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Pitney Bowes Predicts Five Key Drivers of Commerce

Personalization was the buzzword that wouldn’t quit this year—and it looks set to stick around in 2016.

Pitney Bowes published its annual outlook report on Tuesday and predicted that personalization and hyper-localization will drive “explosive growth” in global commerce next year.

The technology company said that as cross-border e-commerce goes mainstream, retailers must continuously step up the global consumer experience by tailoring it to suit all shoppers, no matter where they’re from or what they’re searching for.

Pitney’s report also pointed out that new technologies and cloud-based tools will provide small and medium businesses with the ability to better target, engage and serve new customers—both near and far—by integrating physical and digital experiences.

“At Pitney Bowes, we are increasingly seeing clients of all sizes reexamine how physical and digital technologies converge to power commerce,” Roger Pilc, chief innovation officer, stated. “Clients are already demanding a more seamless way of integrating their physical and digital worlds. Businesses will need to transform their competencies to seamlessly serve customers across the physical and digital worlds of commerce.”

The Internet of Things (IoT) technologies will also drive commerce next year, along with data analytics and omnichannel marketing.

“When it comes to industrial businesses, the opportunity exists to leverage machine-to-machine and Internet of Things technologies and extract and analyze data from industrial machines to drive better business outcomes,” the report noted, adding that several industries are increasingly creating and measuring operational efficiency in production settings. “The business benefits include lower cost of operations, greater productivity and output and higher service levels. Businesses also need the flexibility to toggle between the physical and digital worlds to reach their customers in their preferred channels.”

With cybersecurity and fraud top of mind for many, Pitney’s report expects that data analytics will be used to create a single view of the customer. “This technology combats the many faces of fraud, while protecting a business against financial vulnerabilities and ensuring greater compliance,” the research said, noting that cloud-based multi-channel communication platforms can help small and medium businesses ensure client data privacy, meet growing regulatory requirements and integrate their physical and digital transactional communications.

Data analytics will also be used to communicate with customers in a more relevant way.