Two decades ago, the world was on the brink of a genuine modern tech revolution. The genius of innovative electronic devices and different ways of conceptualizing business transactions began to usher humanity into a new age of commerce. Now, some two decades later, the business landscape has reaped the benefits of tech innovations and continues to attempt to peer beyond the horizons of modern invention; yet, today’s generation is left to ponder how we reached such an advanced state in the world of business. To this end, understanding the evolution of modern commerce heavily depends on insights in how business has changed over the last 20-years.
Big Data Business Trends
In the mid 1990’s, computers ran much slower than in modern times. According to this article, the early releases of the famed Pentium processors in the 90’s clocked much slower speeds compared to the much faster processors of today. The design innovations that gave rise to faster processing speeds eventually made it possible for modern businesses to dabble in Big Data analysis. For the first time, computer networks could crunch enough data to recognize emerging trends across scores of industries. As analytical methods on Big Data become faster and more accurate, this advantage gives today’s businesses a far better understanding of the near real-time direction in which consumers and markets tend to move. When properly realized, this use of Big Data takes the guesswork out of which marketing strategy will reap the greatest financial and customer loyalty benefits for a company.
The Internet of Things
While the mid 90’s opened the door of online business up to companies, the idea of how far the Internet would take commerce was far from being fully realized. Even today, companies sit on the verge of the next phase of online connectivity. Moving forward into the age of the Internet of Things, it is easy to see how companies have created vast numbers of electronic devices that automatically generate real online feedback. This feedback plays into being a new source for the aforementioned Big Data craze. What is somewhat new with the Internet of Things is that it produces a finely detailed picture of an individual consumers tendencies and overall behaviors. The more individuals use their Internet ready electronic devices, the more information is gathered from this new level of pervasive device connectivity. According to some sources, the number of devices involved in this emerging phase of the Internet of Things will be many times the current level of devices already used online. This constantly growing source of consumer feedback is processed to help businesses develop more accurate and targeted marketing tactics; thus, allowing businesses to more effectively reach specific types of consumer groups. Twenty-years ago, the business world had nowhere close to this intimate reach inside an individual’s behaviors and preferences.
Originating in the late 1800’s, Point of Sale (POS) systems began with the invention of the first ringing cash register. One of the great advantages of early systems was to alert store managers when employees were opening the cash drawer. By the mid 1990’s, POS systems had become far more sophisticated as electronic cash registers made their way into retail outfits. During that time, retailers were able to handle more than simple cash-based transactions. Today, modern POS systems accommodate a far wider range of features for a wide range of businesses. Not only do POS systems provide convenient methods for making payments, they are also enhanced with software to monitor inventory and customer purchases. This allows a business owner to relax, knowing that their POS system will intelligently monitor and order items the business needs to replenish. In addition, today’s POS systems provide electronic methods of monitoring employee activities, helping business owners to track how their employees are minding the store. Touch screen interfaces also introduce customers to an intuitive method of ordering up products on demand. Allowing customers to order items for sale in this fashion reduces the need for hiring too many employees to man a retail store. This translates to huge cuts in overhead costs for today’s tech-driven businesses.
The tech revolution of the last two decades has enabled businesses to operate more efficiently and make smarter business-related decisions. From information analysis to customer payments, the modern high-tech approach to doing business has become more seamless than in years past. The emerging phase of Internet connectivity allows companies to better understand consumer habits, while providing large repositories of raw data to improve on marketing approaches that work in line with emerging market trends.