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Business trends come and go as like leaves falling from trees in the autumn winds, but your business doesn’t have to get caught unaware. You can help your company survive the constant shifting and ever-changing consumer demands by monitoring the trends as they occur. Here are some of the ways you can watch the activity of your rivals and stay in touch with what your customer base is looking for as you monitor important trends in the marketplace.

1. Check the Group Discount Sites

Group discounts have become big business as a way for companies to introduce new products or services to a wider customer base. To counter the large group discount websites, more individual companies than ever before have begun offering their own discounts. Watch the flow of traffic and types of discounts being offered to identify a trend in the way other companies are doing business. Using the group discount sites to sell items is a great way to publicize your company’s services and products. The group discount can also offer you a higher sales margin if the discounted item’s purchase must be included with other more profitable products.

2. Look for Social Network Waves

Consumers drive more company successes and failures than ever before, thanks to their use of the social network sites. Through word of mouth, positive feedback, and other virtual methods, the consumer has taken control of the viral marketplace. Using multiple platforms, the social network waves of customers in more numbers than ever before can drive a product to viral success overnight – or send it crashing within hours of a single hater’s post. Make sure you understand the waves of customer comments associated with your company and your competitors, so you can better understand what the consumer wants.

3. Make Your Company Accessible

Many small companies fail because they don’t realize that any information for a product sale that makes it onto the internet can capture the attention of millions of people around the world. Plan ahead and notice that trends for customers come in waves across the globe. Hire an answering service to take pertinent customer information about questions and complaints rather than ignoring queries that come in after the normal eight-hour day in your region. You can also watch sales on your company’s website to identify where most of your sales are taking place.

4. Profit From E-Commerce

The topic of e-commerce can become an unpredictable discussion between business owners in a time when no one is quite sure how to handle the ever-growing possibility of internet sales. While many consumers still enjoy shopping for items in a traditional store-front, brick-and-mortar shop, every day those numbers are shrinking as individuals become more accustomed to shopping online. Whether you decide to move your operations to a secure e-commerce website or stay in your local community, you should watch for trends that your competitors may be slimming their operations down and moving entirely into the virtual world of sales. Knowing what type of business world you are competing against can make a huge difference in how you market your products, and where you advertise.

5. Watch Mobile Advertising

Business owners know consumers have become reliant on their phones. As the potential customer spends more phone hours per week shopping, playing games, messaging, and reading articles, businesses have become more savvy about advertising within the mobile platform. To counter this trend, consumers have learned to ignore most of the ads that flash before them. Since the internet form of advertising is here to stay, become aware of the changes that occur within the field to stay competitive.

Your business needs to expand your customer base as it grows. In order to do that, you need to know the trends moving through the current business practices in your marketplace. Understanding the trends as they come and go can help you know exactly what our customers want.