As the new decade starts rolling full speed, and the number of predictions about the year ahead with it. We ask ourselves, what does the future hold? Thechnology changes fundamentally the way people interact with each other. Therefore, we have also decided to look into a crystal ball of the expert opinion and talk about some of the trends in the future of business in the coming year.

1. Mobile apps transform service industry

Already, there are many services which are mostly delivered through apps. However, in 2020 the industries as diverse as mining and agriculture sectors are set to follow the lead. As many as 1.96 million apps are featured in the App Store and 2.46 million apps are available on the Google Play (as of the second quarter of 2019).

The world is heading towards digitalisation, and mobile apps are following the suit, becoming an integral part of the digital ecosystem. Both tech giants and smaller companies are realising an importance of this trend, incorporating apps in their overall business strategy. Apps are used for companies to create awareness, deliver personalised content, increase customer engagement and increase sales. If you were thinking about using mobile apps in your business, it’s time to start acting now.

2. Robots substituting humans in some of the professions

While we are still far away from a futuristic world where robots take up our place in it, machines are already taking up a large number of tasks, from cashier’s to inventory accounting. This means that many people will be forced to change their careers as their jobs are becoming automated.

This poses a two sided challenge for the future of the employment – on the one hand, robotisation will decrease unemployment as operations are becoming increasingly high tech. This also poses a challenge of finding enough skilled workers for newly established high skilled positions. 

On the other hand, new automated solutions become capable of covering a very broad range of tasks, which poses a thread of substituting not only the most routine tasks, but also relatively high-paid jobs.

3. More emphasis on personalised customer service

Customers no longer agree to be treated as simply a number, and demand a personalised service from companies. According to Gartner, smart use of personalisation increases profits by up to 15%. Companies with generic offering and advertisement will continue to further loose profit, as the amount of noise and available options further increases. 

As technologies continue to develop further, companies get at their disposal ever more tools which help to achieve personalised customer experience, for example, with the help of chatbots and virtual agents. Moreover, at the moment there are more opportunities than ever to offer personalised service across multiple touch points by leveraging consumer insights and data.

Still in doubt whether it’s worth investing your time and effort into creating a more personalised customer experience? Then let the numbers speak for themselves.

  • 59% of online shoppers believe it is easier to find more interesting products on a personalised online retail store
  • 56% are more likely to return to a site that recommends products
  • 53% believe that retailers who personalise the shopping experience provide a valuable service
  • 45% are more likely to shop on a site that offers personalised recommendations
  • 57% of online shoppers are OK with providing personal information as long as it benefits them
  • 77% would trust businesses more if they explained how they use personal information

(Source: Invesp)

Overall, personalisation leads to 59% increase in ROI, which makes its’ benefits apparent.  Time to start thinking of the ways of giving customers precisely what they want!

4. Remote work is ever growing

Among the many benefits of remote work, it allows small businesses to scale up faster, as it eliminates the overhead cost related to office expansion. Also, it makes it easier than ever to hire talent from abroad, making the available talent pool for remote companies virtually indefinite.

Luckily, as we reach a new decade, more and more companies start to realise these benefits. And by this point, it’s not only small tech startups – some of the largest organisations, such as IBM, offer remote positions to its employees. Moreover, the number is expected to increase to 50 percent by 2020.

This increase is made possible by technological progress. With tools such as virtual employees, project management and other mechanisations. These tools help to overcome one of the major concerns of remote work opponents – the lack of accountability and clarity on tasks performed by these employees. 

Hence, it can be predicted that remote work will keep rising steadily and organisations will have to seriously take it into consideration when establishing their overall talent strategy.

5. Voice is taking over

Smart speakers such as Alexa and Google Home have been popular for a while already. Thanks to this, the number of voice searches is going up steadily too. Businesses have to take it into account when building their overall strategy and make sure that their content is voice optimised.

As of 2014, Google had conducted a research which found that that 55% of teens and 41% of adults in the US used voice search more than once per day. This number has been steadily on a rise since then. Subsequently, this results in an increase in natural voice language search with questions as a search query. Search Engine Watch reports that usage of search queries starting with words “who,” “what,” “where” and “how” increased 61% last year.

Therefore, not optimising your website for the voice search will cost you a significant amount of traffic in the future. Keep that in mind when creating content and make sure that you use conversational language and how people normally speak when conducting searches.