Technology is a huge help in business and in our lives. Without technology, many of us wouldn’t be able to run flexible businesses from anywhere.
Of course, it’s not just about using technology to improve business outcomes and enjoy life more. It’s important to stay on top of technology trends so that you can anticipate customer needs and meet them where they’re at.
As we move into a new year, here are some of the things to keep an eye on:
The recent surge in the price of Bitcoin is drawing all eyes to blockchain. However, it’s not just about cryptocurrencies. Blockchain technology has a lot of potential in various areas of business. From offering a way to enforce smart contracts to keeping track of the supply train, blockchain provides innovative solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing business today.
Watch for new developments in blockchain applications, and keep your eye on the possibility of accepting cryptocurrencies for payment.
2. Augmented Reality
Bringing the digital realm into real life is one of the goals of augmented reality. These experiences offer the chance for customers to interact more with brands. While this is one of those technology trends that could take a little more time to develop, you want to keep your eye on it. Consider ways to use it in your own marketing to provide your audience an experience they enjoy — and that they’ll keep coming back for.
If you have a more traditional brick and mortar retail location, you need to make sure you are on board with ecommerce, and that you up your game. This is one of those technology trends that has been in the making for several years. And 2018 might be the tipping point. Eighty-three percent of U.S. adults used Amazon for a purchase this year. More people are turning to the internet for purchases, and you need to be there.
More and more consumers are interested in getting subscriptions for services — and even products. I have a subscription to a meal delivery service and have an autopay set up with the local dairy for weekly delivery. I’m also a big fan of Amazon’s Subscribe and Save, where things I use regularly (like tissues and toilet paper) arrive on my doorstep without fuss.
Many millennials sign up for music subscriptions and other ways to access what they want. It can make sense to review your business model and decide if it makes sense for you to offer some of your products or services on a subscription basis, rather than requiring them to order each time.
One of the biggest technology trends promises to be chatbots. While a chatbot can’t solve all your problems, it can be one way to engage with your audience. Consider using chatbots to address common questions visitors have. It can be a good way to offer customer service without the need to tie up other employees.
As you look to the year ahead, consider which technology trends are most likely to impact your business. Then, create a plan for getting ahead of the curve and making sure you aren’t left behind.