We can’t predict the weather but we can forecast some of the top global business trends likely to gain traction over the next few years

Being able to grasp trends, gain useful insights and predict change are critical factors when it comes to ensuring business competitiveness and sustainability over time.  And while circumstances often appear to change like the weather itself, keeping an eye on the top trends that are likely to affect organisations worldwide over the next few years creates a healthier competitive advantage.  Here are some of the most prevalent trends to watch out for.

Generative AI enhances customer experience

Generative AI, is a type of Artificial Intelligence technology that can generate different types of content that includes imagery, text, audio as well as synthetic data.  New interfaces are able to produce high-quality graphics, text and video content in a matter of seconds.  While this technology as not brand new as such, since it was launched in the 1960s through chatbots, it only started gaining traction in 2014, with the introduction of a type of machine learning algorithm known as GANs (generative adversarial networks), which is a type of AI that creates authentic graphics, video and audio presentations of real people.   It is anticipated that in the next three years, generative AI will hold approximately 30% of the entire AI market.  It is predicted that businesses will harness this capability to enhance the customer experience.  A good example of generative AI is ChatGPT which is a specific implementation language model that is able to generate human-like responses to user prompts.

E-Commerce continues to grow post-pandemic

There remains no doubt that the pandemic forever changed the way that consumers shop.  While E-commerce was already gaining traction before the pandemic hit, the pandemic led to mass adoption at an exponential rate which continues to this day.   Spotify stated that it reported 10 years’ worth of growth in only three months during the pandemic.  With businesses constantly launching new e-commerce opportunities on a global scale, retail categories such as home improvement, home furnishings and electronics have maintained post-pandemic growth levels. 

5G significantly improves Data Collection and AI capabilities

The introduction of 5G mobile networks has the potential to profoundly alter business operations.  Simply put, 5G has the ability to deliver greater reliability and high data speeds with the United States and China leading the way when it comes to the rollout of 5G.  Hence, 5G technology is vital for those businesses that are keen to offer new services and track insights in order to maintain a competitive edge.  For instance, the development of the 5G mobile network is the force behind enhanced data collection and analysis for businesses.  The 5G market is anticipated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of around 65% by 2030.

Businesses increase their social media presence

In this day and age, running a business without having some form of social media presence is almost completely unheard of.  In the next few years, it is predicted that businesses will venture beyond advertising on social media to building communities as part of their dedicated social media marketing strategy with almost 80% of respondents surveyed stating that the most important group they belong to operates online.  Already, brands are increasingly shifting towards connecting with more authentic influencers who are able to impact smaller communities and going forward, brands are expected to invest in social commerce in order to increase engagement and boost sales.

Immersive Technologies are establishing new standards for businesses

As businesses continue to seek to engage customers in more innovative ways, immersive technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) are establishing new standards for businesses.  Meta reported that it currently has 10 000 employees working on mixed reality with Apple deploying 2000 people into developing extended reality.  Globally, the sale of AR/VR related products and software increased by 50% between 2019 and 2020 and over 50% of consumers have been found willing to use AR/VR in the search and assessments of available products.   One study involving a make-up retailer revealed that those consumers who made use of AR to sample lipsticks tried out nearly double the amount of lipstick products than those of in-store customers.

Creating greater sustainability

While the business world continues to invest in tech solutions and social media, as these trends develop it is expected that more funds will be dedicated towards these initiatives.  Businesses that keep abreast of the latest trends and innovate and improve based on these trends have a greater chance of attracting new customers and creating greater sustainability going forward.

Reference sources: explodingtopics.com

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