Business Predictions for 2017

business predictions 2017The 2017 new year is fast approaching. With it, we’ll  see several trends that have been building over the last few years and will continue to gain strength, while some new ideas will be launched that could cause quite a stir in the market. For consumers and businesses alike, 2017 will have a lot to offer, especially for tech savvy consumers and adventurous entrepreneurs.

Here are some of the trends and new products that you can expect to make a splash in 2017:

  • E-commerce numbers will continue to grow. Currently, the average consumers spends roughly $1,800 per year on internet purchases. All sources are predicting the numbers are only going to increase. One source predicts we’ll be spending more than $400 billion through e-commerce by 2018, compared to $355 billion in 2016. E-commerce is quickly gaining traction and support, especially among innovative entrepreneurs, and it’s unlikely to fizzle out any time soon.
  • Facebook Live will rise in popularity within the social media and advertising markets. Facebook has been the most popular social media for close to a decade. No wonder Facebook’s latest interactive tool, Live, has already gathered a steady following. For businesses in 2017, the use of Facebook Live is expected to increase and take off, setting up a new avenue for a currently less common type of advertising—active customer engagement.
  • Live action customer engagement will take marketing focus. Interactive social media tools like Live are already poised to aid in the development of new marketing strategies within the next year. These techniques will more actively engage consumers. It’s already started this year with trend towards heavier social media marketing and dedicated social media operators who respond to consumer messages, tweets, emails, Facebook posts, and more. Businesses will see even more of this interactive form of advertising, as they seek greater loyalty and spending potential from customers who are actively engaged in real-time discussions with the business and other likeminded consumers.
  • Social media marketing will go from recommended to mandatory. While most entrepreneurs would condemn you as crazy if you haven’t already taken advantage of social media advertising, that slight disapproval is about to get worse. Trends are showing social media marketing as squarely lodging itself into the standard, required protocols for any business that plans to survive more than one year.
  • Mobile sales will dominate. It should surprise no one that increased mobility is at the top of most consumers’ wish lists. Phones are becoming more incredible every day, and new software and attachable hardware pieces have added new capabilities. Phones can become projectors now, portable Virtual Reality (VR) machines, and built-in personal assistants. The fact that consumers like to buy online and that businesses have to accommodate that preference—well, any entrepreneur could see that coming.
  • Free and automated returns will become standard. Consumers have watched and joined in on Amazon’s rise for a variety of reasons. Businesses have often looked on with a touch of envy. While Amazon’s soaring popularity has its source in many aspects of business, one of the most subtle in catapulting its rise was the automated and free returns policy. If you didn’t like something you order, for most items, you could just log in and print up a quick and easy return packing slip. You return the item within 30 days of printing and your money is refunded. Quick, easy, efficient—and one of the trends you can expect to see more frequently in the world of business.

There are probably other trends, software programs, or pieces of hardware coming out next year that will send major ripples throughout internet buzz, but you can definitely expect to see the six listed above.

Beyond that, you never know. Amazing things can happen in just one small year, and 2017 promises some fascinating developments. We’ll have to wait and see.

Six Business Functions on an iPad

Ashley.jpgAbout the Author – Ashley Choate is a native of Jacksonville, FL where she lives with her son, dog, and three cats. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Jacksonville University with a BA in English and holds an MAED in Adult Education and Training. She lives for reading and writing, learning and teaching, and figuring out the day-to-day traumas and joys of mommyhood. .

 Top Photo Courtesy of Pixabay @ Flickr CC.