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Two Technology Trends for Small Business in 2021

As you think about the future, it is essential to consider what technology trends will impact your small business in 2021. Small businesses are always looking for ways to improve efficiency and increase revenue streams at the lowest possible cost; thus, their ability to adapt quickly is imperative for survival.

I chose these two trends based on the answers to a question I asked of a group of my colleagues. They suggested several, and I settled on these two because of the recent wave of TV ads I’ve seen, which have piqued my curiosity and because of my personal experiences navigating our new pandemic world.

The first trend is niche app specialization.

Although mobile apps have become very popular, not all of them are successful. Many developers cannot make money from them, and even those who can make less than they hoped for because most mobile apps are ‘me too’ takeoffs on what already exists.

However, these are some examples of apps that are solving real problems.

Slice is an excellent example of solving a genuine problem. It’s the first and only restaurant order app made just for pizzerias. The first time I saw their TV spot, I was surprised at such a niche app and gobsmacked at the idea’s simplicity and genius. Consumers love its ease of use, and small pizzeria shops appreciate paying lower service charges than many of the other food delivery services. Or, as The New York Times says in their review “With the Slice app, local pizzerias get a bigger piece of the market.”

Ship Station is another highly specialized app that makes order tracking, fulfillment, and shipping a breeze. Ship Station streamlines all things shipping. How can you not love their slogan, ‘Get Ship Done?’

And, if you want to be productive, try Evernote. You’ll never lose another good idea again. Talk or text into the Evernote app, save, and then it’s searchable by words and phrases. It’s perfect for those middle-of-the-night lightbulb ideas that are gone by morning.

The second trend is touchless technology.

Spurred on by the pandemic, touchless technology is here to stay—no more germy exchanges of membership cards or key fobs or even having to touch a doorknob. Nothing to hand over and no one has to touch your stuff. Just open the app and – voila! – you can pay, use points, open doors, and more.

Touchless technology works because it enables systems to take instructions through voice, user behavior, facial patterns, or physical movement such as a hands-free scan.  

Think QR codes that have made a comeback. A quick scan with your phone brings you right to the information you need or scanning a badge to open a security door or swipe it to check in at work. My favorite neighborhood café installed touchless payment at the beginning of the pandemic. Customers love it, and it speeds up the wait for coffee as well – always a big plus.

While we’re (hopefully) in the end stages of COVID-19, these two tech trends will continue to help small businesses grow, while keeping costs down.

Randye Spina

Randye S Spina is a marketing consultant, author of a small business marketing book, and an award-winning adjunct Professor of Marketing and Communications. She serves on the board of directors of the Arts Alliance of Stratford and is a former board member of the Direct Marketing Association. Randye was the founder and managing director of Affordable Marketing Solutions, a small business marketing consultancy. In a prior life, she was Vice President of Marketing and New Product Development at a financial services company and was the first General Manager of the start-up co-branded credit card division of a global travel company. Website Amazon book link LinkedIn Twitter

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