The 5 small business digital trends that cannot be ignored in 2019
The digital transformation wave is gripping all industrial sectors as we speak. But is it really only meant for the big names in the market? Can financial muscle determine the progress a business can make in the digital space? The answer is simply NO! The best thing about the new age digital paradigm is that it opens up possibilities in digital innovation for industries of any size be it small, medium or large enterprises. A lot of thought has come up from revolutionary leaders in the market that focus on empowering small businesses to achieve high levels of success in their business operations. These thoughts have now transformed into the most happening trends in the small business sector and key players are constantly looking at ways to realize value by following and implementing these trends.
Now comes the crucial question. How can small businesses gain knowledge about the right or in fact the best digital trends that suit their operational model? Well, we have it covered in this blog. It’s barely past the first quarter of 2019, and if you are a small business entrepreneur, then we have compiled a list of the top 5 digital trends that your small business needs to onboard in 2019, to achieve success and remain competitive in the highly crowded market.
Let’s begin the exploration:
- Subscribe to intelligence
Yes, we are talking about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) here but in a more suitable way for small businesses. Today, nearly all top AI-powered technology services are available on a subscription basis for businesses of all sizes to pick and choose based on their needs and preferences. The same AI technology that powers tech giants like Google and Facebook could be used to boost autonomous offerings in your small business as well. This is a big boost for your business sales prospects as well. Studies have shown that the presence of an AI element can boost sales of companies as< 49%< of consumers will be confident in spending money more frequently in business with AI enablement.
All departments of a small business from customer service to human resources, operations and logistics can embrace the power of AI and ML to enable sustainable growth. When insights about customers are made available through tools, small businesses can use them to make business decisions faster and with more accuracy. On the operations side, AI can help small companies hire smarter with faster candidate resume profiling for relevant skill matching through machine learning. The possibilities when AI is enabled are many for small businesses.
- Personalized marketing
Gone are the days, when fancy advertising and celebrity endorsements formed the crux of marketing for businesses. Today, a small business can creatively outperform a larger brand in the same industry for marketing excellence. By marketing, we do not simply imply great visual representations and ads, but how technology can be a crucial component in bolstering marketing efforts for small businesses. With marketing automation, it has been proven that there is a 12.2 % reduction in marketing overhead and this will positively impact lead generation as well.
In fact, four out of five users of marketing automation witnessed an overwhelmingly positive increase in leads generated. In addition to the numbers, the quality of leads that are generated through targeted and highly personalized marketing tools available today, are significantly higher as well. By diving deep into insights derived from AI enabled marketing tools, small businesses can create high impact campaigns that have more chances of conversion. As for target user segmentation, today’s marketing automation tools help to identify leads that have higher chances of conversion based on past preferences and behavior. It also saves time and money of marketers who would have otherwise spend hours or even days to send thousands of emails to folks who have very minimal chances of doing business with the organization.
Related Reading: Simple Ways to Create a Small Business Website in 2019
- Workforce Management
A small business often has restrictions on the physical work infrastructure they can offer for employees. But today, the lack of dedicated physical office space is never a constraint on measuring the success of your business. Thanks to advancements in digital tools, it is possible to have a workforce managing your business operations from literally anywhere in the world. You only need to provide a working space for employees that must absolutely be located in an office environment to run your office. Others can simply connect to your business remotely and there are tons of collaborative and management tools available to ensure that a remote workforce operates as efficiently as an in-house team.
Additionally, if your business requires executives to be deployed at filed locations or at customer premises to carry out tasks, then there are tools that assist them to deliver more valuable services. In fact, Gartner estimates that by 2020,75% of field service organizations with more than 50 users will utilize the capabilities of a mobile app to deliver customer delight. Thus, managing a workforce becomes quite seamless with a host of digital tools available for small businesses to help them empower their workforce to work better and more productively.
- Digital Payments
You may argue that almost all businesses small or large offer convenient payment modes for customers, it is a known fact that this convenience is limited to cash or card in most cases. The customer of today, however, expects more than just a card swiping option to pay for his or her purchases. This is where small businesses need to invest in building or incorporating world-class payment infrastructure to help serve customer needs better. This includes digital wallets, NFC enabled smart payments on smartphones and wearable devices and much more.
While the physical infrastructure and complexity for such smart payment solutions are less, there is a considerably high level of technical prowess involved in facilitating the solution seamlessly. Sensitive financial data of customers has to be managed securely as any event of a breach will likely result in lawsuits and tarnished reputation which may be difficult to recover. Moreover, this sensitive financial data may at times be shared with your businesses vendors as well for settlement of invoices, etc. More the number of stakeholders, greater is the security assurance needed for the digital payment infrastructure. This trend will be crucial when a small business starts to grow global ambitions as today’s technology allows you to scale rapidly with virtual platforms like e-commerce sites and partners.
Related Reading: INFINCE – A One Stop Technology Solution for Small Business
- Data Privacy
We already covered a portion of this in the payment trends section but considering the rapid scale in which consumer data is generated and consumed by businesses, data privacy is a trend and force to reckon with. Today, every single piece of information be it past interactions of a customer with your business or their preferences in investing or their personal and social media interests are all acquired and analyzed for arriving at business decisions. While this is a good thing for business, several users have repeatedly voiced their concerns on the growing trend of sensitive customer data becoming exposed to fraudulent and inappropriate proceedings. Increasing compliance requirements like GDPR and other international privacy laws will impact the way in which small businesses operate using consumer data.
As a business owner, you need to ensure that the digital systems and business processes that handle sensitive customer information have strict guidelines for privacy preservation as fines for any mishaps could literally throw your business out of operations. Data privacy policies and tools needed to safeguard customer data are an important asset for all businesses irrespective of their business domain and geography.
If you are a small business owner, then the 5 trends that we covered in this blog are of prime importance. They can very well define the future of how your business will perform in a highly competitive market. With the vast array of digital tools available to support various facets of your business, it is quite natural to get confused about where to start investing and exploring. This is where INFINCE comes to the rescue. With cloud-based integrated solutions, INFINCE can bring together the robustness of suite solution for enhanced productivity and efficiency.
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