With the online world changing seemingly from day to day and an increasing number of websites (today, there are almost 2 billion websites out there), the future for businesses operating on the internet always seems uncertain. From the end of net neutrality to the restrictions on YouTube monetization to advancing digital technology and more, the question is what trends will be most prominent for online businesses in the foreseeable future.
With the US economy expanding, the near future for online businesses is bright, thanks to greater consumer confidence and spending habits. What follows are new trends in online business that appear to be expanding. As consumer habits change over the next few years, which will have a considerable impact on how online marketing is being performed.
Expansion of Cryptocurrency
While there has been considerable news about the troubles associated with bitcoin, cryptocurrency itself appears to be expanding rapidly and becoming mainstream. With more businesses and governments turning to cryptocurrency as an option, the transactions will become firmly digital. This means a change in the way consumers buy across all markets means that online businesses will need to be prepared to accept this form of currency soon.
The Advent of Machine Learning
This form of technology is poised to expand into sales and customer support, meaning that the efficiency of how businesses work with customers will be improved. Machine learning will be in the form of using speech analytics which better guides customer service departments in responding to each of their customers. This enhances interaction which means building a stronger brand and suffering fewer losses due to misunderstandings.
Increased Security Spending
Because of recent hacks and break-ins that have revealed the personal information of millions of customers, more businesses are stepping up their security protocols to prevent it from happening to them. This has meant a shift in emphasis from prevention to detecting intrusions and responding accordingly. Better security means more expenses, which might have a tremendous effect on the financial position of small and medium-sized online businesses.
With so many online businesses trying to reach the same customers, it can become difficult to get above the noise. This is why personal marketing trends have been growing and will continue to expand as more businesses pop up worldwide. Successful online companies will focus on smart marketing that reaches the individual, not just the desired consumer group. Thanks to new digital technology, particularly Artificial Intelligence (AI) (e-commerce businesses are facing this challenge), the changes are already happening and will continue to grow.
Rise of the Sharing Economy
The combination of the sharing economy is most famously represented by ride-sharing services such as Uber. However, it has also delved into retail, with giants such as Google and Amazon getting into this trend. For online businesses, the sharing economy represents a strong trend poised to invade healthcare and financial services, which may change the way many online companies operate.
For online business owners, the expansion of the internet to world markets means an entirely new frontier of customers and competitors. However, those who succeed will be flexible to the inevitable change and take steps to stay one step ahead to ensure their future.