One thing you need to do in order to stay ahead of the next trend is to keep your eyes wide open and observe what’s advancing around you. Don’t be complacent because that’s where your competitors will catch up to you and potentially put your place in the market at risk.
For example, when you think of iOT, the internet of things, until Alexa came around, not many consumers took this trend very seriously. Only until after the proven success of Alexa and the ease of use it provided, did people realize its benefits and how conveniently the device can assist in daily reminders, tasks, business processes and more. This type of technology has become a platform that people are spending a lot of money on, eagerly trying to learn it. Some businesses however, did pay close attention to this growing trend and already studied and tested ways to implement this type of technology in their franchise businesses. And right now – the companies who stayed ahead and learned this new technology are also the ones impressing their audiences. Just as the current consumer base is becoming accustomed to this technology in their personal lives, they are able to use it outside and interact with it in different ways.
Another area that holds a good comparison are Social Media technologies. Social media from a marketing standpoint, is a well-oiled machine. It is part of the norm, and if you ask a millennial how many times they checked social media in one day – the numbers are outrageous.
Understanding these trends, many platforms are now providing the ability for consumers to purchase things directly within that platformPlay where your consumers already are! Let’s face it – we live in an Instagram driven world and if people are following the brands and hashtags they like, why would a B2C business owner not advertise their products for sale within their promotional posts?
Many retail companies are now using in store technology to become more consumer facing, where previously a store may have just had a POS or walkie talkie divorced from the checkout counter, but not much else. Now a technique that was pioneered by Apple, has lead a pathway for many franchise brands to follow. Why only have one area to place and order and checkout when you can place an order through mobile iPads or other various devices throughout the stores causing a more efficient process and an increase in the overall customer experience!
Hyper personalized marketing have been around for a while but now the scalability has increased, and now smaller brands can take advantage of it. Robots and automation are allowing people to order without ever speaking with a person, it might drive efficiency but is still unclear if that is a better experience for a customer.
It is exciting to see the continuous evolvement of franchise management software through these various trends and how it can further benefit the end user. Remember, to stay ahead be open minded about the changes in technology and open minded to see changes implemented in technology… as long as it improves the customer experience, you should be in a good position!