Every year, many new technologies enter the market. Some of these will be of use to small businesses and will help them grow, cut costs, or interact with customers in new and exciting ways.
So, what are the technologies your small business should be on the lookout for, and how will they benefit you?
The battle between cybercriminals and security services continues as the former are becoming ever more sophisticated. This means that there will be new technology to support small and medium businesses in their efforts to protect themselves from cyber-attacks.
Many businesses in the past year have experienced a breach. The smaller the business, the harder it is to recover, so new technology to protect you should be a welcome relief.
2. Real-time Analysis 24/7
Today’s technology collects a lot of data, and in the past, there may have been a delay in its analysis. Now, with the latest monitoring tools, your business can have the data in real-time. This means those in senior positions can make decisions with the best data available, reducing mistakes and taking full advantage of opportunities.
For email marketers, it does mean they’ll be able to see who is interacting with campaigns and what actions they are taking. Perhaps this will mean personalised offers being given to leads, or adjustments being made promptly to services to better match customer expectations.
3. Augmented Reality
Pokemon Go in 2016 taught us two things, that augmented reality is no longer fiction, and that consumers love it. Now many businesses will be able to take advantage of the new technology to show off their products in more tangible ways.
Consumers who are offered a peek into what they are going to get, without having to leave the comfort of their home, will be more likely to make a purchase. This could revolutionise a lot of industries, but the real estate and hospitality industries will be two that should see significant benefits from this technology.
Images showing a house off through a VR tour on a tablet or showing a potential guest their room at a hotel, will be the sort of immersive tactics that will take off in 2017.
4. Smart Home Technology
This has been developing for some years, but 2017 will see another increase in the number of devices at home that can be controlled remotely. Even grocery shopping might become fully automatic.
Amazon has tried this with the emergency ordering button. They have also introduced the Amazon Echo and Amazon Echo Dot that can listen in and order products with a simple voice command. These technologies are likely to be continually developed so that mistakes are minimised (such as televisions ordering products).
5. In Demand Ordering
Uber has shown how consumers are looking at brands who can offer them the services and products they want when they want it. This has led to less lead times between the demand and delivery of goods.
With automation being improved all the time, the opportunity for businesses to change how they do business is here. Perhaps the development of an app for your customers might be the next step you need to meet these demands?
6. Physical-Digital Integrations
Amazon’s Echo and Walmart’s iPhone store maps are showing us that brands are embracing and crossing the physical and digital barriers. Integrating both sides will give brands greater interaction points and more automated selling points. These actions should help to reduce costs and increase brand loyalty – improving profitability.
Technology is changing, and some of it’s going to be exciting for small and medium businesses. Keep up-to-date with the latest trends, and ensure you consider them early on, to get the maximum benefit.
What technology are you most looking forward to? Have you experimented with any of the above technologies?
Let us know in the comments below.