Many small business trends are coming up in 2021 as a result of coping with the pandemic in 2020. There is more social distancing, and working from home, hence new modes of communication with customers, payment, and delivery of goods. To be able to curate these trends, small businesses will require a lot of insight and the ability to spot emerging behaviours emerging from the change.
Some of the trends you shouldn’t ignore in 2021 are:
AI (Artificial Intelligence) applications
Many businesses continue to cut down expenses by letting go of employees. However, this does not mean that business processes stop running. They are embracing the use of various AI applications such as chatbots to communicate with clients, virtual assistants, and automation of email responses.
One of the benefits of AI is that you can make it a 24/7 service, hence improving the consumer experience. AI provides businesses with the power of click tracking, push notifications, customer segmentation, and retargeting.
Content and social media marketing
Small businesses cannot ignore this trend as it is the only effective and affordable way to reach potential clients. With digital marketing, there are several methods that small businesses can use to avoid being left behind. Some of these include:
- Use of social media influencers to market their products/services.
- Personalization through e-marketing
- Video content
- SEO content marketing through platforms such as Google
- One-on-one conversational marketing with customers
Many employees will not be coming back to the workplace to maintain social distance and to avoid telecommuting. Small businesses must redesign processes to allow for remote work and learn how to work with them. Employees and employers must learn how to conduct virtual meetings through various online platforms. Working remotely has its advantages, for example, businesses can hire people on a freelance basis and outside their locality.
With the Novel CoronaVirus pandemic, the use of hard cash is reducing to prevent its spread. Several contactless payment processing methods are coming up, such as QR codes that allow for us in one establishment, digital wallets that reduce the need for separate applications, and voice-activated payments.
Chatbots that convert speech-to-text or text-to-speech are growing popular because they allow consumers to initiate invoice payments and give instructions within applications. Small businesses must incorporate more electronic payment methods to cope with the financial changes.
Today, consumers will rarely walk into a store to buy their products or window shop. As more businesses move online, so are their deliveries. One of the trends that have come up from staying at home is product delivery. You can get employees to deliver food, groceries, electronics, or other household supplies at a fee. However, this requires extensive use of product delivery applications and contactless payments.
Changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic are forcing businesses to adapt and adopt new trends. To keep your small business afloat and enhance growth, you cannot ignore these trends in 2021. Explore new ways to communicate with your clients for example through social media and AI applications like chatbots. Embrace remote work, home deliveries, contactless payments, and digital marketing.