There have been certain small business trends in 2021 that are continuing to build momentum for this year. Smartpay compiled a list of five small business trends below – learn what’s in store for 2022 and how, as a business owner, you can implement these trends to gain a business advantage.
The ‘shop local’ trend is still going strong
Australia is home to over 3.5 million small businesses who are the backbone of our economy. Driven by the pandemic, campaigns such as ‘Go Local First’ are still supporting small businesses across the country as consumers continue to appreciate their local communities.
With an increasing shift on work flexibility and working from home arrangements, many consumers have further discovered businesses in their local community and continue to shop local where they can. In fact, data gathered by MasterCard shows that 73 per cent of consumers actively want to spend money in their local community to help businesses bounce back and nearly half are happy to buy items locally even if they cost more, to show this support.
Small businesses, therefore, need to continue to engage their local community by making themselves easily accessible, offering more payment options and a wide range of products or services that meet all types of consumer needs. Be visible as a local business and where you can, try to collaborate with other local businesses to strengthen your brand and presence within the community.
Small businesses are getting noticed on social media
Social marketing is a marketing technique that uses social media, such as Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and other platforms to market products. Social media is a fantastic way for small business owners to connect with their target audience in a cost efficient way and use these platforms to continually promote any new products or services they are offering to their followers.
Small businesses are really successful when it comes to engaging with their target audiences via social media as they take the time required to engage one on one with their follower base through comments, questions and increased posting. Posting regularly and content that is authentic to your brand will help build brand loyalty in the community. In addition, building up a social media presence across multiple social media channels will help increase revenue and awareness of your products and services.
Sustainability & Responsibility is significant to consumers
In a recent survey of approximately 5,000 Australian Gen Z’s and their spending habits concluded that 42 per cent ‘deepened their relationship with a business because they perceived its products or services had a positive impact, whether that be for the environment and/or for society in general’. It can be generalised that ‘younger generations’ tend to spend with businesses who share similar values and therefore a focus on sustainability and selling responsible goods and services is fast becoming a consideration for both businesses and consumers.
It is important for business owners to look at aspects of their business such as supply chains, paper consumption (consider going paperless if possible!) and waste reduction strategies in order to operate more sustainably and responsibly.
Mobile marketing dominates online sales
Australia has 21.5 million smartphone users across the country, so it comes as no surprise that mobile marketing is becoming an important factor small businesses should consider.
For larger traffic volumes, online stores should cater to shoppers using their mobile devices to make purchases. In fact, Google includes mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal for local search results, so small businesses embracing this continued trend will help to make both their website and online presence successful. Other mobile trends include sending SMS messages to your customer base to promote exclusive offers as well as location targeting on Google that lets you choose your target locations to reach potential customers in the area.
eCommerce continues to boom
Perhaps unsurprisingly as a result of the number of lockdowns over the past 18 months, eCommerce continues to be a major business trend for small businesses in 2022.
As a result of covid, some small businesses like traditional brick and mortar retail stores and hospitality venues, had to change their product offerings and make the shift to online. However, from this trend, positive change emerged when small businesses embraced the idea of selling online and their products became immediately more accessible to a wider audience. The number of online shoppers in Australia rose by 28% in 2020 alone, and since most small businesses have set up the infrastructure and processes over the last 18 months, they can continue to expect a continual presence in eCommerce in 2022.
Smartpay can recommend a number of popular eCommerce solution providers for small businesses.
By understanding and adapting these five small business trends for 2022 and beyond, small business owners will continue to thrive in their local community and attract an engaged audience with the potential to turn them into loyal and repeat customers.
This article has been republished with permission from Smartpay.