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Planning for upcoming trends is no easy task but it also doesn’t need to require a crystal ball. The truth is that most trends give you a clue long before they hit the mainstream and so we’ve dug through past trends and the best predictions from industry experts to find 5 trends that are well worth watching and possibly using this year.

On Demand Delivery

Companies like Uber and Lyft have changed the way we handle personal transportation and, in the 1016, they’re also expected to change the way we see delivery options. Many companies are now teaming with local drivers to offer quick, local delivery to customers who want something like NOW. This can be an especially attractive option for last minute gift givers on holidays like Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and birthdays.

Cloud Based Inventory & Sales Analysis

Cloud technology isn’t exactly an emerging trend but the way in which it’s used has changed dramatically. Companies that have branched out to both retail and ecommerce sales channels have found that a cloud inventory application for small business inventory means they can track and adjust their stock levels quickly no matter how items are sold. A run on a specific product online can be spotted and then used to promote the product in stores and vice versa. This helps a company not only manage its stock better, but also to plan for marketing and promotions more effectively.

Greater Scrutiny

The rise of online reviews means greater scrutiny from customers. While this can be a bit intimidating, smart companies will see it as a way to hone their services, product and public persona. While it’s simply impossible to make everyone happy, being able to deal with criticism in a confident and open way will improve the way the public perceives you overall.

Fringe Benefits

Companies playing up their unique benefits packages have made headlines throughout 2015. Benefits such as onsite dry cleaning, flexible hours, open plan office options and comped meals have all become hot benefits employees want even more than financial rewards. Take a cue from these larger companies to see what benefits you can offer your own employees.

Mobile, Mobile, Mobile

Mobile options are officially the standard. Mobile sales continue to climb and more and more people expect companies to be reachable through mobile websites and applications. If you haven’t already developed a mobile app, it’s a trend that will demand your attention in 2016.