While we’re only in the third month of the year, there are already several trends emerging for small businesses. We review the most prominent, so you can stay on top of the game and get that competitive edge.
User Reviews are Useful Marketing Tools
According to a survey by BrightLocal, 90% of consumers used the internet to locate a local business in 2019, while 82% said they looked at reviews before engaging. While reviews aren’t new, innovative businesses are using them, found on Google and other platforms, in emails, on their website and on social media to stand out from their competitors.
Robots Won’t Steal Jobs
Although Artificial Intelligence (AI) is advancing, it isn’t something we should be afraid of. Chatbots, automated workflows and messages, and other AI will help your business grow and save you time, without threatening your job. Also trending is knowing when and where to implement AI, according to FreshWorks. For example, automated messages won’t cut it for urgent and high-stress situations, such as a cancelled flight. The human touch is still very much needed and should be applied where appropriate.
Consumers Want to do Everything on their Phones
If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website by now, you need to prioritise it because consumers want to be able to do everything on their phones, according to Cox Blue. This includes paying in stores on iPhones, Androids or other mobile devices by holding them up to the machine. They also want to be able to make a purchase online in one-click, with Apple Pay and Visa Checkout increasing in popularity. Another trend is in-store mobile marketing. Invesp found that 32% of shoppers decided to buy an item after they checked the product out on their phones while in-store, which ties back in with user reviews.
Millennials to Drive Decisions
It’s time to rub shoulders with Millennials and Gen Z if you aren’t already. The digital-savvy generation will soon make up a large percentage of business owners, and the issues that are important to them will drive how they run a business, while these consumers will opt for companies that align with their values. For example, Inc. magazine says sustainability is a major factor for Millennials and Gen Z, and an issue which should be considered by all business owners.