Whether you are a small business or an enterprise grade business, you need to make sure that you connect with people, and they know how you work. With a small business, every achievement, small or big, requires long hours of hard work and strategic planning. If you believe that small businesses don’t need technology, think again! The multitude of hours you can save by adapting to technology can help you plan your business better, and improve your business and take it to newer levels. You can study the competition in a better way, and work out new techniques that you believe the customer will accept.
Technology, as we all know, does not remain the same through the years. From web to mobile to smart gadgets, we have come a long way. Businesses also need to evolve and adopt new technologies. That’s what we profess when clients come to us and ask for the cost to develop an app using AI and ML technologies.
A few technology trends are all set to revamp the businesses, especially SMBs in the new year. If you don’t incorporate these trends, you might face a slight lag, which can hamper your growth.
Here we will talk about all the technology trends that will shape your business.
1. AI and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are not technologies limited to large scale business any longer. In fact, if you believed that these technologies are limited to enterprises, then you need to change your perception about these technologies.
AI and Machine Learning can help small businesses combat, and improve their scope thus enabling them to automate their processes and improve their reach.
How? Let’s talk about a small retail business. They have just opened up, and need to understand how the products are purchased by the small community they cater to. AI will help them determine an algorithm based on the customer’s demographics, their past purchases, their buying behaviour, the socio-economic-political situation and other factors. This algorithm will help the retailer understand what products will sell, and what will not. It will also help them manage the inventory, understand the demand, determine the price for the products, and help them with the marketing activities. Basically, a complete understanding of the customer and the sales will enable the retailer to cater better.
AI and Machine Learning can even help personalize, improve supply chain behaviour, and help with other such activities.
If you are a small business, AI and Machine Learning give you wings of information and data that can help develop capable insights.
2. Immerse with Realities
Technologies such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have already redefined how consumers behave, and what it takes to convert them into profitable and loyal customers of your product. With the realities, you wont need to be present in the vicinity of the customer to cater to their needs or improve their experiences with you. You can help improve their experiences virtually.
How does this work? Let’s take a fashion retailer who sells online. Is it possible for them to improve the experiences and make it akin to selling offline? The question is what is so special about offline purchase? You can try and buy. With AR, the users can explore the collection, try out the outfit online by giving in their measurements, and check the size that will fit them. In some cases, like the jewellery brands, the users can check the ring and see if it fits their finger through AR.
Immersive and extra special experiences can be recreated with these technologies. For small businesses, it will offer an edge, and thus allow them to offer more services that can enhance the user’s experience.
By combining the different technologies, you will create an internet of intelligent thinking which can expand your business through thorough scaling.
3. IoT to Uplift Brands
Having experience in iOS app development using IoT and ML, we are certain that these technologies can help you grow profitable and improve your business instincts. This will require more planning from your end, as you need to collect as much data as possible, and thus plan the sensors and data collection methods. Internet of Things will help retailers understand their users better, streamline the checkout processes, and even help them complete the purchase without interruption.
An example of IoT would be the retailer’s QR code which can sense the purchases made by the user in the shop, and add it to the cart. Once all the products are added, the user can simply reach the checkout line or even checkout through the app. Finally, the user gets to move out of the checkout line with ease. In some cases, you don’t even have to lift the products, and they will be delivered to your place. The idea is to use IoT in a defined manner, and you need to plan the process beforehand.
4. Chatbots and Conversational Interfaces
Customer support is a major part of business growth, and you cannot comprehend your business without proper support systems built for the user. It is impossible for small businesses to hire the amount of resources required to provide support. That’s why you need to invest in chatbots and conversational interfaces. They will provide the necessary support and extend customer service activities at a time, without any friction.
Let’s say you are a service industry, and you face numerous queries on a day. While you have four support people already attending to the calls, you need someone who can respond immediately till one of the four can take the call. Chatbots will serve as the intelligent resource that will converse and make the customer stay on-board till the attendant is ready to answer. In some cases, the chatbots with the help of AI and ML can make intelligent conversations, thus improving the brand’s support.
5. Develop for Wearables
The wearable technology is here to stay, and you need to consider this technology when developing apps and solutions. You need to make the apps instantly available, and ensure that the users can wear the apps and access them whether they are driving or walking or exercising. The fact of the matter is that wearable technology is here to stay, and businesses that want to be at the top of the customer’s mind should develop their apps and solutions for wearable technology. It will not only add to the convenience, but also improve their experience.
In the coming year, we will see a slow uptake of Blockchain to deliver able and transparent processes to the businesses. Small businesses will flourish under the combination of these technologies, especially with Blockchain as the underlying technology. The technology will let go off the legacy systems and will adopt the newer and improved systems to increase the trust and reliability among users. Microservices, and smart contracts are indeed the future of small businesses.
The future of small businesses lies in adapting to the new technology trends and enhancing their capabilities. It is important to understand that AI, ML and IoT are not limited to large scale businesses. It is quite possible and equally efficient for the small businesses as well.
It is time to strategize your business functions in accordance with these trends, and improve their efficiency by automating the processes. So, ask yourself if your business is future ready or not?
Yuvrajsinh is a Marketing Manager at Space-O Technologies, a mobile app design and development company. To understand the trends, he often interviews in-house designers and developers. Apart from that, he is very active on LinkedIn. With 145k+ followers, he has helped over 250 job seekers last year to find their job.