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Tech 20/20: Looking to the future

Posted by Sureswipe on 15 November 2016

What does your small business need to remain competitive in 2020? Here are some of the most innovative small business trends.

1. Targeting starts at home

How do you get consumers? The advertising saturated consumer of the present buys based on many factors outside of a great product offering, but this isn’t anything new. The winning strategy isn't new either: find out who your customers are, where they are, what they believe in, what they need and target them there. Local and proximity targeting says to start with where your customers are physically, and once you have zeroed in on that, target them accordingly.

For instance, if a customer is browsing in the mall they would receive ads based on their proximity to a specific store. Imagine them a few feet away from Mugg & Bean in Cavendish square and they immediately get an ad for a coupon code for Mugg & Bean based on a search they had done on Zomato for best restaurants to eat at in Cavendish square.

Already, many consumers are willing to share their location information if they believe they are getting something of value in return like coupons or loyalty points, the combination of tracked user data from online searches and location data could be enormous for businesses.

2. AR the biggest tech buzzword

Augmented reality (AR) is relatively new but it is one of the biggest buzzwords in tech at the moment. AR is when digital information is overlaid on reality in which users can interact. The difference between virtual and augmented reality is that AR enables a blending of the real and virtual worlds. This means businesses can overlay graphics onto real-world objects.

Over time AR will expand beyond visual immersion to include all human senses. Businesses should begin looking at targeted applications of AR in what they do.

3. Moving your business virtual

There is a nostalgia when it comes to the bricks and mortar store that your grandparents passed down to you and the personal connection to your customers. While consumers seem to be gravitating (to a point) towards the bespoke, they are also looking for convenience and speed. What the customer is looking for is an online presence that allows them to interact with your products online, the option to have them delivered, with all of the things they enjoy about your actual store.

For example, if your online clothing store, could read a customer’s data, interests and behavioural patterns and have a virtual shopping assistant that can call the customer back and help them choose. If we know that the customer has green eyes, the online assistant could suggest that the sweater looks great but perhaps she should pick the blue sweater because it would bring out the colour of her eyes. The consumer could enjoy that level of service, sitting in sweatpants in front of their laptop.

4. It’s time to automate

With technological improvements in artificial intelligence and big data, we are fast moving towards the world of i-robot. There are machines being used in different ways to interpret data and for instance, write entire sentences or perform surgeries, without human assistance. Businesses need to start looking at which parts of their businesses require the human touch and which can be given over or streamlined by tech.

To use the previous online shopping example, your business would be able to provide that level of hyper-personal, hyper-speed service to a large group of people without having to hire the manpower.

That is the world we are moving towards high-tech, high speed and high stakes.






Topics: future of tech, virtual, AR, Growing Your Retail Business, Tech

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