While 2014 likely won’t bring flying cars to our skies, technology is definitely progressing with each year. These trends are usually a progression of the technology we loved the previous year–more social media sites, exciting new gadgets to make our lives easier, and innovative ways to do the things we do every day.
As businesses wind down 2013, they’re likely approaching 2014 with excitement and uncertainty. How will they need to adjust their marketing efforts in the new year to meet the changes in the market? Should they replace their aging equipment with mobile devices, connected to the Cloud? These top trends to watch can help businesses gear up for a successful 2014.
Online Order Fulfillment
Whether through the use of 3-D printing of products or local delivery, e-commerce sites will find unique ways to fulfill customer orders. As 3-D printers become more widespread in the marketplace, businesses will find ways to craft and ship products to customer specifications. Clothing can be designed in the color and cut a customer wants, for instance, or jewelry could be printed to specifically match an outfit uploaded by a customer. With companies like Amazon experimenting with local delivery, consumer expectations will rise. To compete, smaller businesses will be required to find ways to get items in the hands of customers more quickly.
Body Meets Technology
Wearable technology will grow as a market in 2014, with smartwatches and fitness trackers showing up on wrists and clipped onto waistbands in increasing numbers. One company has created a Near-Field Communication-enabled ring that can unlock doors and transfer information. This could be the first step toward NFC-powered payments in stores. As more consumers show up wearing smartwatches and other pieces of wearable tech, it will become more mainstream, eventually eliminating the need to have a smartphone in hand at all times.
With each year, an increasing number of companies are allowing workers to add their personal mobile devices to their enterprises. This is especially true for smaller businesses, who find BYOD is more affordable than purchasing devices for each worker. However, the growth of BYOD brings security concerns with it, forcing business owners to put security policies in place to address potential issues.
2014 is likely to be another exciting year in technology. As the population increasingly incorporates technology into every facet of its working and personal lives, businesses are challenged to deliver the information and goods consumers demand.