"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye. "
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
As the market keeps evolving constantly, it has become highly competitive and versatile, for small businesses to keep up with their competition and consumer expectations, it is very important for them to be aware of the latest small business trends that influence both the market and customers.
Here is a list of small business trends to look out for this year:
Personalized Customer Service and Marketing
Personalization has become a big trend nowadays and will continue to grow in the coming years. Customers prefer to see recommendations to things they most often buy. A personalized experience is much more welcomed by customers while looking for something to purchase. Small businesses can delve into personalization by tracking preferences and providing recommendations and advertising according to their customer’s specifications.
Online User Reviews
Due to the increasing dependency and instant availability of the internet nowadays, consumers prefer to look into everything they purchase online. It has become a known fact that consumers prefer to buy products with existing reviews than products that have no reviews at all. Online reviews add a sense of assurance that the service and quality of a product are worth buying. Small businesses can work on this aspect by providing customers with a platform to post their reviews and gain favour by providing good quality and service to establish their brand.
Sustainable and Environment-Friendly Businesses
Due to the increase in awareness of global environmental conditions, consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious and prefer businesses that are the same. Small businesses can gain preference by offering sustainable products and maintaining an aware and conscious presence.
In today’s digital age everyone prefers to take the virtual route. With a plethora of online payment options available in recent times, such as online banking, UPI payments and the increasing popularity of e-wallets, consumers prefer to buy products on platforms that offer wide online payment options. Small businesses should get on board with this trend by having a lot of online payment options to cater to consumer preferences.
Targeting the Youth Demographic
In today’s world, the young generation is pioneering above all. Small businesses have to get on board and concentrate on catering to the younger demographic by keeping their products and services convenient and relevant to the youngsters.
With the rise of real estate and small businesses budding more than ever, getting a stable working space can be a taxing and expensive task. With easy access to the internet and the availability of mobile phones and laptops, remote working has become an easily accessible option. Small business can operate from anywhere and everywhere when it is convenient for them.
Influencers are people who have a strong online presence, they can be bloggers, artists, musicians, etc. These people use their online popularity to promote and introduce concepts and products. This becomes a platform for marketing that has gained heavy popularity recently. Small businesses can get in touch with these influencers and market their product through giveaways, collaborations, etc.
Voice and Location Related Searches
With the hustle-bustle of today and the increasing culture of a fast-paced lifestyle, the culture of voice searches is steadily increasing. People prefer to perform voice searches instead of typing it in as it is easier and faster. One more pattern of searches that has gained popularity is ‘near me’ searches. Customers prefer looking for providers that are in close vicinity to them. This is a great opportunity for small local businesses to spread their reach by increasing their visibility.
Freelancing or Gig Economy
It can be very hard for small or home-based business owners to hire permanent employees. Especially if their business requires a specific skill set that is not indigenous to their area of operations. The trend of a gig economy has sky-rocketed in recent times and can fix the problem of hiring for small businesses. Owners can easily hire professionals on project bases. This will prove to be both efficient and cost-effective.
The Introduction of 5G Networks
It is anticipated that 5G networks are going to launch this year all over the world, this will change the way we connect on the internet. With download speeds expected to be about 1Gbps, this will make connecting on the internet an instantaneous process. Small businesses can benefit greatly from this as they will be able to communicate and get things done on a much faster pace, along with that it will affect other aspects as well, higher speeds will mean small businesses will be able to connect to consumers more seamlessly, be able to perform remote working more efficiently, etc.
The Rise of AI
In the age of technology, AI is on the rise. AI is taking the business platform by storm. Its implementation is providing ease of operations in every field, all from marketing to operations. Small businesses can adopt the use of AI in their operations and management by adopting AI-infused CRM software, automated customer communications by using a chatbot, analyzing digital information more extensively, and many more