Three Software and Tech Trends Shaping Small Businesses
The software market continues to grow — Gartner suggests that $492 billion will be spent on software in 2021  — as more small companies streamline manual processes and invest in new tech. The latest programs are transforming the way small businesses connect with customers, market products and generate sales. Here are three software and tech trends for small businesses.
- Machine Learning Machine learning is a type of data analysis that lets computers self-learn without being programmed. It allows users to perform predictive analysis — a method which mines data and forecasts future events  — so they can make predictions and solve business-related problems. Machine learning is a useful tool for small businesses. It allows them to identify patterns and trends in data so they can improve their day-to-day operations.
Small companies often use machine learning to enhance their marketing. Machine learning software collects data from various sources — customer records, the internet, social media, etc. — and makes accurate predictions in real-time. Small businesses can segment customers based on perceived value — and then later send marketing messages to these customers to boost sales — and forecast churn rates. This helps businesses make smarter choices when it comes to advertising their products and services.
Expect more companies to incorporate machine learning into their marketing strategy in the next few years. Forbes estimates that the machine learning market is projected to grow to a staggering spend of over $10 billion in 2021, according to research .
- Customer Relationship Management Large and medium-sized companies have used customer relationship management (CRM) systems for years, and now more small companies are taking advantage of this powerful software. CRM programs analyze data at different stages of the customer lifecycle , providing users with accurate business intelligence. Users can discover the interests and behaviors of their customers and use this information to secure more sales.
CRM helps small businesses establish better relationships with their customers. It lets them target leads, improve their customer service, automate business processes and expedite communications . Valuable data is displayed on a single dashboard, making CRM software easy to navigate.
Research shows that CRM provides users with an average of $8.71 for every dollar spent, and can increase revenue by 41 percent .
- Email Automation Email automation is a marketing tool that lets small businesses connect with customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Users of this software automate marketing messages so communications reach the right people at the right time.
Email automation segments customers so that target demographics receive content relevant to them . This makes it easier to create several marketing campaigns for different audiences.
Business users who create emails with software like this have experienced a massive 451 percent increase in leads, according to research . Moreover, automated emails get 119 percent higher click through rates than other types of emails .
Email automation is one of the fundamentals of digital marketing and is often used alongside methods such as search engine optimization and content marketing.
These three software and tech trends are changing how small businesses operate. More companies will utilize machine learning, CRM and email automation as they scale their business and target customers.
Sources  Gartner Says Worldwide IT Spending to Grow 4% in 2021
 Roundup Of Machine Learning Forecasts And Market Estimates, 2020 (forbes.com)