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Biggest Business Trends for 2022: Everyone Must Be Ready

Biggest Business Trends for 2022: Everyone Must Be Ready 1

By Jiaqi Pan, CEO and co-founder of no-code chatbot builder Landbot

We live in a rapidly changing world. Covid-19 has and continues to be a driver of significant disruption, and as a result, we have all had to adjust to the “new normal”. The business world, in particular, will never be the same again as it continues to face huge and unprecedented challenges.

Few foresaw the world stopping in its tracks back in 2020 or that the ramifications of the lockdowns would continue on nearly two years later. Brands had to make drastic changes to meet the new conditions of the modern world. From connecting dispersed teams, meeting new digital demands and finding innovative ways to engage with customers, the rulebook has well and truly been ripped up.

Making predictions in today’s ever-changing climate can be a shot in the dark, and we’ve learnt the hard way that even the most reliable of industries are prone to disruption. As we look ahead to 2022, here are some key trends that we can expect to see more of over the next twelve months. 

Chatbots

In the 60s, a programme called ELIZA was one of the first demonstrations of natural language processing and machine learning. Chatbots have shown that realistic communication between humans and machines can be possible, all while providing a seamless experience for customers.

Now, marketing and customer service departments are leveraging chatbots to enhance methods of capturing leads. Chatbots are fully functional tools that have multiple business use cases. These include triaging customers and identifying individual requirements, collecting data and analytics, and having real conversations that provide authentic responses. 

Previously, you would need a dedicated skill-specific developer team to host such technology on your webpage – and even then, it was met with customer frustration. Nowadays, low or no-code chatbot builders can provide businesses with a platform to create their chatbots easily and to their exact specifications. You no longer need to be an expert coder to configure responses, only a platform that can offer such a service. 

As we continue our quest for convenience, we will see more and more chatbots of this calibre within the business world. The window of opportunity in the chatbot space is vast, with potential for mainstream consumer industries like e-commerce and insurers to jump on the bandwagon. 

Conversational Customer Experience

Since the pandemic began, we have seen our dependence on the digital increase dramatically. Institutions have to rely on their digital presence as the first port of call for customers, with in-person events still few and far between. 

On the one hand, the change in consumer behaviour has placed a heavy burden on digital customer service departments. On the other, customer expectations for a first-class customer experience are greater than ever before, with ease, immediacy and accessibility high on the priority list. 

Conversational customer service tools are becoming a popular solution, allowing customers to engage in direct dialogue with businesses regarding any issue or query they may have. Error messages and long waiting times have failed customer service departments. As conversational tools are implemented, sticking points are mitigated with seamless communication, which is now readily available between consumer and business. It offers a like-for-like experience to in-person purchasing, with the added benefit of operating from the comfort of your own home.

With our continued reliance on digitised platforms, these tools will become more common to meet consumer demands and expectations in 2022. Businesses will need to invest in the right technology to keep up with their future customers and provide support wherever they are, as well as stay ahead of their competitors. 

Real-time marketing automation

Marketing automation is a process used to leverage software to automate tasks that are repetitive by nature. Advertising campaigns, emails and tracking interactions are examples of where automation can be implemented to improve the success of marketing strategies.

On the consumer side, customers can receive personalised offers tailored to their needs and desires. This is made possible through live data feeds showing real-time visibility into consumer habits. 

On the business side, automating marketing has acted as a new means of generating leads, freeing up the workload, and accelerating decision making. Immediacy is now an expectation from consumers, with the majority expecting fast responses to marketing or sales questions. This is now made possible reliably and efficiently through automation. 

The data economy has meant businesses have increasingly turned to technology to harvest consumer information for valuable insights. In a world where our needs and requirements change rapidly, organisations can be reactive and make informed, time-critical decisions backed by intel directly from their consumer base. Real-time marketing automation helps optimise business processes. It will become a central asset in core marketing frameworks and is increasingly likely to achieve mainstream adoption in 2022. 

WhatsApp as a primary tool for businesses 

The social commerce industry is already booming and valued as an approximate $585 billion industry. There are three clear front runners in the space: Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. WhatsApp has now staked its claim as a tool for customer engagement. 

The WhatsApp Business API allows businesses to automate the sales process through conversational workflows. It provides a platform for mobile customer service to ensure customers can interact with organisations effectively and securely. 

Diverse features such as ‘Catalogs’, ‘Carts’ and now ‘Collections’ offer more than just one way to market and engage in two-way conversations. We will see WhatsApp establish itself in 2022 as a contender to the other popular interactive platforms and become a dominant force in multiple industries.

With the average time spent on social media platforms increasing during the pandemic, compounded by the convenience that social commerce provides to users, it is clear how the sector has experienced such significant growth. We can expect to see much more opportunity for businesses to connect with customers on various social media platforms and something I see developing through 2022. 

The future is digital 

Digital has never been more important for businesses. It is now the key to successful operations, marketing and growth for organisations of all sizes. It can no longer be ignored. 2021 has laid the foundations of what a post-Covid world could look like if businesses continue to embrace digital and adopt an agile mindset, so we can expect to see this develop even further in 2022 and beyond.

As pandemic-related and digitally driven changes become permanent, I look forward to seeing the way this new widespread adoption of technology will continue to innovate and transform the way we operate. The future is undoubtedly digital, there is no turning back now or businesses will risk getting left behind.

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