How Will Technology Change Franchising in 2024?

Franchise Technology 2024

Franchise Experts Weigh in on AI, Cybersecurity, TikTok and More

Like it or not, technology is a huge part of our lives and businesses. We can count on the fact that technology is here to stay and will continue to change and evolve. According to Zippia, 91.6% of Fortune 1000 companies are increasing their investments in Big Data and AI because they believe that both will help them stay competitive.

Franchise companies rely on technology for all phases of business. From point-of-sale (POS) systems at the franchisee level to marketing, recruiting, and training at the franchisor level, franchising runs on technology. Franchisors are obligated to their franchisees to continually add value and make day-to-day communications and tasks more efficient. Technology is at the core of these processes.

Looking ahead, it only makes sense that technology will keep reshaping franchising. This means both challenges and opportunities for franchisors. From using data to better understand consumer behavior to integrating AI to work smarter, franchisors can leverage technology to strengthen and improve their systems. But how do they keep ahead of the curve? A Newsweek article suggests using a holistic strategy that includes staying informed, networking, hiring the right people, and fostering an innovative culture.

Below, franchise experts predict how technology will change franchising in 2024. Not surprisingly, they all believe that franchise companies must be flexible and ready to adapt to these changes to stay successful.

Top row, from left to right: Tom Dufore, Diego Guimarães, Sean Quinn
Bottom Row, from left to right: Colette Bell
, David Lewis, Sarah Moudry

Tom Dufore, Big Sky Franchise Team

“It is hard to see how technology will not change franchising in 2024. I think the main driver for technology will be artificial intelligence. I wrote an article about the 9 Franchise Development Trends for 2024 and one of them is how the use of artificial intelligence will change. I think that the novelty of artificial intelligence is waning, and that substantive use is increasing. A recent franchise sales webinar I attended highlighted how franchisors are beginning to incorporate AI into their franchise development processes. I believe the use of AI in franchise sales and marketing efforts will continue to gain momentum in 2024.” —Tom Dufore

Diego Guimarães, INFINITY, beyond fitness

“Technology will continue revolutionizing franchising in 2024, with several key trends shaping how franchises operate, expand, and interact with both their franchisor and customers. Digital transformation is accelerating, and we need to keep pace. Artificial intelligence has been a part of my company’s day-to-day operations for over a year. We are creating marketing content and a new generation of manuals. Customization and on-demand services are at the core of what we deliver to our members, and this is only possible with integrations of different systems, data analytics, and machine learning. Cybersecurity to protect sensitive customer data and proprietary information is a priority as we rely increasingly on digital technologies. As technology evolves, being ahead of the trends will be crucial for franchises looking to thrive in 2024 and beyond.—Diego Guimarães

Sean Quinn, All Point Retail

“How will tech change franchising in 2024? It won’t! Unless that is, you identify your pain points, develop an operational plan to relieve them in a scalable way for your franchise group, and then develop the tech stack needed to achieve it. The technology is out there – from AI, CRM, clienteling, inventory control, labor management, etc. – all in the cloud and can be integrated. This gives franchise owners real-time business intelligence on every part of their business! Only some franchise organizations take the time to develop a holistic plan, and even fewer execute it. Make 2024 your year! Embrace the tech that’s out there and act on it! Cheers!” —Sean Quinn

Colette Bell, Ace Handyman Services

“In the multi-faceted tech-driven landscape of 2024, franchises and franchisors will utilize technology for scalability and speed. Data analytics can be used to understand customer preferences, AI can transform the heavy lift of creating custom and local marketing messages, old-fashioned operational procedures can become a breeze with specialized apps, and potential AI replacement of basic employees/tasks could be a tremendous boost to a franchisees bottom line.” Colette Bell

David Lewis, Wed Society

In 2024, technology will wield two distinct impacts on franchising. Firstly, the recent passage of a TikTok ban by the U.S. House of Representatives poses a threat to consumer brands heavily reliant on the platform for customer engagement. This regulatory move challenges the efficacy of strategies built around TikTok, potentially disrupting franchise systems with established consumer outreach tactics built on that social media platform.

Secondly, the rise of AI presents a double-edged sword. While its advancements offer real-world potential, hasty adoption may lead to unintended consequences in the quality of content and strategy development. AI is smart — but not smart enough yet, from our perspective. Companies must navigate this landscape cautiously to avoid compromising the qualitative aspects of their operations. Instead, view AI as another voice in the conversation rather than a replacement of your team at this stage.—David Lewis

Sarah Moudry, Bizlinx.ai

“AI has already changed franchising forever. Copywriting and design will never be the same. I’ve created every image for my company myself, with zero artistic ability using an AI platform. Marketing teams will downsize. I predict that one to three people will be able to run and manage franchisee and franchise development marketing for large franchise systems in the near future. The good news is anyone can start their own business using AI technology, and franchisors will save a lot of money on employment costs. The best support for franchisors is in-house marketing, and new and emerging brands can do it much quicker and better now.” —Sarah Moudry

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Jill Abrahamsen’s career spans more than 25 years in editorial, design, and marketing roles. As the editorial director of IFPG, she serves as editor-in-chief of Franchise Consultant Magazine and FranchiseWire. Through both platforms, Jill helps franchisors spread the word about their brands and reports on the latest franchise news and trends. A skilled storyteller, Jill communicates franchisor’s messages through feature articles and franchisee interviews.

Jill is an accomplished writer, editor and graphic designer. Her extensive experience includes key roles with major consumer publications, including Boating, Popular Photography, and Design NJ magazines. As founding editor-in-chief of Franchise Dictionary magazine, Jill developed her passion and fascination for franchising which continues to grow in her role at IFPG.
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