2020 was the year that changed everything.
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to wreak havoc on a global scale and social and political unrest reaching unprecedented heights, the world has undergone some significant adjustments over the past 12 months.
For example, there has been a significant move to online shopping with many consumers being enticed by the convenience and the apparent safety of ordering goods online. Many consumers have also been shopping online using special offers in order to save money (see here for an example of some), as dispensable income for some households has lowered during the course of the pandemic.
Although the total impact of 2020 on the worldwide economy is yet to be revealed, small businesses have found new ways to thrive during these times of hardship and adversity.
For instance, did you know that according to Google, worldwide searches for ‘support small business’ doubled in comparison to 2019?
Whilst the factors that attract consumers to online shopping work well in the favor of large businesses. More consumers than ever before seem to be shunning large corporations in favor of supporting independent, locally run businesses.
Consequently, although human contact has been severely limited as a result of the coronavirus restrictions, a lot of people have felt compelled to support local organizations during these times of strife.
Moreover, with freedom of movement severely limited due to enforced lockdowns, most people have been left with no other option but to pay their local businesses a visit for essential goods and services.
So, with this in mind, let us discover some small business trends to keep an eye out for in 2021.
Health is Wealth – The Rise and Rise of the Health Industry
With almost everyone looking for new ways to boost their mind and body, it is not a surprise that some health-related businesses have seen a rise in demand as a result of the pandemic.
From vegan cafes and restaurants that have adapted to takeaway culture, to a boom in natural products such as CBD skincare, health-focused customers are increasingly judicious about where they choose to spend their money.
Customers are actively looking for goods that reflect a healthy lifestyle more than ever before, so businesses selling things like CBD products are becoming a lot more popular. Cannabis in general has boomed in the past few years, with many successful online businesses satisfying customers everyday. With websites that sell cannabis to tutorials on how to make honey oil – the industry has taken off. As marijuana is becoming more accepted worldwide, entrepreneurs are jumping on the band wagon to find their fortune in the next big thing. Perhaps more entrepreneurs should consider selling some CBD vape products as there is a huge market for these products. If this sounds ideal, you can look here to see some white label CBD options. This might be more effective for some businesses, so consider looking into that option.
Put simply, it is no secret that fighting off a deadly virus requires a strong immune system and therefore products that can boost overall health have soared in demand.
Home cooking and baking is well and truly back in business, with bloggers helping amateur chefs to finally get to grips with the culinary basics through tasty and nutritious recipes.
Additionally, in 2021 natural beauty products are going to experience a premium update, with consumers seeking out well-designed and affordable luxury skincare from small, natural brands.
More Businesses Will Use Social Media ‘Stories’ to Connect with Audiences
With almost the entire population spending more time at home and on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and TikTok, small businesses have had to adapt to an expanding digital audience. Services such as live streaming have been incredibly popular, especially when they incorporate the use of real time messaging to encourage live discussions and interactivity.
One other social media tool that small businesses will be using more of to promote their products and services in 2021 is stories.
Although originally introduced by the social media platform Snapchat in 2013, stories allow social media users to compile images and video content into a chronological story. As a result of their widespread success, stories are now a default feature on most social media platforms.
What makes a story unique from a newsfeed post or a direct message is that the content itself disappears after 24 hours. This in the moment approach makes them seem more authentic and connectable to an audience.
Correspondingly, if you want to convey your message, alongside live streaming, stories are a fantastic way to build an authentic voice and connect with followers. Simply posting images of products, how-to style tutorials, and a swipe up link to buy is all it might take to initiate sales.
That being said, due to their short and ephemeral nature, it is important that businesses use stories creatively to grab the attention of a viewer and stop them in their tracks before they move on to the next story.
Customer Service Will Become Increasingly Personalized and Will Embrace the Move to Online
In 2021, providing a customized customer experience is key.
However, with so many businesses only operating on a click and collect basis and in an online capacity, what can small business owners do to show customers that their custom is valued?
One way that online businesses can harness the potential of their website is through providing product suggestions that relate to previous purchases.
For example, if your business sells kitchenware, additional kitchenware items might be of interest to your customers.
Smart personalization engines provide a tailored online shopping experience that reduces background noise and distractions and instead provides customers with everything that they could possibly need in one place.
Ultimately, although 2020 was an incredibly tough year for everyone, adaptation has proved to be crucial for small businesses.
Above all, to stand out from the crowd, clear communication between customers and employees is going to be vital.
With the majority of remote workforces showing no signs of returning to the workplace just yet, embracing the online environment will help small businesses to succeed in 2021 and beyond.
What other small business trends do you think are going to emerge in 2021? Get in touch and let us know your thoughts.