As we head into a new year, it an be challenging for a small business to stay optimistic as conditions and strategies continue to shift. Knowing where things currently rest, and where they may be going can be, can also be a challenging situation. In a recently published report issued by the US Small Business Administration, the SBA has focused in on what just may be the direction in which small business is headed. The following is taken directly from that report:
- It’s difficult to understate all the changes the business landscape has seen in the past few years, and yet entrepreneurs have responded with incredible adaptability. Perhaps that is one of the biggest reasons small business owners are optimistic about the future. In fact, 66% expect revenue increases and more than half plan to expand their business in 2023.
- E-commerce and social commerce will continue to boom. There’s no denying e-commerce’s place in the market. More than half of global internet users buy something online every week. It doesn’t look like those numbers will be going down anytime soon. Experts forecast that the global e-commerce industry will grow to $8.1 trillion by 2026. Social media has also emerged as a serious player. With customers now buying directly on platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest, it could be time to adjust your sales model accordingly.
- But that doesn’t mean you should forget about brick and mortar. Our way of life may be increasingly digital, but the statistics don’t lie: 61% of customers still want to try products in person before buying. It’s all the more reason to think about your strategy from an omnichannel perspective. If you have a website, consider installing chatbot technology or optimizing for voice search. In-store, you can cater to customer expectations with services like self-checkout. After all, more than half of surveyed retail shoppers in North America have used it.
- Customer experience is still king. Research shows that customers value experience over both price and product quality. Whether online or in-person, the customer experience has to be the focus of your strategy. Think of fun ways to personalize your in-store profile, such as hosting pop-up events. Online, it’s about creating an immersive experience. For example, if you sell clothes, you might invest in technology that allows customers to try on clothes virtually.
-Written by Kevin Sawyer