PM Articles by Project Times.
The global business landscape is rapidly changing, making it challenging for businesses to keep up.
If you don’t know and learn to adapt to the emerging business trends, you could miss opportunities to scale and grow your business.
The solution? Understand the five major trends below.
These trends are likely to dominate the business landscape in the coming years. Learning them now can help you scale your company and better position it for success.
1. Growing customer preference for alternative pickup options
The pandemic has forced many companies to get more creative at the point of sale to accommodate changes in how customers wanted (and needed) to obtain products.
As a result, alternative pickup options and contactless delivery dominated 2020, which is likely to continue moving forward.
According to data from Medallia Zingle, 87% of surveyed customers prefer that businesses continue to offer options such as curbside pickup to limit in-person visits.
One of the top small business trends to follow to accommodate customer preferences is to invest in contactless delivery, curbside pickup, touchless payment, and other options.
Doing so allows you to prepare your business to accommodate this shift in how customers want and expect to buy and acquire your products.
2. Expansion to eCommerce
While online shopping isn’t new, the shift from physical stores to eCommerce will only continue to boom.
Data shows a forecasted growth of 16.1%, reaching $1.06 trillion in 2022 for U.S. retail eCommerce sales—highlighting how online shopping isn’t likely to slow down any time soon.
Optimize your business’s eCommerce presence to stay ahead of this trend, especially if you’re a brick-and-mortar store shifting to the digital space.
Some of the ways to help you adopt this trend effectively include:
- Setting up an eCommerce website or optimizing your existing site for mobile and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to help increase your web page rankings and visibility.
- Leveraging the best digital channels to use for your online marketing efforts, such as social media, email marketing, and all the channels successful ecommerce companies utilize.
- Delivering personalized and memorable shopping experiences on your website to stand out from your competitors while encouraging purchases from your visitors.
3. Increase in foot traffic
While more customers prefer to shop online, consumers who want to shop in physical stores are likely to increase as restrictions are lowered.
Data from Adentro substantiates this, showing that the average customer foot traffic growth to physical stores is at 27.44% as of February 2022.
Prepare your brick-and-mortar store for the potentially significant increase in foot traffic by providing various payment and pickup options.
You can also offer seamless offline and online marketing, sales, and customer service processes.
One example is to provide an omnichannel experience that allows customers to shop and buy your products across connected (online and offline) touchpoints and channels seamlessly.
For instance, customers can shop and pay online and pick up their purchases from their nearest physical store.
4. Emphasis on social media marketing
According to Statista, the number of social media users globally will reach almost 4.41 billion by 2025.
With this massive number of social media users, platforms such as Facebook and Instagram will remain excellent channels for marketing.
That is because you’ll have a huge reserve of audiences you can tap into and potentially turn into paying and loyal customers on social media platforms.
Below are some of the social media marketing trends to watch for and leverage for your business.
More companies will hire dedicated staff for social media
Social media marketing has a huge potential to drive engagement, conversions, and sales, prompting companies to hire dedicated people to manage social media initiatives.
Dedicated social media hires allow you to optimize your social media marketing efforts instead of tasking your already busy teams.
You can prioritize your social media marketing efforts and avoid missing tons of conversion and sales opportunities.
With a social media manager, you can turn social media marketing into a revenue-generating initiative for your business.
Social media advertising will be more sophisticated
The third-party cookie is bound to die out as Google will start to phase out cookie tracking by 2023.
The death of third-party cookies means you’ll need to pivot your advertising strategies and turn to other approaches.
This is where targeted ads across social media channels and User-Generated Content (UGC) come in.
Instead of relying on third-party cookies, 2022 onward will likely open opportunities to develop data-driven strategies using metrics based on social media user interactions with your brand.
The focus will more likely be on using the metrics to understand your target audiences’ preferences and interests more personally and deeply.
It can help you tailor your ads better to address your audience’s pain points and problems and ultimately compel viewers into acting on your offers.
Consumers will prefer bite-sized content
TikTok, Instagram Reels, and Facebook Stories are becoming the most preferred ways for social media users to engage with brands.
As such, 2022 and beyond will see audiences consuming more bite-sized content across social media channels.
Develop solid social media marketing strategies to help your business gain a competitive advantage over other brands that are also jumping into the “snackable” content trend.
5. AI and big data will drive core business processes
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data will play crucial and even bigger roles in collecting and analyzing massive volumes of business information.
AI and data analytics are bound to become more advanced and sophisticated, fueling critical business processes such as marketing, sales, customer service, etc.
Through AI and big data technologies, you can gain actionable insights quickly to help you:
- Target audiences with your marketing campaigns better
- Streamline internal process workflows
- Forecast and predict sales and marketing patterns and trends
Advanced AI, Machine Learning (ML), and big data analytics tools are likely to become indispensable.
These technologies allow your business to gain more in-depth knowledge about your customers’ preferences, interests, demographics, and content consumption and buying behaviors.
You can leverage the data to provide highly personalized and custom consumer experiences.
Essentially, adopting more sophisticated AI and data analytics technologies will become necessary to succeed in the modern business landscape.
The technologies will allow minimal guesswork and more data-based strategies and decision-making for companies across industries.
Know the latest trends to position your business for success
Business trends can come and go and rapidly change, but some are meant to stay and will only continue to evolve over the years.
Understand the latest business trends to learn how these can impact your core business processes and initiatives, helping you scale and grow your company.
Get a head start by knowing the business trends in this guide.