Even as we enter a period of economic and political uncertainty, there is no doubt we are going to experience some booms for businesses in 2017. There are many businesses that are going to benefit from the new economic and entrepreneurial trends that pop up in 2017, while others may find themselves left behind. Depending on how you react to these changes, you could find yourself in either boat. We believe it is very important to take a look at the most interesting business trends that may emerge in 2017 and beyond. Here is a look at four of them:
More Customer Engagement
The fact remains that the way customers are engaging with companies has changed because of the internet and social media. But now we are getting to a point where companies are going to offer customers the opportunity to get truly personalized experiences each time they shop or use their services. As an example, we can take a look at the Nordstrom offering of fashion advice to customers who are looking to buy certain outfits or completely new wardrobes. Other stores, such as Lowe’s and Home Depot, even offer instructional sessions about specific products or home improvement activities.
The fact is that companies have to stay one step ahead of the curve when it comes to knowing what a customer wants. And in the modern economy, what is the best way to know what a customer wants and when they want it? By collecting as much data on them as possible. Brands collecting data on their customers is nothing new, it has been done for many decades. But the methods and the frequency of said data collection are only going to increase in 2017 as companies have better methods to collect and analyze the data automatically.
While the world and its politicians argue about globalization and trade deals, and the type of impact they have on certain jobs within wealthier nations, we are all going to face a big challenge that comes in the form of automation. There are so many industries where automation is already a factor, while others are going to learn more about automation and how it impacts their business in 2017. For instance, many companies started using chatbots in 2016 to interact with customers. Even though these bots are far from perfect, they are being improved all the time, and many company CEOs believe they are the way forward for online customer engagement.
There are very famous examples of crowdfunding that helped support companies when they were not doing so well financially, such as the Oculus Rift crowdfunding before it was bought out by Facebook. But we believe that in 2017 we are going to see far more examples of companies coming up with great ideas, and relying on their customers’ crowdfunding to gather up enough resources to make those ideas into a real product that can be bought on the market. But it will be interesting to see how companies mix crowdfunding with trying to make as much money as possible off their loyal customer base.