5 Tech Advances to Expect in the Next Five Years and Its Impact on Your Industry

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5 Tech Advances to Expect in the Next Five Years and Its Impact on Your Industry

Wed, 04/06/2022 - 12:46
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The marketing, ecommerce and retail industries have seen major changes in the past few years. New consumer behavior and new market conditions have all forced these industries to adapt fast and look for new opportunities.

Now, it’s likely that some major tech advances are going to have a serious impact on these industries.

These are five of the most important upcoming tech advances for marketing and B2C businesses — and how these businesses can take advantage of a changing tech landscape.

1. AI Improves B2C Personalization

Artificial intelligence (AI) is cutting-edge technology, but it’s becoming much easier for businesses to use. A growing number of marketing tools and platforms are integrating AI, making it possible for businesses with no AI experience to use the technology for a variety of applications. 

One example is AI-powered B2C personalization. With personalization, brands can tailor a customer’s experience to their personal preferences, needs and interests. Using marketing data, it’s possible for brands to adapt their marketing campaigns, storefronts and sales flows to the unique desires of each customer.

Personalized campaigns can help drive engagement and build customer loyalty. If customers feel like a brand is proactively identifying and responding to their needs, they may be more likely to keep shopping with that brand. 

Because many AI marketing tools are built to be as user-friendly as possible, businesses don’t need AI expertise to take advantage of the technology. In some cases, businesses may already be using AI-powered technology without realizing it. 

As AI technology becomes more accessible — and brands gather even more data on consumer behavior — B2C personalization with AI is likely to transform marketing and sales. 

Both marketers and B2C businesses should consider investigating platforms with personalization tools and features that they can use to improve their customers’ experience.

2. Natural Language Processing Improves Customer Support

Another major AI advancement is natural language processing (or NLP). These technologies allow computers to understand plain English and create natural-sounding responses. 

In practice, natural language processing is great for automation tools like customer support chatbots. 

Normally, chatbots rely on preprogrammed rules to respond to customers that need help. While these bots can sometimes respond effectively to customer needs, they can’t really understand what customers say, and may not be able to handle many requests — even simple ones.

NLP-powered chatbots, by contrast, can more effectively understand and respond to customer requests. They can gather information on a customer’s problems, provide useful information or resources and direct customers to support representatives when a problem is too tough for the bot to solve.

For businesses that want to improve customer support operations, these AI chatbots can be a valuable resource.

3. The Smart Tech Market Continues to Evolve

Internet of things (IoT) or “smart” devices connect to the internet to provide users with new features. A smart thermostat, for example, may use the cloud to intelligently manage a home’s temperature and can likely be controlled remotely using a smartphone or web app.

According to market research, the smart home market is on track to be worth $138.9 billion by 2026. By then, a wide variety of smart home appliances will be available to consumers — everything from smart thermostats to smart washing machines and coffee makers.

Smart tech’s growth isn’t just limited to IoT home appliances, as well. There’s been a rise in automated features in vehicles, and some experts believe these features may become the next big auto market trend. These features, which may include cruise control, parking assist or even auto-pilot systems, assist drivers using automated systems. 

Many of these systems are smart, using the cloud to improve their performance. 

B2C businesses and marketers should prepare for many consumers to adopt one or more smart devices. These devices can be valuable sources of information on consumer behavior, and consumers may also want apps and tools that can make their smart home technology even more useful.

4. Digital Tech Makes Manufacturing Sustainable

For consumers, sustainability is more important than ever. Market research suggests that all consumers — and younger consumers, in particular — are willing to pay more for brands that adopt eco-friendly business practices.

At the same time, it’s becoming much easier to manufacture goods sustainably. 

Right now, manufacturing uses around one-third of the world’s energy. New digital technologies may change this, however. Using the right tools and factory management platforms, manufacturers can streamline their manufacturing process, reducing energy and material waste. In practice, these tools can make manufacturing much more efficient and sustainable.

While brands don’t always have direct control over the manufacture of their products, they can often work with manufacturers that adopt sustainable practices to reduce their overall environmental impact. 

Combined with business models like the circular economy, sustainable manufacturing may help brands go green and secure customers who want to support eco-friendly businesses.

B2C businesses and marketers should consider the power of sustainable manufacturing and business practices going forward. Making a business more eco-friendly can both demonstrate business values and attract environmentally-minded consumers.

5. The Electrification of Everything

The electric vehicle (EV) market has seen explosive growth over the past few years. Both new startups and big-name car manufacturers are making EVs of all kinds, from four-door sedans to pickup trucks to sports cars.

While all-electric vehicles make up a small slice of total U.S. car sales, there’s reason to believe that EVs could be a big trend for the automotive industry. 

At the same time, vehicle manufacturers in other industries are starting to electrify their vehicles — including recreational boats, snowmobiles, motorcycles, ATVs and more.

Gas-powered vehicles probably aren’t on the way out just yet. However, electric vehicles are about to become much more common in the U.S. Like sustainable manufacturing, electric vehicles may provide a way for consumers to feel better about their purchases and the things they own.

B2C businesses and marketers should prepare for EVs to become widely available to consumers. For many businesses, these changes may not have a major immediate impact — but they’re likely to cause big changes to the overall economy in the long term. 

EV owners will need services like charging, new accessories compatible with their vehicles and EV-specific services. 

Businesses that can meet these needs may be the first to offer products in these new markets.

How New Tech May Change Marketing and B2C Retail

New technology is driving change across the economy. Industry 4.0 technology like smart devices and AI, in particular, are helping to transform a number of industries.

For marketers and B2C businesses, these new technologies will come with new opportunities. Tools like AI and IoT devices may make marketing easier and more effective. At the same time, digital technology in other industries may make sustainability easier to manage.