As we near the end of a very challenging year for all businesses and industries, it is interesting to reflect on all that has happened in 2022. Many startups experienced rapid growth and secured necessary seed investments in the first half of the year. Although news stories at the beginning of the year painted a promising picture for the world’s post-pandemic economy, as time went on, it became clear that this growth had slowed. Multiple companies, especially in the tech industry, have struggled to meet their financial forecasts or started to look closely at their pipeline and as a result have had to lay off employees during the last quarter of 2022. Furthermore, people are concerned about next year as inflation and prices continue to rise.
Here are some trends that will likely define how businesses will evolve in 2023 and what they must do to remain competitive and successful in the coming year:
A Challenging Economic Environment
With global tensions like the Russia-Ukraine conflict, supply chain disruptions, and increasing inflation rates, it is not surprising that business leaders are feeling cautious about 2023. It is likely to be a challenging year for many businesses across the region, which is why they must start planning and recognizing ways to optimize their operations and safeguard their revenue now.
Technology and digitalization have increased business resilience. This was especially clear during the 2020 pandemic when many companies had to quickly adapt and use digital tools to stay afloat. Given the current world climate, much of society has adjusted by using digital alternatives for work, school, and health-related appointments. Although the economy isn’t expected to improve much in the next year, this trend is expected to continue.
Accelerated Digital Transformation, Increased Value Of Business Intelligence
Innovations and new developments will continue transforming the way we do business with the increased use and penetration of artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, and 5G, to name just a few examples. Many of these technologies are now available via the cloud in an “as-a-service” model. From banking-as-a-service (BaaS) to telecommunications-as-a-service (TaaS), many companies will benefit from these new models.
Unfortunately, few companies in Latin America manage to introduce new technology offerings in a timely manner, with most enterprises finding it a challenge. In fact, a 2021 study by the CAF Development Bank of Latin America found that the countries in this region invest four times less in digital infrastructure than OECD nations. However, in a complicated economic environment like the one expected to permeate in 2023, those who double down on innovation and differentiation, and focus on harnessing the power of technology will be better placed to weather the storm. Implementing modern technologies across an organization introduces new capabilities, allowing companies to improve their time to market more efficiently and monetize their value sooner. One example provides an organization with the ability to access specific customer data and provide insights that will allow them to run highly tuned and focused sales and marketing strategies as well as products and services that are better aligned with customer needs. Customers respond positively to companies that are ahead of the curve and that understand their needs better. Over time this should reflect well on the balance sheet.
Improved, Personalized Customer Experience
Companies that can offer their clients applications that keep them engaged and reward their interaction will secure the loyalty of returning customers and attract new ones. Data and business intelligence helps companies better understand consumer likes, preferences and behaviors so that they can provide tailored offers, services, and communication.
A new model expected to experience rapid growth in 2023 is TaaS, which allows enterprises to leverage available network infrastructure and capabilities to create a more unique and personalized customer understanding and experience while generating new sources of revenue. Recently, this innovative model has been helping businesses of all sizes stay competitive in the current economic landscape and future-proof their growth.
More than a buzzword, augmented reality is another solution that will impact many sectors. Widely used today in the cosmetics and fashion sectors, it allows consumers to “try” the product even if they don’t have it physically. Though it might not be used extensively by every industry in 2023, we can anticipate that more companies will explore how they could use this solution to improve their customer’s experience in the coming years.
E-Commerce’s Continued Growth
The lines between physical and electronic stores are becoming increasingly blurred. Today’s consumers want to interact with brands through multiple channels, or omnichannel, so those businesses that can manage this will become stronger. Additionally, this virtual interaction is increasingly happening through mobile phones, so adaptability to this format is a must.
According to Americas Market Intelligence, e-commerce sales are expected to experience sustained annual growth of 25 percent through 2025 in Latin America. This represents a great opportunity but also brings an array of challenges.
For example, as more electronic transactions are conducted, the need for continuous improvement of cybersecurity is higher. In this matter, technology will continue to play a critical role in the equation, enabling the rise of new antifraud tools with artificial intelligence.
E-commerce is often focused on the end consumer. However, the trend is for it to be a business model that, with an adapted purchasing process, is also expected to continue impacting the business-to-business (B2B) sector.
Knowing the role that telecommunications connectivity plays in the continuous evolution of e-commerce, OXIO, through its TaaS model, uses an intelligent programmatic network unlike any other, allowing businesses to offer mobile solutions quickly, efficiently, and without significant upfront investments or lengthy approval processes from national regulators. This will enable companies of all types to connect more deeply with their customers, learning valuable insights through a high-quality, affordable, TaaS platform. The data derived from this interaction can positively impact companies in any sector, such as retail, banking/fintech, and the on-demand economy.
For instance, businesses in the retail sector can stay connected with their customers 24/7 with a branded virtual network. They can benefit from insights and patterns that drive revenue and margins for their core business and gain new revenue channels by allowing their partners to make offers and sponsor their users’ mobile plans. Another example is how TaaS can help popular consumer apps maintain ongoing downloads and daily active users (DAU), even when many younger mobile users don’t have the data plans to engage with that content. With OXIO, providers can take data costs off their users’ hands by making their app free or working with partners to sponsor users’ plans. This creates personalized app experiences and increases engagement.
It is evident that, as we move closer to 2023, business leaders who hope to be successful in the future will rely increasingly on technologies that help them optimize their operations. The right technology will not only make them more efficient but also allow them to get feedback from customers and remain adaptive during what experts are predicting will be an economically difficult year.