It’s a new year, so that means new trends. Many of the trends for small businesses will continue this year with even more productivity due to new technology. And the look of the American work day continues to change because of the capability to work remotely. Let’s take a closer look at some of the trends that will affect businesses this year.
- Personalization. You will see a great deal of this in 2019. Since technology has become more advanced, retailers can create coupons for their customers based on their shopping history and location and/or make product suggestions. Customers can also choose how they are contacted (email, text or social media). And there will be more customer loyalty programs, which will feature special offers in addition to earning points.
- Subscription-based Services. We first began to see these types of businesses in 2010 with BIRCHBOX. Since then, their growth has exploded every year and will continue to do so because of convenience and customization. Subscription-based businesses have breached almost every industry, from beauty and food to fitness and gaming. These businesses are popular for a number of reasons such as the products are evergreen, they have an existing community of customers and there’s a recurring need for the product(s).
- Remote Employees. The American work day is changing due to remote positions. Companies (mainly small businesses) offer remote positions to cut down on costs. This means employees can work from anywhere and at any time. In turn, employees save money as well (i.e. transportation costs). Since the employment rate is currently at an all-time low, talent can demand to work at home, whether full-time or a certain number of days a month. However, remote working has prompted ghosting from employees.
- Unconventional Funding. Many years ago, startups had a hard time getting funding from banks. The startup landscape has changed with alternative lending, especially from fintech companies. There is also peer-to-peer lending (P2P), which is done completely online. There are P2P websites where borrowers go for a loan, while investors go to them to lend money. Investors and borrowers both win because they get better terms than what they can get from a bank.
- Consumer Data Protection. Since the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe was enacted, a number of U.S. states have passed laws regarding the security and use of consumers’ personal data. Now, companies must get consumer consent to use their data. According to the Data Protection Report, all 50 states (including D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and U.S. Virgin Islands) must notify consumers that their personal data has been breached. These laws will give consumers more control over their personal data.