Let’s face it – traditional institutes have been rapidly losing their relevance and digital enterprises are taking over swiftly. The internet has empowered organizations by providing an ocean of opportunities across the spectrum and centralizing the infrastructure that collates various platforms. Meanwhile, there exist numerous challenges that the world faces, including declining traditional tendencies and rising importance of individuality. While consumers are increasingly seeking enhanced user experiences, the rising expectations of customers have prompted businesses to relentlessly pursue customer satisfaction and continuously evolve business strategies accordingly.
In this article, I bring to you the foremost online trends in 2018 and their prospective implications on your business.
Preference for Subscription-based Products and Services
The increasing expectations in terms of superior performance of brands and higher responsiveness have been successful in shifting the customer preference toward subscription-based models, which offers better access to resource inventories and instantaneous support at the touch of a button. Industry experts indicate that the shift toward subscription-based services is a right step that indicates the high potential of value-added services and content, which is possible only by effective encapsulation of data. The boom of Bitcoin also illustrates the unprecedented parallel growth of digitization and e-commerce. A case in point is also that of the success of online ventures like Netflix and Amazon Prime, which offer multiple-format, high-quality services across several devices, at any time the customer logs in, rather than television channels that have fixed schedules of programs.
The Rise of Payment Platforms and Financial Ventures
Technologically advanced and encrypted, secure payment platforms have simplified the process of online shopping like never before. As merchants are now in a position to combine the benefits of online and offline models, the e-commerce industry has witnessed an unprecedented boom. This is evident by the rise of mobile wallets, such as Paytm, Mobikwik, and Phonepe, which have partnered with numerous e-commerce ventures, to simplify the process of payment and facilitate easy returns. By offering these payment modes, even small- and medium-scale enterprises have been successfully creating a direct and real-time relationship with a large customer base.
Sustainability is the Key
The new-age customers are more conscious of ecological implications of their purchases and are willing to pay a premium price for high-quality products that are eco-friendly or stand for a cause that matters to them. Such customers mostly prefer sustainable products that have a minimal carbon footprint. By capturing the attention of this customer segment, businesses have been striving to establish a higher value amidst pervasive competition.
The Incredible Power of Social Media
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, web-based search engines like Google, and renowned e-commerce firms like Amazon, have been constantly evolving themselves, by employing deep learning and Big Data analytics tools, to influence the decision-making process of consumers. These platforms have been acting as digital marketplaces, with their useful content, wide product range, and helpful customer reviews.
Rising Entrepreneurial Spirit
In the modern and digital world, it is easier than ever before, to set up ventures and firms, as there exist hundreds of platforms that let everyone to utilize their passions, skills, and capabilities, to become monetarily self-sufficient and realize their entrepreneurial spirit. On the whole, this contributes to the growth of the national economy. For instance, with the growing popularity of AirBnb, home owners have been renting out spare rooms and vacant homes on the platform and generating higher revenues, instead of renting them out for lower fixed monthly revenues.
Rising Significance of Research & Development and Innovative Technologies
Industry giants across the globe have been investing huge sums of money on the research and development of innovative products and employing the latest state-of-the-art technologies, to improve process efficiency and better cater to client requirements. Industry majors, such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, etc., are focusing on developing technologically superior products and reaching the level of world domination. Firms have also been successfully unleashing the benefits of machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics, etc., to create value-added products and services. Diversification and omni-channel presence is another vital strategy being adopted by these firms, as evident by Google offering multiple services under its umbrella, such as Google Reviews, Google Maps, Google Streetview, etc.
On the whole, the digital trends of 2018 point toward a world where capturing, automating, and powering the global economy, backed by a stable and industrialized industrial backdrop and empowered by the innovative startups that have the power to disrupt the entire market landscape. It is clear from various trends that the world is moving toward a landscape that is dominated by small entities and empowered individuals who are passionate about their ventures and always focused on customer requirements.
Against this backdrop, businesses that intend to survive and shine must incorporate powerful learning capabilities into their strategies and offer a platform for the business entities to face and overcome continuous pressure, experiment on strategies that let them stand out from the rest of the crowd, and explore various business models that serve futuristic business needs.