Business trends for 2019

By Pieter Scholtz, ActionCOACH SA Director

2019 brings about many exciting opportunities, notwithstanding the many changes that business is not only driving, but having to face. Outlined below are some the of the trends that will shape the business world in the year ahead.

Customer service
Consumers are sitting in the privileged position in that not only do they have an increasing choice of products to choose from, but they also have access to unprecedented amounts of information related to the products concerned.

Customer service will become increasingly important in an era where cost effective delivery, pricing, choice and availability of products across a number of channels will drive uniqueness.

Customer user experience will also become increasingly important.

Personalisation of marketing
Developing marketing messages that build genuine relationships with customers will become key, as customers become increasingly sophisticated and discerning. With the growing use of AI and algorithms across business platforms, customers make purchase decisions based on the quality of the relationships built – this is not something that technology can replace.

Decisions based increasingly on customer reviews
With the rising implementation of online customer reviews, more future clients are basing their purchase decisions on the online product reviews for a wider range of products. Companies and brands will have to ensure that they obtain customer reviews, as well as make them available for future customers to review online before making a purchasing decision.

Digital banking platforms
A massive trend towards digital banking platforms will continue to disrupt the traditional banking model. Customers want more access and control over how they bank, plus where and which platform they bank from.

Here we will see an increasing use of algorithms that will enable new banking platforms to tailor make products based on customer data that has been collected.

The future of the office is in danger
There is a greater demand to spend less time commuting and given the access to high speed internet, employees will want to be able to work increasingly from remote places.

This will also break the traditional model of work as we know it, where employees want to be able to control when they work, resulting in a focus towards measuring outcome and delivery, rather than time spent at work.

Data privacy
Over the last year we have seen a number of breaches in data privacy by large corporates, resulting in consumers becoming increasing aware of how their personal data is being used. This will place mounting pressure on companies that collect data to ensure that consumer data is being strongly protected.

Mental health in the workplace
The advancement in technology and access to workplace systems have resulted in the proliferation of people never switching off. This has resulted in a significant surge in mental health issues in the workplace. This year will see an intensified focus on managing metal health in the workplace, providing a happy working environment.

Mental health has been reported as one of the fastest, if not the fastest, health trends globally. In order to retain top performers and manage employee costs, companies will have to give added attention to this trend in 2019 and beyond.