It’s a new year, and with it comes a host of new business goals and aspirations. It can be overwhelming to stay on top of all the latest trends, but we’ve gathered some of the biggest ones for you in this post. Curious about what retailers and wholesalers should do to win in 2015?
Whether you have it all squared away or digging for more opportunity, these top trends will give you a peek into what’s to come:
Trend #1: Seamless, integrated systems
This year, small businesses will demand seamless integrations between all the applications they use. They want to have the capability to accomplish different tasks, but also be able to customize tools that fit them best. They want the freedom of a-la-carte platforms paired with streamlined integrations. They know these solutions exist, and will continue to increase expectations. Because of this, we’ll see a growing trend of better user experience and an increase in integrated online platforms. Check out Stitch's latest integration with Magento, the popular eBay commerce solution.
Trend #2: Streamlined payment options
Payment processes are driving competition, which drives innovation. In 2014, there were huge advances with RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology and payments, which will only continue to expand throughout this next year. People used to be afraid of barcode scanners (think grocery stores that scan your food), and now it’s commonplace. With beacon technology and RFID, people will have such a significantly seamless shopping experience, it’ll be like walking out of a store without a checkout line. However, this technology and RFID will require customer behaviors to change, which will be the biggest challenge.
Trend #3: Personalization for customers
Same-day shipping is a race to the bottom for small businesses - everyone is going to lose. Where small businesses can win against big-box retailers are personalization options. They can communicate with customers in a way that big box retailers can’t. Notes, personalized messages, checking in with customers will become big for small businesses. Making customers feel really great about their experience when they make a purchase will set small businesses apart and drive customer loyalty.
Trend #4: Data scientist
Data scientsist - this term didn’t exist five years ago and now people are looking for these unicorns with large math backgrounds who enjoy data analysis. If you don’t have someone on your staff analyzing your sales and business analytics, you’ll soon be drowning. But if you’re a growing small business, this may be something looped into existing roles and technology. Several retailers and wholesalers leverage Stitch's automated syncing and reporting to gather insight on inventory quantities, sales performance and more. Accessibility to granular business data will continue to spread among all types of small businesses in 2015.
Have any speculations on what will be big this year? Let us know in the comments below!