We have come quite far in 2023. This is the spring of emerging AI technology in the world. We are noticing a strong inclination towards serverless websites and mobile applications. Designers are fully embracing illustrations, animation, claymorphism, interactive and immersive visual environments, unusual typefaces, retro, etc. Some websites are choosing cloneable designs for smartphone viewers. Ecommerce, metaverse, memberships and other mega actions can be easily seen in every digital agency. The development segment is joining hands with intelligent growth. The year 2023 is bringing cloud solutions and serverless to the business as usual. Here is what new you will find in the online presence, digital marketing and websites throughout this year as well as upto 2024.
Sites are sporting some new features to upshape their existing domains. The following features are beyond essentials.
Websites are implementing voice searches in their internal search engines. This feature comes in handy to keep a customer engaged on a hands free mode.
It has to be as fast as time itself. Delay of a few microseconds can prove to be a deal breaker. Developers are well aware of GenZ swiftness. You have to fully register your impact within 3 seconds, else you will be swiped off forever.
AI is a long discussion. There is nothing untouched by AI right now. It is scrambling its way through controversies into the foundation of online business management.
Keeping a large amount of manpower to solely handle customer queries is totally impractical in this year. Most of the customers know how to articulate their needs. There should be a decline in the physical customer centres and most of their work should fall upon virtual help. Wherever there is a human customer support, there will be a virtual space to conduct it.
Blockchain is a decentralised ledger system. Since it is decentralised, security is default to it. It is used mainly in managing crypto currency. Organisations are trying to leverage blockchain technology to manage their databases and digital transactions.
VR experience is vast. There can be complete walkthroughs or simply virtual isle shopping experience. The only limitation with VR is the availability of hardware. Still it is great to offer an immersive experience in real estate market.
You can scan a product from a catalogue and see it in 3D or vice versa. You can pick a product from the online store and see how it will look in your house, on the smartphone. This process is extremely helpful in the sales of furniture and fixtures. There is no need to measure the dimensions inch by inch. Just choose the appliance and allow the app to access your camera. You will be able to see how well it fits into your space. Similarly, paints and wallpapers can also be applied.
The modern websites are integrating social media sharing right from the site itself. There is no need to copy the link to share it. Various social media icons can open on the site and the user can share or like the product without leaving the app. Websites can also directly showcase their social media participation by embedding the links on the site. You must have noticed many YouTube and Twitch videos embedded.
Google Ads is very much ahead when it comes to displaying ads based on the user's past behaviour. The same applies to YouTube recommendations. The year 2020 almost made it a norm to use these methods in personal entertainment. However, its full fledged commercial application was a bit on the hold. Businesses are increasingly developing their technological intelligence to identify personal preferences. Based on those preferences, they will recommend products and services, unique to the individual’s taste. The era of mass marketing is well beyond over.
You will notice a sharp unloading of call-based customer dealings. Chatbots are becoming more efficient and more popular. These bots can automatically shift the conversation to the concerned person. It saves a lot of time on the part of human workforce.
Predictive analytics makes predictions about the future events or behaviours through machine learning techniques. It has uses across all industries. Businesses will be using it for customer segmentation in different kinds of preference groups. They will also use it to identify customers likely to fall out, called churn prediction. Another popular use of predictive analytics is price optimisation. In the years 2023 and 2024, it will come to the mainstream usage in customer management.
CRM is crucial in understanding buying behaviour. At an individual level, it is just a behaviour, but at a macro level, it is the determinant of supply chain management, purchase management, inventory tracking and sales order management. Forecasting demand will help one optimise their inventory to the warehouse size. Products are timely available with no idle lying inventory, or unnecessarily occupying storage space and thus reduce inventory management cost.
If you have booked a meal on Zomato, you must have observed that there is a section to report fraud. Earlier this fraud detection was almost impossible as there were only humans handling customer complaints. Those complaints often ended up in a phantom box. Almost every site has given an open portal to mention the issues of fraud in service, compromised personal details and counterfeit products. Brands are taking this issue pretty seriously.
Data handling is quite controversial. In mixed economies such as that of India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and other South-Asian countries, data is abundant. This abundance shows great scope in the markets. Where there is haste, there is mishandling. We haven’t yet fully transitioned into a purely data-driven economy. Still, whatever is at an arm’s reach is good enough to propel some new age growth. There is a sudden vacancy in data handling experts. This raw information when analysed properly, is the key to understanding market trends. Most of the big business operations are incorporating data analysis.
It will be appropriate to cite Microsoft Copilot here. Businesses are soon going to automate almost all of the repetitive tasks and ease their workflow. BPM software and robotic process automation are more reliable than human eye. They are reducing response time, minimising errors, handling volumes of tasks at a time consequently massively increasing productivity. Everybody is asking ‘why not?’.
Businesses lose a lot of revenue during downtime. Here the focus is to fix the trouble even if it isn’t broken. Software run a regular health checkup of the entire mechanism and highlights doubtful issues. It is a continuous process of analysing data, improvising the issues, scheduling the maintenance and conditionally monitoring the results. The cycle will repeat itself.
Much of our processes have become smarter. Even historically, sales forecasting was done based on past sales patterns. Gradually market research blended into the process. Instead of conducting surveys, now we are using customer preferences, ratings, etc. We use statistical models to identify the correlation between sales, prices, advertising and promotions. There is also time series analysis. We predict sales using this data and eventually generate leads.
Big giants have data, lots of data. They have decentralised cryptographic techniques to store that data. Websites are by and large just data. It is not just what constitutes a website, but it is also how users interact with those elements. This behavioral information gives companies an added advantage over their competitors. It is vital to keep this data safe. Cyber security also prevents nefarious groups from breaching that line. Customers can also rely even further on these websites.
Those tiny chat boxes on a website have become the greatest tool for quality control of services. It is a walk-in for online visitors to convey their feedback. The same input lands on analysis tools. Whatever serious issue is sieved in, gets the eye of a human expert. Soon the call centre customer care will be a thing of the past. There is a ‘keep learning and keep improving’ method that lets industries deliver products and services to the standards of a perfectionist.
Future of finance is leaping beyond money and net worth. There was a substantial rise in fintech companies. It clearly shows how everyone is trying to make an informed decision. Give priority to saving in the form of investment. A parcel in the Metaverse or some cryptocurrency is a good way to not put all of your eggs in one basket. There are automated reporting software. There will be less and less hard cash and more and more paperless.
Don’t go for an absolute personalisation route. Take a hybrid approach. Artificial Intelligence will give you an insight into employee growth and bottlenecks. Plus, you have your regular training sessions. Most organisations are working their way around ‘work from home’, shared spaces and other forms of remote work. There have been massive layoffs and the remaining employees are extensively training for individual growth along with the growth of the company. You will see much of the assessment part moving into the pre-test. The trainer will reskill the employee rather than upskill, whenever necessary.
So far, we were taking performance stats as is. We were already way past the gap by the time that performance became a measurable stat. This year we have real time data to decide on employee engagement before the peak sales season is gone. We would suggest this post pandemic improvement particularly to travel agencies operating in our home state. Summer vacations are at the doorstep. Measure your team’s performance and make the necessary amendments by the time holiday season starts knocking.
Not every team can be schooled and not every team can do well with hands-on learning. Again, smart software are out there to find and suggest to you what’s best for what. Though the drawback is that these software focus on teams of a sizable population. It feeds on data to give a more team specific generalisation. We cannot say if small firms will benefit from such exertion, but we are sure that HRs of giants are fully sporting the data-driven learning style identification.
2023 is all about optimum utilisation of every resource. Everyone wants to asses core competencies of their employees and utilize the same to its last atom. This needs thorough thinking of keeping the business in a good shape while not letting the employees feel drained. You must watch their productivity and peripherally view their work ethics, team involvement, integrity, motivation, standards and ambition. Yes, all of that is a part of performance in this new era.
All of the above were about existing workforce. What about whom to bring in? Workforce is the fuel of every economy. The modern approach is going to invite people who share the same work culture values. There will be less ping pong tables and the work itself must be thrilling. 2025 is also going to see more and more diversity in age. Companies will shun the ancient prejudices. Since there will be a massive increase in automation, the energy of youth will not be as required as much as their freshness. Combine this to the wisdom of some seniors.
Many studies are showing how employee happiness is directly related to their productivity. They perform better when they have that sense of achievement. Rarely do employees themselves report their sorrows. Quiet quitting is opening a new door in understanding employee sentiment. There are apps dedicated to let employees express their steam while staying anonymous.
Zoho One is a casual all in one operating system for businesses. Its objective is to connect remote work and operations for self-employed teams.
It is CRM and other solutions, all with a prefix ‘fresh’ in their name. It is designed for solopreneurship. The scalability and pricing could be a discussion.
HubSpot is a pretty household name (in a business management sense) by now. It is a bunch of CRM software with integrations and extensions.
Odoo is open source. It focuses on user friendliness. It claims everything – finance, sales, productivity, marketing, HR, inventory and manufacturing and website. The interface is crude rather than sleek. It does offer a relatively simpler option to run your entire business through many of these sister apps. Only time will tell how secure it is.
Since the COVID19 pandemic, all of us are finding it extremely difficult to predict the nearest future and pivot our strategy according to the need. Social media is bombarding us with so much information and almost every channel has a somewhat great sounding guru. There are numerous discussions about an upcoming recession in the upcoming year. We have followed those rumours and have also found that the same upcoming year was 2021, 2022 and also 2023. But when we look at the analytics and other stats, they sing a different tune. Yes, physical stores have been impacted greatly. There is more footfall in the ecommerce websites than there is in a mall. There is no one line mantra on ‘what would be the best offering’. During lockdown, the travel industry saw a major setback. However, our clients had a website that helped them connect to their previous customers. Their online visitors had their vacation plans ready to be launched. Emails are here, very much. Stop hiring mailmen on horsebacks.
It is a huge mistake that businesses realize their losses only when they have occurred. They ignore the slight hints of unsatisfied customers. Not everyone is willing to argue over an outfit that shrunk after two washes. In a strong online presence, a customer can feel heard just by texting their complaint on chat box. This inflow of crude information is the key to understanding the performance. The other key performance indicators are visible out and loud on your screen on management apps. Specify your goals as monthly sales targets, website traffic, etc. and see the results in measurable numbers. Just a few clicks will show you inclination.
SMEs work best on slow and steady progression. There is no standard defining line to determine whether an org is small in size or small in inhouse team. They can be pulling off huge turnovers just by outsourcing whatever possible. They have limited resources in both human resource and technological aspects. The companies that have been big firing have also been developing software for micro setups. Many sources are predicting the dependence of everyone by the year 2025 on cloud-based apps to optimally use their resources. These are pay as you go models that will incur recurring cost.
You have less exposure to talented people due to limited advertising. Even when you hire talent, those employees may sneak into the greener pastures. It is incredibly difficult to retain good employees during the growth phase of the organisation. Technology can give you insight into things that money cannot buy. It can help the HR manager understand job satisfaction of various individuals. It is the human who has to make the decision but it the tech that has to provide the metrics. As of the upcoming decade, digital dependence is easy and effective.
Bigger businesses always have a higher leverage. They are confident about their ROIs. They can invest bigger in advertisements, product distribution, design and what not. This does not mean that the small firms have got no say. The difference is that they have to come up with great ideas, probably many great ideas. Even when giants have the capacity to make you invisible, they still cannot. Your customers are humans. They love personal touch. The sheer accessibility to the top management is easy on the customer sentiments. This will increase further in 2024 and a year ahead in 2025. It has been about four years in ChatGPT and still people are more reliant on actual human chats.
We can safely say it was a thing of the past when you had to come up with a great idea and work hard to make it happen. Even the tiniest enterprises are aiming for a self-owned, long lasting technological solution. Not everyone is happy with getting an Elon Musk chip beneath their occipital lobe or blindly trusting AWS. The cumulative cost of dependence on cloud is so high. Someone somehow gathering together their cash flow cannot even think of poking a drainhole in their yearly budget. The demand for transformation is pressing. You cannot afford to not have a social media presence. 2023 transformation is asking you to over display. 2024 will ask of you to make that display participative. 2025 will accept nothing short of Augmented Reality. Catchup before it is too late.