As a small business, it’s important to keep up with the latest trends in technology, marketing and customer service. Even though not every trend will impact the business equally, it’s essential to be on top of things that change over time. Major trends do influence customers’ expectations, so it’s good to be up to date.
Below are some significant trends that may impact your small business in 2020 and beyond.
1. Customers prefer businesses that are socially responsible.
Customers are increasingly paying attention to how companies conduct their business. Specifically younger customers of the millennial and Gen Z generations prefer businesses that maintain environmentally green and socially ethical standards in their operations.
Some of the ways a business can demonstrate their commitment:
- Use local products as much as possible.
- Minimize packaging and use recyclable materials for packaging.
- Use green cleaning products.
2. Customer reviews will gain in importance.
Online reviews have been a critical element of the online presence of any business for some time, but their influence on customer decision continues to grow. Customers trust reviews over ads and campaigns that businesses create themselves. If you haven’t done it yet, list your business on sites such as Google My Business, Yelp and others that are relevant to your business.
The best way to get positive reviews is to offer great products and customer service. Aside from that, try to encourage customers to leave reviews, whether you do this in person, via email or social media.
3. It’s easier than ever to leverage e-commerce.
Putting aside the big online retailers, many businesses are learning to profit from the e-commerce trend. It enables brick-and-mortar stores to expand without the need for more physical space.
For instance, a restaurant owner might create a product around their signature salsa, curry sauce or salad dressing. Other products may include writing an e-book of recipes. Salons can sell beauty and haircare products. A gym might sell supplements and workout gear. Setting up an ecommerce store is easier than ever.
4. Mobile marketing will increase in popularity among businesses.
Mobile is a long-term trend that is set to grow in 2020 and beyond. Small businesses may start to leverage mobile marketing in a number of ways:
- Create geo-targeted campaigns to serve ads for customers that are in immediate proximity of the business.
- Create an app for the business, where you can then send out promotions and the latest news.
- Accept mobile payments. More and more consumers are using mobile payment options provided by Google Wallet, Apple Pay, so it’s only reasonable for businesses to provide a convenient feature to customers.
5. Stories and livestreaming to pick up steam on social media.
Instead of simply posting on your news feed, share stories on Facebook and Instagram. Livestreaming on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube has been made easy and can be leveraged for additional visibility and engagement. When you go live, you can connect with your audience in a spontaneous and authentic way.
It’s not necessary to have detailed presentations ready. The best strategy is to check in regularly and provide snippets of the latest news so you keep in contact with customers.