If you look up the definition of the word “trend”, you’ll find resources that consider it synonymous with the words “fad’ and “craze”.
While you can create a relationship based on how the words are used, in the context of business, trends refer to long-term changes in the direction of consumer demands and preferences.
A fad or a craze is symptomatic of collective behavior; fuelled by emotion rather than a rational thought process.
For example, whenever Nike drops the latest Air Jordan or Apple announces the launch date of the latest iPhone, many followers of these brands don’t give much thought to why they have to have these products.
They just have to.
Business trends represent a shift in direction that was necessitated by prevailing circumstances. Creating these shifts is no small feat as you’re talking about changes that affect industries and livelihoods.
The event or events that cause these shifts in demand must be “seismic” in strength and magnitude to drive the change in direction.
And the global pandemic is definitely more seismic than the latest Air Jordan or iPhone.
Here are the 5 remaining small business trends that we see continuing in 2021 and beyond 2022.
1. Greater Demand for Mobile Responsive Websites
The businesses that survived the prolonged lockdown period were the ones with mobile responsive websites. They were able to continue selling products because their online stores were in place and running.
The businesses that didn’t have mobile responsive websites should have learned the lessons of the “Retail Armageddon” – where even the biggest, longest-tenured, and most iconic retailers closed down because they couldn’t survive the onslaught of e-commerce.
You can say that the global pandemic is Retail Armageddon II.
The truth is, whether the global pandemic happened or not, your business needs a mobile responsive website to accommodate the growing influence of mobile technology.
The global pandemic just made the need for a mobile business website more urgent.
Learn your lessons from the first lockdown and don’t take any more chances. Give us a call or drop us an email and we can set up your business presence on the internet right away.
2. Digital Marketing Will Be the Difference-Maker
Another consequence of the global pandemic is that more people are on the internet now more than ever.
A May 2020 study by Statista showed a marked increase in online shopping because of the coronavirus. The study covered the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
The results of the study proved that the battleground for customers has shifted to the Internet.
If you want to remain competitive, you must invest in Digital Marketing.
Here are 10 benefits of Digital Marketing for your business:
- Increase the visibility of your business on the internet.
- Remain top-of-mind with your target audience.
- Enhance your reputation as an expert in the industry or as a provider of quality products and services.
- Generate high-quality leads that you can convert into paying customers.
- Reduce the cost of marketing your products and services.
- Increase the ROI on marketing activities.
- Access real-time data about your business that you can use to develop profitable strategies.
- Improve customer relationships; existing customers and prospects will appreciate having your business accessible on the internet.
- Streamline costs and improve efficiency because Internet-based content can be updated and reused.
- Create new streams of revenue for your business; sell your products on your e-commerce site, social media, and other retailers such as Amazon and Walmart.
Keep in mind that most, if not all, of your competitors have invested in a Digital Marketing strategy for their business. If you don’t have one in place for your business, you will be left behind.
3. Strong Shift in Demand for Home Improvement Products and Services
Because people are spending more time at home, it’s no surprise that the demand for home improvement products and services will grow.
Included in the list of top 10 selling home improvement products are the following:
- Closed Circuit TV and Surveillance Equipment.
- Repair Kits/Toolboxes
- Refrigerator Parts
- Robot Cleaners
- Touch-up Pens
- Air Purifiers
- Bathroom Vanities, Shelves, and Cabinets
- Lighting Products
And it’s not just home improvement products that will see a boom in 2021. USChamber.com has identified the following types of home services that will be popular even during the post-pandemic years:
- Online Personal Training
- Fast-food Delivery Services
- Telemedicine or Online Medical Consultancy Services
- Virtual Events
We’d also like to add pest control and home disinfection services, grocery deliveries, online education/tutorial services, and mobile salon and beauty treatments.
4. Greater Focus on Market/Customer Retention Strategies
According to research conducted by Bain & Company, if you can retain 5% of your customers, you can improve revenues by 25% to 95%.
You also spend five times more when acquiring a new customer than retaining an existing one.
Here are 5 strategies that you might want to consider for your business:
- Offer loyalty programs such as memberships and discount cards.
- Offer home services. This strategy is ideal for PC resellers and repair businesses, car repair shops, and tutorial services.
- Book time to talk to the client over the phone and get his/her inputs. The human touch is more effective in reaching into the soul than an A.I.
- Invite the customer to special events such as virtual launches, concerts, and even movie screenings.
- Send free samples of new products to the customer.
At a time when businesses are focusing on streamlining their expenses, greater focus should be placed on strategies that retain customers instead of finding new ones.
5. More Consumers Will Support Small Businesses
According to JP Morgan, 99% or 26.7 million businesses in the United States are categorized as small businesses.
Thus, small business is the engine of growth in America. The more small businesses succeed, the greater the country’s chances of recovering from the pandemic.
A 2020 survey conducted by Salesforce.com showed that 59% of respondents reported that they would rather buy from a small business than a big business to support struggling entrepreneurs.
The survey further supports our recommendation to invest in a mobile responsive website in part 1 of this article and to implement digital marketing strategies for your business.
You have to compete with the other small businesses in your industry. Consumers are ready to pay for your products and services. Before you can prove that you’re the best in the industry, the customers have to find you first.
It’s never too late to start a new business. There will always be opportunities every day. The important thing is to get started.
Keep in mind that the world is on the road to recovery. To succeed, it would be a good idea to get an early start on that journey.
Do you have other small business trends in mind that we didn’t cover? Please share them in the comments section.
And if you need digital marketing services, give us a call and we’ll create a customized package for you.
If you have received great insights from this article, feel free to share it with your community.