2020 has been one of the most challenging years for businesses across the country (and around the world). Despite the challenges, many businesses have adapted. Companies of all sizes have adopted various new practices and created new trends that are shaping how they engage with their customers. As we move into 2021, let’s take a look at some of the top business trends.
Remote Becomes the New Normal
Remote positions have been on the rise for a while now. Following the start of the pandemic, we saw a sharp increase in the number of people working from home. With so many incredible digital tools, remote work is easier than ever before. Now that many businesses have figured out how to make things work (and run their companies successfully) remotely, it’s likely that there may be a permanent shift toward WFH positions.
Personalizing the Customer Service Experience
These days, consumers don’t want to be bombarded by too many options, especially when those options have nothing to do with their needs or interests. Personalized customer experience is all about getting to know your customers so that you can recommend the best products or services for their specific needs. Additionally, consumers have come to expect businesses to know exactly what they want. A little personalization can go a long way in boosting engagement, and engaged customers are more likely to buy than those who aren’t.
An Increased Focus on Eco-Friendliness
Now more than ever, people are becoming aware of their impact on the environment. What’s more, they’re looking for businesses that share their values. An increasing number of businesses have been taking steps to reduce their carbon footprints. They’re donating to causes, reducing paper usage (and using more recycled materials), and cutting back on packaging. They’re also looking into alternative energy sources. Check out the solar panel cost and compare it to other alternative sources (and conventional energy) can help you to find the best options for your business.
Alternative Payment Methods
Contactless payment methods were a thing for a few years, but their popularity exploded in 2020. Forms of payment like contactless cards, mobile pay apps, and digital wallets (which enable you to store credit and debit cards on your smartphone or smartwatch) have increased 69% since January. They’re likely to persist well into 2021 and beyond.
Growing Online Communities
Creating an online community allows you to provide a place where like-minded consumers can gather together can foster invaluable connections surrounding your brand. In such a community, you can share beneficial, quality content that helps you to establish your business as an authority. You can also gain the trust of your audience. Easily shared content like blogs, webinars, live streaming, and live Q & A sessions will all be helpful.
Mobile Apps for Small Businesses
Smartphones are doing more than making calls, sending texts, and helping people search the web. Now, people are using their devices to order groceries, book classes, and more. Several large businesses have mobile apps for their companies. Today, more and more small businesses are jumping on the bandwagon, too.
With a mobile app, your customers can easily order products, book services, and quickly connect to customer service. Your app can also help to boost your mobile marketing strategy by sending push-notifications (if users allow them) to get the latest information regarding promotions, upcoming events, and more, as soon as you drop the announcements.
The Rise of Mobile Marketing
Mobile marketing allows you to reach your customers (and prospects) directly on their smartphones. It’s one of the largest small business trends, and there’s no indication that it’s slowing down soon. Along with developing a stellar mobile-friendly website, you can ask your customers to opt into messages, which enables you to send text messages to their phones that alert them to the latest promotions and essential news.
Businesses large and small have realized that going back to “business as usual” isn’t happening any time soon. The events of 2020 have changed how things are done for what seems like the long-term, and numerous companies are beginning to embrace those changes. While we don’t know exactly what will happen in the future, one thing’s for certain – it’s time to start preparing for 2021.