From the apparels we use to the cars we drive, one thing stays common with our preference; It must fall into the current trend. Nothing that isn't trendy is acceptable, no matter how little a difference it makes. While the innate 'following the crowd' tendency has a way to the newer 'with the trend' concept, the psychology behind such behaviors remains the same; we all like to have it fresh and stand out from the rest of the crowd.
But when it comes to business, the approach is completely different. By the time you set out something that is really 'trendy', chances are that the trend soon goes out of the game. Partly, it is the cause of such a fast-moving world fuelled by technological uplift. On the other hand, the competition out there plays a crucial role in bringing demand for frequent business updates employing technology, especially for an industry like direct selling.
These facts made us think about putting together some of the relevant trends out there, that would really impart some upthrust to your upcoming direct sales business plans or bring in some fresh air to the ongoing ones. We don't wish this article to be yet another read-and-forget kind. Epixel MLM SoftwareEpixel MLM Software provides technology solutions to help MLM and direct selling companies to digitally transform into a customer-centric organization. research team has put their heart and soul into the research and curated the findings for helping direct selling entrepreneurs build and bolster their business upon these trends that govern the industry.
1. Direct Selling Industry Trends
It is no wonder how the direct selling industry survived the pandemic. Making up to the demands of the audience determines the commitment of any industry and direct selling has lived up to expectations. Shifting from retail stores to e-commerce and keeping its diligence closely on its customers, the industry rolled out new ways and means by which it still continues its upward trajectory.
- Customer-Centric Recognition Program:- Analyzing the customer-to-distributor ratio, this program underlines the importance of direct selling companies prioritizing customer sales experience.
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) and Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC):- Organizations have shouldered these metrics as a determining factor of their customer acquisition process.
- Setting the Tone and the Meaning:- Organizations are setting strict ethical standards for their salesforce to curb the rumors of unrealistic earnings claims that have been detrimental to the industry.
- Female Entrepreneurship:- Women have found their place right off the bat and still continuing, with a large array of organizations enhancing their career through training programs and letting them work at their own pace.
- Personalization:- Leveraging customer experience through personalization basics such as personalized product recommendations and shopping navigation to next level personalization techniques such as personalized lead generation, gamified apps—that lets customers earn reward points that can be utilized, personalized video messages, etc ., are taking organizations through a new road to customer acquisition.
- Omnichannel Shopping Experience:- With pandemic toning down the shopping spree, providing users with a shopping experience that takes in the totality of an individual’s interests, experiences, opinions, etc., to deliver goods when, where and how the customer wants them, is the best-identified way to increase brand loyalty and sales.
- Customized Compensation Plans:- Organizations are revamping their business model with redesigned compensation plans, that are flexible and scalable, to fit their business into the global frame in the digital commerce culture.
- Direct Selling and Gig Work:- Voted as popular choices in the DSA-Ipsos study, direct selling received a 79% applaud for the entrepreneurial opportunities it offers. Workplace politics, deadlines and stress associated with a conventional job gives direct selling and gig work due advantage among the masses.
- Social Selling Programs:- With almost half of the world’s population using social media, B2B enterprises are deploying more and more social selling strategies for assisting their distributors in customer acquisition.
- Corporate Social Responsibility:- Global giving and virtual volunteering are setting a new character to the corporates together with an increase in employee and community support initiatives. It is to be observed that the pandemic has introduced the organizations to a new phase of sustainability commitment with more companies adding UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to their list. 'Shop local' and 'Black Lives Matter' movements have also gained momentum with organizations and people supporting the causes.
- Hybrid Events:- Events play a major part in building culture and retention in direct selling, but the paradigm shift from in-person to virtual events forced companies to host hybrid events that embrace the positives of the two realms. Hybrid events are helping direct selling organizations reach a wider global audience, host great trainers and speakers from across the globe and deliver effective training sessions for their salesforce resulting in increased sales conversions.
- Protecting Independent Worker Status:- Keen on providing independent worker status for all direct sellers, organizations have teamed up to provide low-risk entrepreneurial opportunities for millions of people.
- Data Compliance:- With an increasing number of identity and personal data thefts challenging the credibility of businesses, organizations are striving to align themselves with global compliance standards such as GDPR, LGPD, CCPA, etc.
- Payouts:- Direct selling organizations are in the process of completely digitizing their payouts through their own branded mobile wallet systems and through companies such as PayQuicker. Faster distributor payments are an evolving trend and the industry is launching programs to enable instant and real-time payments.
- Recognition and Career Development:- Appreciation for efforts and opportunities to develop a career has been of prime importance recently. 69% of the direct selling employees see opportunities for their growth and development, and their perceptions have only increased since 2020. 70 percent believe that they will be recognized for their efforts in direct selling.
- Distributor Engagement:- Distributor and employee engagement in the industry has increased significantly with 59% marking as highly engaged in 2020.
- Attracting Gen Zers:- Industry has capitalized on influencer marketing, flexible and entrepreneurial opportunities to attract this age group into taking up direct selling.
- Phygital Movement:- Direct selling organizations have stepped into the phygital world delivering their customers an unprecedented product and shopping experience, with a larger focus on technology to implement the 3 ‘i’s–immediacy, immersion and interaction.
- Mentorship Programs:- Direct selling organizations are increasingly investing in mentorship programs not only to develop the personal growth of their workforce but also to spur organizational growth.
- Size of the Company Doesn’t Matter:- Employee confidence and trust in the management have shown a positive increase regardless of the company size.
- Comfortable Workplace:- Competition has gained pace among direct selling organizations to provide their employees with the best of amenities and programs to increase distributor engagement while also ensuring their safety.
2. Ecommerce trends
The direct selling head honcho, E-commerce industry, is evolving into a fairly large and fast-growing domain with its own style and character. These factors are sure to leave a mark in the direct selling world as more and more direct selling companies resort to ecommerce to establish their product market during a time when pandemic is tightening its grip on the market. Relaxing the tautness was no easy task, and the industry built its own ways to overcome the effect, not to mention the role of technology.
- Headless Commerce:- Even with the absence of a front-end delivery layer, this commerce strategy has mastered the market with its flexible and adaptable backend architecture for agile marketing and for delivering a more consistent and personal customer experience.
- Sustained Development:- E-commerce is becoming more environment-friendly with the use of biodegradable and recyclable materials for packaging.
- Order Fulfillment:- Messages like ‘Order may be delayed due to Covid restrictions’ is no more an excuse. Competitive order fulfillment strategies have become the new norm for consumers to set their preferences.
- Social Commerce:- Concentrating on selling products and creating a visual store front in social platforms creates a more engaging and frictionless shopping experience for consumers. Shoppable videos are also effectively catering to the online buyer demands.
- Diversified Payment Options:- Financial options like credit cards are overtaken by digital wallets like Apple Pay and even cryptocurrencies are expected to hit a new wave in the financial side of the ecommerce industry.
- CGI and 3D:- Computer-generated Imagery and 3D is creating more creative opportunities in product advertising, lowering the cost and making it easier to organize shoots compared to traditional advertising.
- AI-powered E-commerce:- Live onscreen product demonstrations for home appliances, furnitures and try-before-you buy offers for apparels and cosmetics through AI-powered AR- and VR-assisted platforms negates the need for large physical inventory letting customers try hundreds of products until they find the right one that meets their demands.
- Psychographic Profiling:- Analyzing visitor behavior using algorithms can point to the assertiveness and trustworthiness of a customer in the way they shop helping companies to invent new approaches to suit the customer.
- Visual Commerce:- Visual imagery not only on products but also across the store to entice and engage customers is driving in more conversions. Product image updations to JPG to JPEG2000 or WebP formats and 360° images or videos can bring in a new level of customer experience.
- Mobile Commerce:- Investing in mobile commerce promises an increased ROI and a higher conversion rate with consumer convenience growing increasingly mobile.
- Dynamic Pricing:- When the supply and demand concept met the modern algorithms, indiscriminate pricing could be made possible with ecommerce software or pricing software that automates the task based on region, time and so many other factors, adding a substantial amount to the sales volume.
- Shop Streaming:- Shopping experience through live streaming is re-sketching the shopping experience of millions in the current pandemic scenario. Forbes observes that livestreaming generates trust with customers, who see the hosts heading the stream as experts.
- Buyer Generation:- Young consumers (aged 18-34) are more driven by the fun and flexibility of online shopping (67%) than older generations.
- Progressive Web Apps:- These application software programs that work on any platform use a standard compliant browser, minimizes data usage, and enhances the browsing experience, making it ideal for online businesses.
- Multi-language Integration:- Establishing a multi-lingual estore for international businesses and multilingual regions can leverage the potential of online sales.
- On-demand Commerce:- Delivering products to consumers at times they choose is gaining traction and an increasing challenge for ecommerce businesses to catch up with.
- Lookalike Audience:- Multiplying your audience base by analyzing demographics and psychographics of your current audience doubles the effectiveness of your targeted ad campaigns.
- Click and Collect:- The total number of buyers increased from 127.4 million to 143.8 million indicating a 12.9% growth rate and marking the efficacy of the ecommerce strategy.
- Data Sharing:- Sharing stock-level data to consumers can introduce an element of scarcity in their minds resulting in faster purchase decisions.
3. Entrepreneurship Trends
Entrepreneurs around the globe are securing their business being washed away by disruption and economic depletion. Fighting in every possible way they could, business owners are getting on track by adopting new trends together with the help of skillful employees leading the revolution.
- ESG-themed Investments:- Environment, Social and Governance themed investments are becoming a popular niche with growing numbers of companies moving towards creating an ethical portfolio that carries potentially low risk and the same ROI as compared to traditional investments.
- Digital Nomadism:- In the wake of the pandemic, even entrepreneurs turned into digital nomads; also, managing and hiring workers to work remotely helped them cut short on their infrastructure and utility bills.
- Globalism:- A proven leverage even for SMEs to extend their boundaries, globalism witnesses entrepreneurs shaping their international businesses from the comfort of their homes.
- Gig Economy:- With the increasing freelancing culture evolving around the globe, businesses are embracing the gig economy to their advantage for expert jobs at competitive payments. Entrepreneurs find advantages of paying lesser compensation packages, reduced overhead costs, and less equipment maintenance.
- Niche Markets:- Instead of having a large number of products in store and trying out which ones click and which ones don't, businesses are now focused on satisfying the demands of the market through well-researched products with various customizable business projections to serve specific niche market groups. Being highly customer-centric has proven to be the breeding ground for most of the niche markets.
- Disruptive Technology:- Staying vigilant to innovation and evolution of disruptive technologies is helping entrepreneurs stay in pace with their competitors. Disruption in technology, marketing strategies and product innovations are considered the major game changers in direct selling today.
- Corporate Social Responsibility:- Global giving and virtual volunteering are setting a new character to the corporates together with an increase in employee and community support initiatives. It is to be observed that the pandemic has introduced the organizations to a new phase of sustainability commitment with more companies adding UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to their list. Shop local and Black Lives Matter movements have also gained momentum with organizations and people supporting the causes.
Benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility to Businesses
Better brand recognition
Positive business reputation
Enhanced customer loyalty
Reduced operational costs
Improved financial performance
Greater ability to attract talent
Extended workforce retention
Easier access to capital
- Business Diversity:- Importance of diversity in concepts, workforce and products contributes to a wider range of skills, expertise and cultural insights into the business design.
- Business Education:- Focus lies its foot on data-driven technology to assist in better business decisions. Entrepreneurs should be constantly engaged in educating themselves with the latest courses offered on business-related curricula or atleast get a fair acquaintance with these courses to hire people who have qualified in these programs.
- Mobile Businesses:- Business-on-wheels have always been on trend; staying close to the traditional door step model of direct selling, entrepreneurs can employ this mobile business model to leverage their sales.
4. Leadership Trends
The success of everything depends on the leader, not to mention business. Their ability to adapt, collaborate and solve the challenges along with their team concurrently assuring the teammates’ personal and professional development is the drawing card of a business. In today’s world of economic and psychological turmoil, building a rhapsody in business is not at all a walk in the park. The leader has to be focussed, intuitive, quick and current on the trends in their field of expertise.
- Building Optimistic Remote Teams:- Shift in the workplace to remote environments has made it even more important for leaders to manage their workforce while also retaining the vigor of their teams. Checking on teammates, their online behavior and engagement can improve their confidence and productivity.
- People Analytics:- People analytics derived through high impact training programs and talent programs is accelerating organizational success while also creating great career paths for its employees even during these unprecedented times.
- Wellbeing in Leadership:- Aimed at drawing amazing outcomes by creating a balance between the 8 components in a business—economic, material, physical, psychological, social, cultural, environmental and spiritual—wellbeing of stakeholders and leaders themselves will prove to be the topmost priority for a successful business in 2021.
- Ethical Practices:- Increased work stress and pressure of overcoming an economic slowdown drives employees to go out of the way to meet their responsibilities. Leaders should watch out for unethical behaviors, intentional or unintentional, and provide enough support and educate them about the ethical business standards.
- Professional Development:- Remote working can tap the energy out of your employees. Isolated from their teams, their chances of learning is narrow and that creates disengagement. Work on developing their professional skills through short-term training programs or well-built courses to replenish their depleting skillset.
- Go Easy with the Communication:- Leaders should make themselves accustomed to asynchronous communication. Giving your team time and space to respond will create a balance rather than flooding them with meetings and mails. Let them know that you are there whenever they need and wait for them to reach out to you.
- Get Ready for Economic Volatility:- Planning to address the challenges caused by economic volatility well in advance can save the future and the present of your business. Leaders should be equipped to act on time as delayed interference can worsen the scene.
- Amplify Adaptivity:- Getting along with the changes created by disruption is going to be the cornerstone. Understanding your team’s challenges and concerns and working together to address them is sure to power your business and result in long-term retention and engagement of team members.
5. Customer Experience Trends
Organizations from the beginning have kept pace on anointing their customers with brand new experiences to win their hearts and to hold them closer in the midst of never-ending competition. With customer-centricity as the hallmark of the direct selling industry in 2021, companies are constantly striving to make their customers comfortable online and beyond.
- Visual Search:- The popularity gained by Google Lens recently has increased the use of images to search things online rather than using text.
- Voice Search:- The advancements in the modeling of virtual assistants and voice recognition have given rise to a strong liking for an improved voice search functionality that can be utilized anywhere and anytime.
- Prioritized Accessibility:- Making content accessible to all kinds of people, not only is a customer experience metric but also something that shows our commitment to deliver the right information to every customer.
- Empathetic Customer Experience:- It is not only important to connect with the needs of our customers, but also with their feelings in order to be a real problem solver for your customers. Even if they don't buy your product, you will be remembered for the treatment.
- Showcase Yourself:- Customers will be excited to see behind-the-scenes of your products and processes. Getting them acquainted with the processes will help build customer engagement and brand trust.
- Millennial Customers:- The expectations of faster delivery and preference to self-service, they are setting new customer service standards for businesses.
- Customer Empowerment:- A customer that comes to you with zero knowledge about the topic should return as a highly knowledgeable person. That's how the business experience is preferred these days.
- Customized Experience:- Along with personalizing the content, manual customization is important for customers to choose the content they wish to have.
- Gamification:- Customer engagement sees no limits with the gamification of the purchase process that actually makes the purchase experience unique, fun, and engaging. It provides a long-term earning opportunity for organizations by building customer engagement with the brand.
- Call Analytics:- It can be a powerful companion to your web analytics data to double-check the genuineness and validity of your lead filtering.
- Speech Recognition:- From travel booking to healthcare, speech recognition has transformed the business experience to its full potential by enabling users to have an on-the-go experience
- Emotive Technology:- Caring for the customer’s feelings and helping them to feel better about themselves as well as your business has been made possible with innovations such as mood boosters and virtual commutes.
- Habit Loops:- Creating a system that keeps the customer inside your business constantly is no more challenging with the technology to create such loops and analytics to improve it.
Gamification elements that will take your direct selling business to the next level
Revamping the ranking system in your compensation plan with gamification can boost the competitive spirit of your distributors.
Displayable badges always work because it serves as an element of self-recognition and self-importance.
Real-time rewards for your customers and distributors as cashback or discounts improve their brand affinity.
Show your appreciation for their efforts, time and money they spent on your products or services, through simple rewards, discounts or privilege programs.
Challenges are constant motivators. Employ challenge-based gamification programs to keep your customers and distributors motivated about your products.
- Service-value Alignment:- Customers not only focus on what they get from you, but also about how well you get things done and its alignment with the values you claim. It becomes one strong reason for them to choose you.
- Brand Differentiation:- How you stand out from your competitors must be evident enough for the customers to make a firm purchase decision. This distinction you create will surely pay you off.
- Privacy-centric Websites:- As people are increasingly aware and bothered about submitting their information online, if you evidently prove that you value their privacy, it's going to keep them coming back.
- Transparency:- It's not about keeping everything open for the customers, but involving them in the whole process with their interactions given the best attention and priority.
- Self-service:- Not only that it makes the problem-solving process easy for them, but also gives them a feeling of satisfaction that they were able to learn about solving a problem.
- Dynamic Site Content:- The AI-powered website content processing can bring your customers the content that is designed according to their previous browsing and purchase patterns, keeping them close to the business.
6. Marketing and Sales Trends
Besties for life, marketing and sales, have been the driving force of an organization’s journey. Both go hand-in-hand, more powerfully so, the trends affecting the two domains reciprocate themselves.
- Social Media and Mobile Platforms:- Effectively funneling potential customers from social media to your e-store is now easy with mobile-friendly sales platforms that can drive people directly as they are browsing.
- Actionable Content:- Delivering content that tells them how to utilize a piece of information to their advantage is again something that customers are loving these days.
- Upselling:- Understanding customer needs and providing personal attention can be a strong reason for them to choose a higher priced product of yours.
- Cross-selling:- Again, paying more attention to the requirements of your client and a thorough understanding of their needs can offer you an additional selling opportunity that is associated with an existing purchase.
- Down Selling:- Do not always aim to force your products on your users. Be liberal and customer-focused. If your customer does not want the product you intend to sell, suggest a cheaper alternative.
|Benefits of Upselling and Cross-selling in Direct Selling|
|Your Business||Your Customers|
|Strengthens customer equity||Creates quality long term relationships|
|Drives brand diversity and enhances market dominance||Widens the choice of products and services|
|Boosts innovation||Improves convenience and flexibility in shopping|
|Establishes a balanced growth between new and existing customers||Increases customer satisfaction|
|Increases Customer LifeTime Value||Increased ROI of services/products|
|Reduces customer attrition||Improves customer/brand experience|
- Globalization of Customers and Sales Teams:- Every customer deserves a person who can handle their needs comfortably. If language forms a barrier, then globalization of the sales team should definitely be helpful.
- Expert Solution Selling:- The good old way of having a big list of features and benefits no more impresses customers. How the product is going to produce user-specific benefits and impacts is all that sells now.
- Technology Aiming Customer Success:- The realization that investing time on building a customer success-aimed system and product, and emphasizing that in business and sales process, has a sustained effect in buying decisions.
- Programmatic Advertising:- The digital advertising efforts are now much more effective with the automation that enables filtering audiences based on various metrics and show them ads at the right place and the right time.
- Conversational Marketing:- The one-on-one approach to your potential leads and having a deep conversation with them to understand their requirements and also getting their honest feedback is treated more important than ever nowadays and is proved to have a positive impact on the sales growth.
- A/B Split Testing:- Finding out what works for you and what doesn’t have become easier after we have widely started using this split test method to display test content to audiences and finding out which is more actively interacted by the audience and improving on it.
- Omnichannel Marketing:- The content and approach of all your sales and marketing channels, whether online or offline, in tandem that produces the same image about your business essentially creates a picture-perfect image about your brand. This is in fact important especially when you have potential leads coming from multiple sources.
- Geo-fencing:- The technology has opened up a whole new world of the possibility of having location-based content and ads that can be of regional interest and in fact, helps in having more user engagement.
Benefits of performing A/B split testing for your business
Identify and solve customer pain points
Increased conversion rates
Reduced bounce rates
Ease of analysis
- Google Ads Smart Bidding:- Using AI-backed strategies that maximize the ad engagement and enable account-based targeting has become really effective in improving the lead conversion rates.
- Neuromarketing:- From the decades-old technique of having attractive package images to the advanced selection of color palettes is manifesting the marketing techniques. It’s yet another great example of how even the minute interests matter in purchase decision-making.
- Multi-touch Attribution:- Identifying which among the marketing channels has more actively interacted with the lead during the conversion process lets you understand where we must be having our concentration more on.
- Account-based Marketing:- From the common region-specific and gender-specific campaigns, marketing has moved to account-specific marketing to give the utmost priority to specific high potential customers in a market.
- Niche Marketing:- Forget all the cliche metrics that we focus on. Niche marketing puts effort into finding an unexplored metric and molds the product and service strongly, thereby increasing the odds of success.
- P2P:- The increased popularity of direct sales and home party business has now drawn the attention of businesses to peer-to-peer sales, which actively involves friends and family in marketing and sales.
7. Branding Trends
How you want your customers to view your brand is solely upon you, but when you want to create a unique brand identity, which depicts your values and differentiates you from your competitors, then the authority shifts to the contemporary techniques you need to adopt to stay fast and first in the race.
- Online Communities:- As more and more people seek interactive purchase platforms, it’s ideal to have active communities on different social media platforms to answer all the customer queries easily and to understand what people opine about your product.
- Brand Loyalty Development:- Both online and offline, improving brand loyalty has become something to look forward to, given the fact that the exponentially growing business competition demands constant strategical enhancement.
- Video SEO:- Given the fact that people have an inclined interest in visual content these days, optimizing your videos to be first in the search results is becoming increasingly important.
- Brand Activism:- With the act of standing up for a social cause or an environmental issue, you are fulfilling the corporate social responsibility as well as clarifying your take on certain aspects of the world which most of them don’t look into.
- Real Brand Images:- In this highly remote business environment, people would love to see what you and your company look like, at least through images. That’s why there is an increased replacement of stock images with real and high-quality images.
- Influencer Marketing:- Existing in various forms, this strategy is taking a wide variety of forms to make the best out of the marketing method that utilizes the fame of people from different industries to sell more.
- Creative Hashtags:- Just as important hashtags are, creative hashtags give a new dimension to your campaign continuity and reach. Try to include creative and trending hashtags to stay connected with your community.
- Responsive Logos:- The identity of a brand is reflected in its logo. Maintaining a scalable responsive design across every channel is important and making it more interactive and conveying can create a unique brand identity for you.
- Data Visualization:- Data are chunks of figures and texts that require deciphering. Make it easy and understandable for your audience through image representations and other visualization techniques with technologies such as AR, VR, and video infographics, since representations make things more conveying and interesting rather than blocks of content.
- Branding Initiatives:- Launch campaigns that spur positive sentiments among your customers while being unparalleled and creative. Focussing on solution-based and customer-centric branding initiatives to increase brand reputation and retain brand focus.
- Customer-driven Strategies:- Build your brand trust and loyalty by inventing and incentivizing customer-based references. Introduce reward programs and loyalty points to create a brand affinity among your existing customers.
- Buyer Persona:- Know your audience close enough to guess their preferences. Starting from the basics of age, gender, location, etc. jump to the next level of information such as brand preferences, choice of influencers, goals, ambitions, etc.
- Website Makeover:- Parallax scroll animations, 3D and dark mode visualizations are taking the online space by surprise. Try to keep your onscreen space as real as possible with real images and concepts both in content and in design.
- SEO:- User experience optimization is the trump card. AI-assisted NLP and Google’s EAT and BERT are redefining the way search engines rank websites.
- Structured Data:- Search engines are on the drive to improving speech recognition. So if your website is already taking the daily dosage of structured data then you are all set for voice searches and natural language processing.
8. Business Trends
Trends and practices in businesses keep changing, and staying current is the best of both worlds—your organization and the market—that helps you win the predicaments.
- Advanced CRM Platforms:- CRMs are not just a platform to keep a record of your leads anymore. Most of the CRMs these days are equipped with advanced features like intelligent scoring, state-of-the-art sales forecasting, and so on.
- Function as a Service (FaaS):- Forget the headache of developing, building, and maintaining the infrastructure associated with developing and launching an application. FaaS provides a platform that helps customers to develop, run, and manage application functionalities eliminating the complexities.
- Subscription-based Business:- This model has been in the market for quite some time. But with the growth of subsequent technologies, it has been able to gain momentum utilizing the large market of retail customers with high purchase capacity.
- Sales and Marketing Alignment:-The activities of these two parts of a business are highly coordinated these days to have the optimum sales, obviously, with the help of technology.
- Offline E-commerce:- Here the customer identification process happens online, while the actual purchase is done offline at physical stores.
- E-learning:- A business that came out of the shell along with the coronavirus outbreak, now has the attention of all business giants.
- Rebranding:- As the pandemic turned the business structure upside down, companies are on serious thoughts to rebranding themselves to make the business future-proof.
- Micro Fulfillment:- Fulfillment that takes only minutes is yet another powerful business feature that was made possible with the rapid development of local fulfillment centers.
- Prolonged Remote Work Platforms:- Remote work is here to stay. Companies have realized the pros of this system and are improvising to eliminate the cons and realize a fully virtual business.
- AI Interview Platforms:- Again, these platforms make it possible to seamlessly interview more candidates and help in hiring talents from different parts of the world.
- Retail Technology Expansion:- As more and more retail ventures are outgrowing the industry, businesses revolving around retail technology are also expanding.
- Demand Forecasting:- It isn’t surprising that demand forecasting has greater importance these days with an increase in competition in every single industry.
- Staff-free Shopping:- Staff-free shopping is on the rise, since with the advanced security technologies developed, it benefits the owners with cost reduction without compromising on the safety and security of the store.
- Fully Automated Warehouses:- Faster processing, faster fulfillment, and immediate inventory control make it super easy for businesses to manage and improve their sales.
- Cognitive Supply Chain Management:- It takes into consideration all kinds of information from the supply chain, both internal and external and effectively uses it with the help of technology to elevate supply chain velocity.
- Progressive Web Apps:- These application software programs that work on any platform use a standard compliant browser, minimizes data usage, and enhances the browsing experience, making it ideal for online businesses.
- Bring Your Own Environment (BYOE):- Unlike the previous breakthrough trend of Bring Your Own Device, this has set new standards in employee satisfaction by allowing them to work from anywhere they please.
9. Workforce Trends
The impetus of your organization is struck and stuck with the unending turmoil created by the pandemic. Workspace and workflow shifts brought forth an entire new row of workforce trends that are not soon going to change.
- Collaboration Software:- Manage your workplace silos with an efficient collaborative platform that can coordinate among your workforce for an uninterrupted workflow. However, don’t go too hard on tracking them with tracking tools.
- Remote Work:- Stanford study of remote workers shows a savings of nearly $2,000 per employee on its office space rent. That is not the real point. Providing your employees with remote work opportunities creates a work-life balance for them and an increase in productivity for you.
- Remote Onboarding:- Help your remote distributors in onboarding by helping them build valuable connections with their teammates and offer them connectivity and productivity tools to assist them in remote working. Take your remote employee experience beyond virtual through creative and engaging team meet-ups and presentations.
- Employee/Distributor Welfare:- Ensure the physical and mental wellbeing of your employees and distributors with enrichment programs and sessions to refresh their skills. Avoid using tracking tools to track your workforce; it drains their emotional attachment towards the company.
Programs that could rejuvenate your distributors
Distributor activation programs
Financial support plans
Competitive compensation packages
- Employee Activation:- When employees are activated to express their experience it does double the effect of your SEO and Ad campaign strategies and adds more value to your brand investment.
- Hyper Automation:- The blend of Robotic Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning, helps in the automation of routine manual tasks letting your employees concentrate on more impactful works like planning and building efficient strategies.
- Social Media Recruiting:- DSA study shows that 46% of Americans welcome contact from direct sellers’ business opportunities through social media. Seize the chance and let them know the value of your brand and how much others value you through videos and posts.
- Tech Stacks:- Optimize your tech stacks with new integrations for remote team management with new workplace analytics and management tools.
- Micropreneurs:- The forced lockdown and safety considerations led many to start small businesses that can suit their conveniences. Direct selling and gig work would provide micropreneurs with the flexibility and low-risk they are looking for and will turn to be the most sought after businesses in the coming days.
- Financial Wellness Programs:- In the deep dark days of the wavering economy and increasing psychological and physical tantrums, organizations are on the move to supporting their workforce with financial health and wellness programs.
10. Technology trends
When the direct selling industry shifted gears to suit their customer behavior technology led the course of action, obviously not alone, together with organizations and their teams making creative contributions to annul the existing repercussions left by the pandemic.
- Artificial Intelligence:- Creatively implementing AI in developing business models delivers predictive analytics based on buyer behavior and business performance.
- Big Data:- Big data helps us to gather, save and interpret massive amounts of data to make proactive decisions.
- IoT:- With the increase in demands for enormous amounts of user data, IoT can be the deciding factor in the future data and analytics domains.
- Augmented Reality:- The remote shopping experience sees new dimensions with the advent of AR and its unique product demo experience.
- Internet of Behaviours (IoB):- Knowing how people behave with the technologies from various inputs such as facial recognition, location activity, and so on, will help us be ahead of the time in understanding how well things are working in our favor.
- Extended Reality:- A creative combination of AR and VR, it takes in the essence of both to deliver an outstanding experience.
- Distributed Cloud:- It is essentially the ability to run the public cloud infrastructure at different locations, not only limited to your cloud provider.
- Blockchain:- From smart contracts to customer management, blockchain can provide us with a unique and highly secure platform to foster the business.
- 5G:- Needless to say, 5G will surely be the next big thing to revolutionize the network and communication industry in 2021.
- Cyber-security Mesh:- Redefining the conventional top to bottom security to the horizontal distributed one, successfully overcomes the threat of security breaches.
- Low-code Hybrid Development:- Business apps can be built-in drag and drop mode, making it convenient for quick and easy application development.
- Neumorphism Design:- New design trend that gives an air of visual freshness to your website and mobile app design. Less on eyes more on the user, this design will gift your users a real-life experience onscreen.
- Data Stack:- AI/ML-driven intelligent and predictive analytics is expected to leverage the data warehousing of companies in 2021. More and more companies are moving modern data stacks with powerful cloud architecture.
- Digital Twins:- A convenient option for businesses with e-commerce, digital twins which is the digital replica of real-world physical objects can decrease operational costs and improve customer experience. The technology is redefining logistics and supply chain management.
- Multiparty Systems (MPS):- Gives the advantage of clear, trustworthy and inviolable data exchange between organizations and individuals creating new business and revenue models.
- First-party Data:- With an increasing claim for data privacy and change in search engine privacy policies, organizations are really working hard on acquiring first-party data. 88% of marketers say collecting first-party data is a 2021 priority for digital marketing.
When the pandemic took the center stage, trends in different business sectors played supporting roles to complement the setting and these cameos turned into leading players in due course, replenishing the lost glory of the direct selling market. These power cells are expected to leverage the growth of the industry in the days ahead through right implementation and effective articulation.