth make up more of the consumer market.
For example, YouTube has made digital marketing more accessible to this audience. According to a recent VidMob survey, “59 percent of Gen Z respondents said they use their YouTube app a lot more than they did a year prior,” indicating that the market is starting to grow.
2. Going Green Is a Must
More consumers are adopting a green lifestyle and as a result, Beyond Meat, maker of plant-based proteins, has increased its stock prices by more than three times since its IPO launch. However, the eco-conscious lifestyle of consumers doesn’t stop at vegetarian diets and organic hygiene products.
Now companies of all types and sizes are increasing their efforts in order to save energy, lower carbon dioxide, use sustainable materials more often and streamline packaging. Doing these not only lowers the carbon footprint of their business but also that of the individual consumer.
According to Small Business Trends, tapping new consumers in an already-crowded green market means “supplying consumers with details — and authenticity.” It’s not enough just to be green anymore and business need to help the customer understand what making eco-friendly choices means for them and their customers.
3. The rise of AI
Artificial intelligence (AI) industry is continuing to grow and even smaller uses of AI and algorithms can improve user experience in almost all industries. Music streaming service Spotify uses AI to personalize listening experience by creating customized sessions for each user.
In the field of customer service, Omer Khan, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of VividTech said: “Today’s chatbots and virtual assistants are able to handle more customer service tasks than ever before to better facilitate the customer journey. As they utilize machine learning to better respond to customer requests, these interactions become even more efficient.”
4. Expansion of 5G networks
The trend towards 5G networks is building up and the technology will likely be available globally in 2020. With the capability of boosting download speeds to around 1 Gigabyte per second, 5G technology will enable small businesses to interact with their customers more instantaneously and accomplish tasks faster.
5. E-Commerce Will Continue to Dominate
According to a Statista report, global e-commerce will grow to about $5 trillion within the next four years, causing many retailers to shift their focus from brick-and-mortar storefronts to online stores. It’s important for businesses to capitalize on social media to gain more sales and to use a warehousing systems that allows them to ship orders at a faster rate.
6. Retailers going “hyper-local”
Tom Buiocchi, CEO of ServiceChannel said: “‘Hyper-local’ will be a trend for retail and services of all kinds. Big retailers are shifting from the mega-super-store to local outposts that look and feel more like part of the community. Location matters more and more, and with ubiquitous delivery of anything, some stores will simply go to where the shoppers are.”
“Healthcare is no exception: expect to see more and more core medical services offered at pharmacies or even purpose-built locations. In doing this, retailers can provide shoppers with a convenient and efficient experience,” he added.
7. The importance of employee happiness
Employees nowadays no longer focus on salary or promotions as their basis for staying in a company. They want to be happy at work and feel that the work they do contributes to the company’s bottom line.
Employee happiness is critical as it is directly correlated to productivity levels. Scott Crabtree, chief happiness officer at Happy Brain Science, pointed out: “Businesses [will be] focusing on employee engagement and happiness. Because unemployment is at historic lows, keeping employees engaged and happy is critical to retaining good people.”
“Furthermore, many people are unhappy with the state of our country and the world right now. Keeping them happier at work … boosts productivity 10 to 25 percent,” he added.
While knowing these upcoming trends is essential to a business, the real key here is the ability to take advantage of this knowledge and consistently apply strategies that can adapt to changes.