Small businesses have had a rough couple of years from covid shutdowns, increased labor costs to supply chain challenges. Throughout 2020 and 2021, many small businesses endured extraordinary hardships to keep their doors open. The last two years were some of the most difficult for small businesses in history.
As 2022 gathers momentum, new small business trends are both anticipated and expected. Engaging with these upcoming business trends can help small business owners prepare for new challenges while accepting that the employee and customer landscape has likely been permanently altered. Here are four small business trends to know for 2022.
1) E-Commerce Remains Important in the Hybrid Shopping Method
The pandemic accelerated a shift from brick-and-mortar stores to digital shopping. Almost all retail chains moved to online and curbside pick up in the last two year. People are becoming accustomed to a hybrid shopping model. Whether driven by increased awareness to reduce costs associated with shipping, support their local economy, or engage with others, consumers are embracing a hybrid approach to shopping. This includes interchanging visits to brick-and-mortar stores, using mobile apps, and shopping online to make choices that support their needs and beliefs.
To ensure success, small business owners should make sure they have a mobile-friendly, easy-to-navigate website that allow consumers to quickly find what they want and purchase products or services from their mobile devices.
2) Customers Will Continue to Seek Alternative Payment Options
When it comes to how people pay for goods and services, the pandemic has been both a disrupter and a catalyst in how money is exchanged. The banking and financial services sector has been completely disrupted with defi and crypto adoption over the last year. One big change for small business has been the adoption of alternative payment options. In the last two years, businesses have moved toward alternative payment options (e.g., mobile pay applications, contactless credit, and debit cards). Contactless payment options will not be going away in 2022. In fact, small business owners should be prepared for the demand to increase in the form of applications, cryptocurrencies, mobile wallets, and wearable devices. If they haven’t already done so, it’s critical that small businesses research contactless payment options.
3) Businesses With Virtual and Digital Services Will Continue To Be in Demand
Most people were sequestered at home for long periods of time during 2020 and 2021. At the same time many offices, stores, movie theaters, gymnasiums, restaurants, and entertainment venues found they were required to either halt or dramatically limit in-person activity. As a result, demand for technology and virtual offerings soared. Businesses that were in particularly high demand included:
- At-home fitness
- Cyber security
- Food delivery
- Remote work software
- Virtual events
- Medical services
- Higher Education
- Business Consulting
Just as customers are embracing a hybrid approach to their shopping, they will want the same level of convenience for services. The demand for digital services and digital innovation is sure to continue even after the pandemic subsides. Small business owners and entrepreneurs stand to benefit from this business trend by either pivoting their current practices, expanding their existing business, or launching a new one in one of these in-demand fields.
4) Remote Work
In 2020, the pandemic transformed mobile workforces from being an emerging trend to a critical best practice that enabled businesses to keep their workers safe and productive. Employees have long expressed interest in working remotely. This move towards remote work has proven to make employees happier. Many business owners have embraced this, and many business owners plan to continue offering long-term remote work options. Another option includes the hybrid work space, which seeks to capture the best of both worlds. Business owners continue to benefit from incorporating remote work options. The ability to retain talent and compete for top talent in the future depends on it.
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