5 predictions for 2019 that you need to read for growth

It’s my favorite time of year - Prediction season! I love reading the varying views of publications, thought leaders and naysayers of what awesomeness or peril the upcoming year will bring. To quote Tony Robbins, I find it interesting how people overestimate how much can change in a year, but underestimate how much can change in a decade. Some of our predictions are based on what’s happened over the course of 2018, but also what’s been brewing over the last 5-10 years. 

Our predictions start with my favorite stat that I’m not sure many companies fully understand it’s impact yet. Will this be the year they take notice? 

“By 2020, the business experience will become the number one driver in consumer purchase decisions - surpassing both price and product efficacy.”
— Walker

What’s old is new, but it’s powered by data

The digital darlings of the last 5-10 years are finding their way towards more traditional, proven mechanisms to expand their business. Physical retail and catalogs to name two. The likes of Casper and Warby Parker strategically use their e-commerce analytics, beta testing and growth data to drive their physical retail decisions - location, product mix, messaging, etc, giving them a higher chance of success. I remember as a kid circling and earmarking the toys I wanted for Christmas in the massive holiday Sears catalog. Well, Amazon, the large digital e-commerce juggernaut, just released a printed catalog, but it’s powered by data and it’s “connected,” giving readers the ability to either click or scan to the product page on Amazon. 

This trend will hit mass as larger organizations continue to acquire emerging brands and launch new initiatives of their own. The behaviors of the consumer will follow suit. But, all of these decisions will be driven by data, behavior and experience. 

It’s finally the year of mobile 

I remember when 2008 was the year of the mobile. Then 2009, 2010, 2011… you get the picture. But, 2019 is the year, I promise. Over the last year we’ve seen mobile commerce, social engagement and worldwide internet traffic all skew towards scale and dominance. We’ve seen developing countries skip the entire desktop phase in the Internet evolution and go straight to a mobile connected world. And just recently, we witnessed over 1/3 of all Black Friday purchases in the US come from mobile. From a consumer perspective, mobile devices aren’t just mini computers in our pockets, they are an extension of our personalities and our lives - driving a lot of our behaviors and actions.

This trend will only continue to grow. Businesses need to look at their operations, commerce and messaging strategies and ensure they are aligned with consumer behaviors throughout their entire experience journeys. Mobile will be a key force throughout every touchpoint in that journey - even while shopping in a physical store or reading printed catalogs.

Shopping & buying is omnipresent

Building off 2019 becoming the year of mobile and combining it with the evolution of purchasing technology, consumers are more likely to be in a continuous shopping and buying process. These technological advances in shopping and buying along with advances in logistics and delivery, consumers are finding themselves at a continuous moment of truth. They can now be instantly rewarded with a purchase at any moment given the right trigger. Shopping isn’t a process anymore, it’s an action.

This trend is especially critical for more traditional retail and consumer brands who operate within a legacy distribution model. In this world of always on shopping and buying, businesses need to figure out a way to be everywhere at the moment their prospect or consumer needs them.

Brands pick a side against Amazon 

As Amazon becomes the nation’s shopping mall at our fingertips, brands need to figure out how to play in this marketplace world. Not to mention, with 70% of all searches on Amazon being generic terms, 2019 will be the year where brands need to build value in this supply chain to differentiate or die. However, there is a storm brewing which will cause businesses to make a stand. Companies like Nike and Apple have recently embraced this new reality and have begun selling and advertising across the Amazon network. Meanwhile other emerging brands are revolting against Amazon because of their private label competition and fee structure, driving their margins extremely lower than any other distribution channel. 

There is no denying that Amazon is the elephant in many board rooms. But 2019 is the year where many businesses take a stand and either embrace or reject this reality. 

Growth takes a front seat

The economy is shaky at best and many companies have been effected over the last year by tariffs, policy changes and dynamic manufacturing costs. The bad news is that there is no end in sight to this turmoil. CEOs and their management team will put growth in the driver’s seat for 2019 - and not growth through manufacturing efficiencies or financial decisions, but real, hard-working growth. They will push their organizations to find new and incremental value throughout their supply chain and consumer experience. This will be done through mergers and acquisitions, new business units, new products and service or entering new markets. But the one thing that will be at the center of it all, will be the consumer experience and the human that they are serving. 

In order to grow in a tumultuous times, businesses need provide increasing value to their consumers, while in turn driving new revenue to the business. In 2019, this will only be done through maximizing the experience a consumer has with your business.

How is your 2019 stacking up? Are you ready to take it to the next level? Reach out and see if we can help.