2021 2022 and 2023 new year written on highway as future and success concept against the happy looking sunset.

Contributed by AFFLINK

As 2021 ends, AFFLINK, a leading sales and marketing organization made up of distributor-members throughout North America, has been canvassing its members, asking them what emerging trends they see in 2022 and beyond.

“Many of our members believe the most significant trends will be in technology and digital communication,” says Michael Wilson, vice president of marketing and packaging at AFFLINK. 

“They believe technology has been ‘recharged’ due to the pandemic with more technological advances expected right around the corner.”

Among other takeaways from the canvassing are the following:

The New Reality.  After learning how to travel less, work remotely, and use video conferencing, it is now unrealistic that businesspeople will willingly return to the “old normal” of working in office settings as much or as often as they did before.

From Physical to Virtual. Nevertheless, interactions between distributors and their customers will still be crucial. However, more will shift from in-person meetings to virtual meetings moving forward.

Artificial Intelligence. Distributors will be leaning on artificial intelligence (AI) at accelerating rates. Technologies that can perform many human tasks allows distributors to identify customer purchasing patterns, recommend products that might have greater benefits for their customers, and help distributors reduce inventory waste, optimize inventory, and enhance supply chain management.

Global Impacts. The pandemic proves that what happens in one part of the world can impact everyone and every business anywhere in the world. 

The Great Pivot. We are no longer in the "new normal." We are in the "Great Pivot." Most businesses and distributors now realize that COVID has changed everything, with even more changes in our lives and business operations coming in the future.

Finally, most AFFLINK members agreed that the pandemic has made us all stronger. “Without realizing it, we have become much more resilient," says one AFFLINK member. "This resiliency will help distributors and virtually all businesses tremendously in years to come.”