The current innovations are always making room for new ones in the respective industries. One thing is certain, we expect to see a lot of technological advancements that will either improve or hurt the way people carry out their businesses. Prevalence of the internet is creating an enabling environment for technological advancements beyond the IT industry and making things much easier. Big data storage is one example of a future anticipated technological trend.
We asked entrepreneurs and business owners about the future technology trends they predict in their industry.
#1-The application of blockchain technology to e-commerce
E-commerce will dramatically change in the coming years as several blockchain-based solutions reduce friction in the marketplace. They will do so by re-inventing and replacing costly legacy solutions that provide the layer of trust and verification currently required to perform online transactions. The most obvious example is the elimination (or dramatic reduction) of the 3% transaction fee charged by credit card processors on every transaction. Another potential disruption includes the 10-15% affiliate tracking fees extracted by large affiliate networks such as those operated by Rakuten and ShareaSale. The application of blockchain technology to e-commerce is virtually unlimited – the two examples above are the tip of the iceberg as related to what will become possible in the near future.
Thanks to John James, Engine!
#2-Rich Communications Services
In the world SMS marketing, we haven’t seen a lot of changes in technology for several years. In 2019 that’s going to change drastically with the industry-wide launch of RCS. RCS stands for “Rich Communications Services” and is a giant leap forward for mass text messaging. It’s like an extremely enhanced version of SMS that will, similarly to messenger apps, allow us to build interactive components within outbound text messages instead of just plain text. RCS will be a game changer as it opens up several new ways for marketers to engage with their customers through text messaging.
Thanks to Matt Baglia, SlickText!
I have a bookkeeping and outsourced CFO firm, and the big thing we're seeing in accounting technological advancements is machine learning. More-and-more, software are learning to recognize similar transactions and categorize them automatically. This is causing many professionals (ourselves included) to steer more towards consulting and higher-level services, as manual data entry will soon be a thing of the past.
Thanks to Courtney Barbee, The Bookkeeper!
#4- A number of trends
3D product imaging, AI for both in-depth analytics and boosting engagement levels, and revival of the physical store are the e-commerce trends to keep up within 2019. These trends, when combined, form a solid foundation for a holistic business strategy meant to boost sales and pave the way for brand innovations and a futuristic, yet satisfying, customer experience.
Thanks to Kosta Popov, Cappasity!
#5-Internet of Things, Voice, and geo-localization
From a general standpoint, technology is creating a win-win situation for all industries, allowing companies to be faster and more importantly, efficient. Efficiencies lead to cost savings, that if applied correctly, will lead to better services, customer experiences and brand loyalty. A few trends that I see directly impacting our industry are the Internet of Things, Voice, and although not a new trend, geo-localization. If implemented correctly into our user/customer experience, these advancements can offer a number of benefits that are targeted to our specific audience, have a measurable positive impact and create an emotional connection.
Thanks to Joshua Javaheri, Lucky Day!
#6- Enabling the perfect user experience
One trend that I believe is already starting to shape the tech industry is amplifying the power of the user experience and branding, while downplaying the technical aspect of the technology solution. People take for granted now that the tech will just work and do everything it needs to do, but enabling the perfect user experience is a completely different challenge. With the tech industry getting more saturated, beautiful design sets one's product or service solution apart from competitors and broadcasts its brand. As a tech startup ourselves, creating a unified and coherent visual experience, from our marketing campaign to product design, has helped us gain traction from our target demographic.
Thanks to Yuan (Ryan) Su, TeliApp Corporation!
#7-Advancements of broker-dealer technology
A current technology trend to influence the financial industry is the advancements of broker-dealer technology, and I reacted with innovation by incorporating the changes into a modern approach to investing. My goal is to democratize investment practices so individuals can invest like the largest institutional investors. My firm, Optimal Asset Management, partnered with S&P Dow Jones Indices to launch direct indexing services through Factor Allocator™, which was made possible by recent advances in financial technology infrastructure. Although direct indexing has been commonplace over the years with the largest institutional investors, we are now making it accessible to a wider range of investors by keeping up with the technological advances in the finance industry. It is vital to find ways to incorporate technology affecting your industry to better your business, and partnering with other organizations can strengthen your endeavors even more.
Thanks to Vijay Vaidyanathan, Optimal Asset Management!
#8- Rise of chatbots
Although this is not necessarily ‘new' technology, a trending piece of tech in our industry has been the rise of chatbots. We have implemented them on our website to greet visitors and have experienced great success in having visitors message them back. Chatbots are increasingly vital for starting conversations and responding to requests, ensuring that customers have their needs met. I don't doubt that their presence will advance in the future and they will become an integral way to contact businesses.
Thanks to Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation!
#9- Online vision test
The contact lens space is headed into disruption with the advance of telehealth players who are allowing people to take an online vision test. We've seen a material shift with our customer base who have postponed their contact lens purchase because they are waiting to see their doctor. They can now participate in immediate gratification. Beyond that, things are moving significantly faster – from the way we notify the customer they are running low on their contact lenses to offering them the ability to set up AutoRefill for their contact lens delivery.
Thanks to Ryan Alovis, LensDirect!
#10- Voice shopping
One of the nascent technologies that will change the face of retail is voice shopping. Using voice assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and others to search for products, purchase them, and get customer service. People are starting to do these now, and mostly Amazon and Google are benefitting. People will adopt these behaviors more as smart speakers continue to gain adoption, but also as voice assistant functionality improves. Since a lot of shopping is visual, strong multi-modal functionality will be very important.
Thanks to Todd Chapin, ShopClerk.ai!
#11- Pressure to have all the newest tools
I'm in sales and business coaching and the pressure to have all the newest tools to promote a business in the coaching world seems to be what will affect my industry. For example, I don't have a podcast and don't intend on starting one, and feel like the standard is, If you're a good coach, you have a podcast. In reality, if you're a good coach, you have clients you're helping. In addition to that, tools that people are quickly getting annoyed with, like the free content emails and webinars that simply turn into sales pitches won't be as effective in the future. It's true that some of them are done the right way, but how much time is wasted on watching a webinar that creates a need and actually doesn't give you much to take away from it? We will need to create new tools and technology to reach prospects.
Thanks to Rebecca Gebhardt, Rise Up Consulting LLC!
#12- Several trends
New technologies in energy, water, and agriculture are creating the greatest opportunity for sustainable capitalism here and now: the transformation of the energy industry is taking place before our eyes. Drone, drill bit, blockchain, and nano fiber technologies are just a few that come to mind that are currently revolutionizing the global resource industries making currently wasteful practices more sustainable.
Thanks to Victoria Brodsky, Transformation, LLC!
Artificial intelligence will not only affect our industry, it is our industry. It is a trend in the headlines everywhere, proving its importance to the future and business. In human resources and recruiting, artificial intelligence is used to automate parts of the recruiting process to decrease the amount of time recruiters have to spend completing repetitive and mundane tasks. As the industry changes, so does the demand for our product. This trend towards automation and machine learning is crucial to Ideal, as we use artificial intelligence to maximize the quality of hire within organizations. We anticipate rapid growth and adoption of this technology, as it allows recruiters to refocus their time and to hire better candidates.
Thanks to Somen Mondal, Ideal!
#14- Rise of smart technology
I see many technological trends that are bound to have a drastic impact on the interior design industry. The first, and most obvious, is the rise of smart technology. As smart technology becomes more commonplace (and more affordable), designers find themselves having to learn about new products and their features. We don't just choose paint colors, after all, but design the overall experience of an interior. Obviously, the way that the appliances in a homework have a huge impact on the homeowner's experience. So, I've found myself staying up late reading about smart refrigerators, stoves, and toilets, to figure out how to best integrate them into my designs. Technology is also having an enormous effect on interactions between designers and their clients. With the 3D modeling software that's available today, designers are able to realistic mockups that show homeowners exactly what their house is going to look like. Some designers even use VR software that allows their clients to take a tour of the house and make adjustments in real-time. I imagine that this technology is going to change the way we work entirely.
Thanks to John Linden, Mirrorcoop!
#15- Need for human interaction
Technology is an ever-increasing commodity in the arena of investigations and audits, much like many professions. It is often seen as a means to solve all sorts of issues. Consequently, there becomes an overwhelming focus on its employment. In the arena of investigations and audits, computer advances, forensic developments, and other technologies become the go to solution. However, all of these advances will never replace our need for human interaction in interview scenarios. These give us the answers to why and how, that the technology will never explain. Sometimes that makes it hard to compete for the training dollars to adequately prepare employees for interviewing, when the technology focus is overwhelming.
Thanks to Mark A. Anderson, Anderson Investigative Associates!
#16- Fluid chat solutions
The customer support industry will see many changes in the coming year including changes to live chat and AI. First off, basic live chat isn’t good enough anymore. Just having chat on your website was becoming outdated last year and moving into 2019 it’s even worse. Customers increasingly expect chat solutions to be extremely fluid, switching between mediums (text, video, screen sharing) as needed on the fly without being forced to change applications or start over. Secondly, AI will become less artificial and more a part of real customer service teams. Modern service software now leverages the true power of AI and not gimmicks like simplistic chatbots to lure in customers. These solutions are incorporating AI from the ground up not to stand on its own as a replacement for human agents, but to aid them in working smarter and more efficiently. Examples include sentiment analysis, predictive chat, and distress scoring.
Thanks to Robert C. Johnson, TeamSupport!
#17- Virtual Reality and AI
I always say that technology is imitating life. Social media tries to mimic “regular” interaction just arguably more efficiently. So, I think we are moving more and more to a virtual environment with technology that knows what we want before we want it and “social media” being able to create virtual experiences that imitate “physical experiences” and “advertising” being able to predict exactly what we want based on knowing want we want maybe more than we are able to.
Thanks to Gresham Harkless Jr., Blue 16 Media!