Technology is something that can help everyone. It has the potential to take your business to the next level and assist in practically every facet of it. But, what about small business trends, though?
It has only been a little over a decade since the introduction of cloud computing and smartphones. It’s difficult to imagine modern life without these technologies, especially for those who rely on them to keep their businesses afloat.
In 2022, cloud-based solutions, automated onboarding procedures, and HR software that can manage a worldwide workforce of remote workers are all major talking points.
We’ve identified the leading 11 competitive trends in technology that are dramatically altering the landscape for small businesses. Read on.
1. Artificial intelligence (AI) Solutions
The fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have attracted considerable attention for several years. In case you weren’t aware, artificial intelligence (AI) is a field of study that seeks to programme computers to think and act like humans do; specifically, to make decisions, solve problems, and provide superior service to customers by learning from their past actions and errors.
One of AI’s many uses for SMBs is in customer service, where it can help businesses connect with customers on a more individual level. Creative Networks, for example, uses live chat software powered by artificial intelligence that learns what is effective and improves accordingly to help live agents work quickly and accurately to provide individualised customer care.
As 95% of the customer experience is anticipated to be driven by artificial intelligence by 2025, this business technology trend is anticipated to gain popularity. Being ahead of the curve will benefit business leaders who use AI technology early on, as these innovations will only become more significant in the future.
2. Comprehensive HR technology
Organizations in many fields have been decentralising their operations, adopting online collaboration tools, and coming up with creative strategies for helping their employees cope with the constant upheaval.
As more people began working remotely, companies of all sizes needed better human resources tools to keep tabs on their remote workers.
This has led to a rise in the need for HR services such as online project management software, payroll and compensation systems, workforce analytics, employee engagement platforms, and benefits administration.
3. Influencer marketing
The average budget for digital advertising is expected to increase by 25% over the next year across all sectors. There is a lot of digital noise out there, and businesses are realising that it’s more important than ever to find unique ways to differentiate themselves in order to survive. In today’s social media landscape, there are a plethora of options for communicating with customers and clients.
Although many large corporations have a social media presence, influencer marketing is especially useful for small and medium-sized enterprises. When promoting your brand, hire influencers instead of using pay-per-click ads or your own company profiles because the people who follow them are already part of your target audience.
Social media influencers are trusted by 49% of consumers when making a purchase decision, and 80% of consumers have made a purchase based on an influencer’s recommendation.
4. Remote Employment and Onboarding Methods
For many, working remotely was once a distant possibility but is now the “new normal.” Although some businesses still harbour reservations about the long-term effects of letting workers telecommute from home, a growing number of organisations have abandoned those concerns and fully embraced the practise.
Onboarding is crucial because it helps new employees become acclimated to the company and their roles. However, there are a number of obstacles that make it difficult to conduct induction remotely, including faulty technology, geographical limitations, and a lack of a “in-person” experience.
How to benefit from emerging small business trends?
Even though many people still favour their offices, innovations in remote working and onboarding are enabling smoother orientations and higher levels of productivity.
- With the help of digital onboarding, companies can welcome new hires in a methodical and well-orchestrated fashion.
- New employees may get up to speed and start making contributions right away with the help of remote onboarding.
- In order to hire more specialised talent, businesses can use remote working models to hire employees who live too far away to commute to the office.
- Staff members can now decide when they come in and when they leave, resulting in more continuous operating hours.
5. Supreme cybersecurity
As more businesses move their operations and data online and into the cloud, the importance of cyber security has increased. Although 61% of SMBs have suffered at least one cybersecurity breach, only 60% of SMB owners are confident their company will not be attacked.
When your company’s and your customers’ private information is exposed online, it leaves you vulnerable to financial losses and brand damage caused by cyberattacks. Due to their critical importance, the cyber insurance market is expected to grow to $14.8B by 2025.
Automation refers to the use of a computerised system to perform routine tasks with minimal or no intervention from a human operator. An example of an automated response would be receiving a confirmation text message or email after scheduling an appointment.
Automation can help small businesses save time and money by eliminating the need for employees to manually enter data into a system. According to a Salesforce study, 55% of small businesses identify a lack of time as a significant challenge. Employees can save time on manual tasks by integrating automation into their system, freeing up their time to work on tasks that increase revenue.
68% of marketers will be using automation by 2022. It is anticipated that a new generation of businesses will work to create these business solutions in order to meet the demand for rising automation. In fact, it is anticipated that by 2023, global spending on marketing automation tools will top $25 billion.
7. Cloud adoption
Software integration refers to the process of combining different software programmes into one unified whole. This allows you to enter more data into your systems in less time, with fewer mistakes, and at a lower cost than you would be able to achieve manually.
With the help of an integration system, the different programmes your business uses can coordinate their efforts and share data. For instance, it would be convenient if the client’s updated contact information reflected in your other software automatically.
95% of all cloud infrastructure spending goes toward serving small and medium-sized businesses. That must mean something to you.
Because of all the benefits they provide, small and medium-sized businesses are increasingly turning to cloud solutions. Although it’s still in its infancy and has limited resources, the opportunity to expand is there. Thus, cloud solutions successfully link enterprises of all sizes.
There will be a rise in the need for software integration as more and more SMBs adopt cutting-edge technological solutions. Nearly two-thirds of today’s businesses expect to run entirely on cloud-based services by 2026.
8. Increase use of 5G
5G cellular technology provides noticeably faster data transfer rates when compared to the more commonplace 4G technology. This is a big deal for the IoT because 5G networks can better handle the proliferation of connected smart devices (IoT).
There will be 18 billion IoT devices in operation by 2022, with 1.5 billion of them relying on cellular networks. Many sectors are investing heavily in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), which will benefit from the rollout of 5G.
9. Conversational marketing
Conversational marketing strategies, such as chatbots, will become increasingly important in the B2B sector.
People long for genuine human connection that swiftly resolves their issues or questions. However, 90% of customers want “immediate” (within 10 minutes) responses to their support inquiries.
Having to wait a week for a response from a salesperson after sending them an email is frustrating for anyone. To satisfy customers’ need for instant gratification, businesses are exploring the possibility of incorporating live web chat, SMS, and social media messaging into the sales funnel process.
Revenue from the worldwide chatbot market is projected to reach $1.25 billion by 2025.
10. Big data transformation
In the past, only the largest and most well-resourced companies had the ability to take advantage of big data. Cloud-based apps have made business intelligence accessible to SMEs.
Utilize such technologies to guide your strategic decisions with data. 73% of the organisations that use big data report success, and you will too.
11. Storytelling via Virtual Reality
Virtual reality (VR) is an immersive computer-generated experience that simulates the sense of being physically present in a particular location through the use of photorealistic graphics and sound.
It is possible for B2B marketers to use virtual reality technology to produce engaging content for their target audience. Virtual reality’s ability to transport viewers to another world makes it ideal for telling stories through images.
A Recap of Small Business Trends for 2022
Despite the obvious benefits of tools like social media and live chat, many business owners of smaller establishments are hesitant to adopt them. This reluctance can stem from the owner’s belief that these tools are unnecessary, a lack of knowledge about them, or both.
Keeping your staff content and productive requires keeping up with the latest developments in the industry and providing them with the most cutting-edge programmes, software, and technology available.
It’s possible that you don’t have time to implement newer, more efficient technologies due to a high call volume or a flood of web chat inquiries. For this reason, you can focus on deciding which small business trends to tackle in 2022 while customer support from Creative Networks helps you deliver high-quality communications across channels.