If 2013 has been a not-so-good year for some businesses, 2014 is a spark of new hope for business owners. It is the best time to start over and learn from the difficulties experienced last year. Business owners need to take stock of what is happening in the industry, competitors’ tactics, and customers’ needs. They also need to focus on new strategies to stay ahead of the game.
Here are some of the top trends for businesses in 2014, organised from a number of resources around the world:
Trend 1 - Going mobile
According to Mobile Marketing Statistics, in the first quarter of 2013, tablets surpassed traditional desktop devices in conversion rates. This is indicating that people are more comfortable with tablets than smaller mobile devices. In 2014, the number of people using smartphones and tablets in order to access information will continue to double.
Business owners would need to think how they can communicate with present and future customers who use their smartphones and tablets more than desktops. They could also mobilise their website by designing apps that engage and communicate real-time information to customers.
Trend 2 - E-commerce
Online shopping is also one of the biggest business trends that will flourish this year. Some of the largest retailers have seen a decline in walk-in shoppers and an increase in customers purchasing online.
In Australia, it has been projected that there will be $37.1B in online sales this year, especially with 79% of the population going online every day and 60% going online several times a day.
The numbers do speak for themselves. Nowadays, most people do not have the luxury of time to drive to a place to purchase something. Bringing your business to your customers will definitely help increase revenues.
Trend 3 -The power of social media and content marketing
People do not need to buy a newspaper or turn on the TV for the latest news as information is readily available with a swipe or a click of a finger. With the growing number of smartphones and tablets, it can be concluded that content marketing will be a huge marketing approach this year.
According to Social Media Today, 78% of CMOs believe that content marketing will be the future of marketing, and that teams will spend $135 billion on digital advertising. It is also projected that social media marketing budgets will double over the next five years. May it be Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube, video advertising will be a big mover this 2014.
Trend 4 -The Cloud
Because of security concerns are declining, businesses are transferring aspects of their business into the Cloud where opportunities can be leveraged.
From $48 billion in 2008, cloud computing spend has increased to $150 billion in 2013. Businesses want to take full advantage of reduced internal IT costs; the ability to access important data from anywhere, anytime, from any device; and the capacity to grow their enterprise in new geographical regions.
SMEs moving to cloud accounting software are also on the rise, seeing increases in their productivity, improvement of their own ecosystem by connecting all their systems to their accounting software, and the ability to work together with their bookkeeper and accountant.
I'm sure there are other trends that your business needs to be on top of and would love to hear about them.
All the best for 2014!