2017 is a year which brings transformation to small and medium-sized businesses. Unlike previous years, the changes that are taking place now will help these companies grow further by streamlining their business operations, improving customer acquisition and experiences, increasing collaboration, and more.
If you are currently running a business or are planning to do so this year, read the following trends below to know what’s in store for you.
1. Predictive Analytics
Predictive analytics is earning its place in companies. If you are wondering what it is and how it benefits small to medium-sized businesses, predictive analytics is the analysis of customer data to make predictions for the future.
No matter your goal, whether it’s increasing customer retention or identifying top performing content, predictive analytics will increase the likelihood for your marketing campaigns to succeed. According to a study, it has been shown that marketers who’ve implemented predictive analytics were 2.9 times more likely to boost their revenue.
2. Mobile Apps
Just as more people are relying on their mobile devices for almost anything, small and medium-sized business teams are also using mobile solutions to gain access to their workload, create invoices, track time, and cater to their customers’ needs better.
Today’s mobile trend has been taken advantage of by several businesses. A common example of SMB’s who take advantage of this trend are gyms, by building apps to manage memberships and schedule classes. Another example who can be found are professionals like electricians who use apps to track their job progress and to keep an eye over invoicing.
3. Artificial Intelligence via Chatbots
With the growing use of mobile devices, more SMBs will be relying on Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbots to provide better customer experiences. Practical uses include but are not limited to providing accurate store locations, processing customer orders, booking travel accommodations, and suggesting relevant products.
Examples of companies that leverage AI chatbots in an effort to assist their customers include Uber and 1-800-Flowers.com. If you want to book a ride on Uber or order flowers, you can simply communicate with these chatbots on Facebook Messenger to get what you need.
4. Online Financing
People who want to start their own businesses need sufficient funds to put up their stores. No longer is the traditional bank the only option that SMBs turn to when it comes to getting a loan. Alternative online lending options have become popular these days and they have appealed to the needs of tech-savvy entrepreneurs.
There are many online alternative financing, for example, anyone can easily apply for a loan in the comfort of their homes, using only a laptop and internet connection. Unlike the traditional bank which has a lengthy application process, SMBs can choose from multiple lenders that can approve their funding in less than a week.
5. Adaptive Security
Given that there are now more payment transactions being done online through financial apps, security will become a major concern for all small to medium-sized businesses. Adaptive security is a finer way to protect these organizations against potential threats by tracking suspicious behaviors.
Adaptive security benefits businesses in a way that they can be assured that customer transactions will be smooth sailing. Whether users need to pay bills online or make purchases, any activity can be done quickly and without risk.
For SMBs, this year will be filled with trends that will definitely take their efforts to new levels. Stay abreast of the latest changes to remain relevant to your customers. At the same time, be careful not to be too overwhelmed with these trends at the expense of neglecting what has worked perfectly for you.