As a small business, there are some emerging technologies you should pay attention to. Learn what they are and how they’ll impact you.
Technology is changing our business world with things like bitcoin, chatbots, and robotics. Unfortunately, many small businesses aren’t quickly adapting to these changes even though they’re rapidly entering the mainstream. What they fail to understand is that implementing just one of these innovations will make an immediate, visible impact on their sales and revenue. This is why it’s important to pause and consider each of them individually today.
Your customers will no longer need to pick up the phone or fill out an online order form. Instead, they’ll login to an app and quickly place their order. This can take place on Facebook, WhatsApp, Slack or various other chat apps. Doing so will significantly reduce friction since people spend so much time on their phones today. There are already many inexpensive online tools that will make it easy for you to create chatbots — including ManyChat, ChatFuel, and Chatty People. These will help you to build a powerful AI-driven chatbot even if you don’t have any coding experience.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) is focusing on product visualization today. With the help of technology, small businesses will find ways to use AR to showcase their products in real time. Succeed as Your own Boss says there are four main ways in which AR will shape small businesses. These include:
· Safety and rescue operations
· Shopping experiences
· Urban exploration
This is a trend you need to monitor. It started with Pokemon Go and now we’re seeing it in the form of Oculus Rift Glasses and Snapchat glasses. In a few years, our customers will view our products in real-time in 3D so they can try them before they buy them. This will have a major, immediate impact on your business.
Adopting automation tools will almost instantly help your business improvement since you’ll no longer waste as many resources on menial but necessary tasks. This will grow even more powerful when machine-learning and AI start extending to impact software’s functionality. Practically speaking, automation software can be integrated with existing systems to speed everything up, create the updates you need, and even re-order the products your business depends on. There are already some online platforms (e.g. Marketo, Salesforce) that you can use to automate many of your most common marketing, sales, and management tasks. These platforms are easy to set up and integrate seamlessly with the software you’re already using.
IoT’s(Internet of Things)
The Internet of Things (IoT) uses the internet to bridge gaps between specialized sensors, actuators, networking, and real-world objects. This is creating a lot of new opportunities and products that we’d either never imagined or only dreamt of before now. Technology makes so you’re in control of these objects and operations — including things like the smart home, car automation, intelligent security alarms, and smart offices. Those who are embracing this have found great reasons for their devices to view, listen to, and even smell the information in real-time. In fact, there are now about 11.4 billion of these devices in use around the world today. These devices are proving to be very valuable for making investments, seizing new opportunities, and reducing the total cost of operations. In the future, we’re bound to see more real-time actions occurring through IoT platforms, sensors, networks, and data analysis techniques.
Software as a service (SaaS) seems out of place since it’s been around for so long but in actuality, it’s still in its infancy and its potential hasn’t yet been fully realized. This is especially true in the small to medium business market. Yet, there are many different tools being offered here today that are fully targeted at small businesses — things like a cloud-based phone system. The reasons for targeting small businesses is obvious. They include easier improvements, more frequent updates, backend management without the headaches, and decreased roadblocks that are paving the way for other new tools.