Tech Trends To Get Your Business Out Of A Rut
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Businesses today are becoming increasingly dependent on technology, and will continue to grow even more so in the future – it’s a simple fact. Despite this, many business owners have felt that for whatever reason, be it a more traditional industry or a business that’s thrived for years without adapting to the latest trends, they either can’t or don’t need to look into ways to upgrade their business’ technology.
Those wanting to succeed in the e-commerce realm need to think small- smartphones and tablets are quickly replacing desktops as the preferred platform for more and more consumers. Mobile searches now outnumber desktop searches with Google, and according to eMarketer, 121.8 million Americans made a purchase through a mobile device in 2015. One of the best ways to take advantage of this trend is by offering a mobile app that will let your customers access your wares with ease. In addition to always being on your customer’s phones for easy access, apps can let you fully tailor the user’s experience in whichever ways you see fit. Own a salon? Let your customers use that app to easily book an appointment with their favorite stylists. If you have an e-commerce website, consider offering a fully mobile-optimized version of your store through the app to prevent any mobile browser failures or incompatibilities that might be losing you sales.
If you’ve been trying to target younger demographics but haven’t had much success in successfully gaining their business, take a look at your social media channels. It might not be a strictly conventional form of technology, but it’s an important one. Today’s young consumers are increasingly making their decisions based on how they view brands as a whole, and one of the strongest ways to connect with Millennials and give them a strong, positive impression of your brand is through social media. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to exclusively post to your company’s Facebook page with Emoji icons or teach your entire staff how to capture funny behind-the-scenes moments on Snapchat. It could be as simple as using a service like Buffer to make sure any information you might want to post is shared at an optimal time for maximum impact, or being sure to quickly and thoroughly respond to any questions or concerns that are posed to you though social media accounts.
The big technological catchphrase a few years ago was, “There’s an app for that,” but in 2016 it might very well be, “There’s a drone for that.” These helpful flying machines have found uses in a multitude of fields in recent years, and as the FAA and other regulatory bodies continue to approve new uses for them, this utility will only grow. Photography, perhaps their most well-known application, is useful for a wide variety of industries beyond photography and cinematography—real estate agents can use them to give virtual home tours and showcase larger properties, while surveyors can map out dangerous terrains from a safe distance. Their small size also makes them ideal and more cost-effective than renting out a plane for certain tasks. Agricultural drones are used by farmers to spray select sections of a crop at a fraction of the cost of a crop duster, and early testing of drone delivery services have shown to be promising for a future mass implementation of delivery drones.
Is your business still cash-only for any reason? If so, there’s a good chance that you’re losing out on a huge amount of business because of it. Today’s world has become increasingly cashless, and as such, consumers look for businesses that will allow them to pay with a card or mobile payment option. Your cash-only restaurant might make the best burgers in town, but if a potential customer only has $5 or $10 (if anything) on them, they’ll likely pass come mealtime and choose a restaurant where they won’t feel constrained or limited to what they have available. There are a wide number of technologies out there today that allow for easier payments if you don’t want to invest in an all-out traditional cash register, from iPad-based systems like Square or TouchBistro to completely cardless options like Apple Pay. And if you’ve been holding out on accepting cards because of the fees associated, remember that in the end, you stand to gain much more than you would pay out in fees.
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