29 January 2016

man laptop business outdoorsKeeping an eye on the future is an important element of running a business and now is time to reflect on the past and consider trends of 2016. In particular, is your business already engaging with the Generation Y customer or do you need to make changes to capitalise on this new customer type?

A new type of customer

Generation Y, also known as Millennials, were born between in 1980s and 2000, shaped by technology and also comfortable with sharing their lives online. In order to attract these young customers, businesses have to appeal to the behaviours set by the Generation Y’ers. Compulsory checking of smart phones for emails and texts is routine, as well as being very engaged on social networks. Digital channels are therefore, even more important than ever, now that the main swathe of Generation Y are coming of age.

Mobile friendly websites and SEO will be even more crucial in your marketing armory. Not having a website with a responsive mobile design can seriously damage your SEO ranking, even making you invisible when someone is searching with a mobile device, and certainly won’t get the attention of this new customer group.

Do you need to step up a gear online?

Mobile Payments

The Mobile Payment revolution is just around the corner too, with payments no longer restricted just to Smartphones. New technologies such as smartwatches and bracelets will also provide alternative payment methods in 2016. Apple Pay is already accepted in many high street retailers including Costa, Boots and Marks & Spencers.

Are you ready for this?

We want it now!

We are living in a fast moving world and as consumers, this can extend to wanting products ordered online to be delivered same day. With product quality and price being similar between existing businesses, offering a same day delivery service could be part of your unique selling proposition (USP). The Millennials are the most likely group of consumers wanting goods delivered at speed with older generations more concerned about keeping the cost of delivery down.

Can you meet these demands?

Virtual Reality

Industry experts are also claiming that 2016 will be the year of Virtual Reality. Facebook has spent $2bn on a virtual reality headset, Oculus Rift, signalling a promising, if unclear, future for Virtual reality. Virtual Reality is being used in a number of different ways in the business community, from virtual tours of property to training employees and giving a 360 degree view of a product.

Can your business benefit from this technology?

Generation Y – enjoy the social side of working with others

Home-working and micro-businesses are on the rise and many predict that 2016 will see a big increase in the number of micro businesses starting up. As a result the demand for small work spaces has gone up, with many people opting to co-work. Co-working is where individual or groups of self-employed people come together to share office space. Not only does co-working offer desks at a more affordable rate but also brings together people from different industries and the opportunity to network. The social side of working in this type of environment appeals to Generation Y but if you offer office space, does this already meet their added technology needs?

Consider this snap shot a starting point as you look to your business future. Capitalising on trends before they become mainstream will really set you apart from your competition and help you to tap into this new customer base.

Written by Nwes Advisor, Jess Collin

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