Although the core fundamentals of business remain the same, businesses are adapting constantly because of technology. With new platforms of digital marketing that were effectively non-existent 15 years ago, the way a business interacts with a customer is very different. Being on the forefront of technological trends is important for businesses to keep up with market demand. Currently, there are a variety of new tools and advancements made to products, marketing, and industry leadership. Since businesses are constantly adapting to new technology, it’s worth keeping tabs on what’s happening this year.
With a focus on health and getting active, consumers are consistently purchasing wearable fitness technology. Taking over from a traditional watch, the Fitbit steps in to monitor how many steps people are taking, the distances they are walking and even their sleep patterns. Health apps on smart phones can also help consumers monitor their eating habits and calorie intake, provide structured exercise routines, or simply track their fitness throughout the day. More and more wearable fitness tracking devices will continue to shape the market as technology becomes more fine-tuned for these devices.
Consumers are not only gravitating towards sustainable products, they are demanding it. Millennials are seeking out socially responsible corporations, asking for products to be sustainable, recyclable, environmentally friendly and fair wages for the workers. For example, we are seeing this in the coffee industry, as well as the clothing industry. Businesses are responding by changing their inventory stock and searching for new options. This means there may not be as big of demand for their current inventory stock, so they are looking for improved solutions to mitigate the potential loss of inventory stock and gain back customers who are seeking more sustainable products.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is gaining traction as more and more everyday objects are becoming embedded with electronics, software, and sensors. It is the idea that any device with an on/off switch can be connected to the internet. Once connected, these household objects can send and receive information.
For example, say you are out to dinner with friends on a winter evening. You know you’ll be home in thirty minutes, so you use your smart phone to control the on/off switch of your electric blanket on your bed. The switch is embedded to the internet and can be prompted to turn on even when you’re not at home. That way, you come home to a nice, toasty bed! The Internet of Things will see many advancements in the sensors and software it uses, as well as further applications to new products and devices.
Drones are becoming a household name and product. Lots of people are intrigued by this technology and have purchased them for hobby purposes. They use them for photography, around their house, and entertainment.
Interestingly, businesses are latching onto drone technology to shape the way their business operates. A holiday home company has used drones to give tours of sought after property and rentals. Other companies have dabbled in the idea using drones for product delivery such as pizza, while hospitals in Europe have started using it to transport blood between nearby hospitals.
The Rise of Artificial Intelligence
Machines are being designed to learn and manage tasks that are normally undertaken by a human. Artificial intelligence is an extremely powerful technology and the potential for uses is unlimited. Currently, one of its largest applications is self-driving cars. This technology has set the stage for what is to come soon.
Undoubtedly, technology is shaping the way businesses operate. The changes are quick and vast so continue to monitor the pulse of technology to find out the new trends.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.