Small Business Trends: What to Expect in 2022

Small Business Trends: What to Expect in 2022 blog title image

As we settle into the new year, you may be taking a hard look at what your business will look like in the coming year. Staying up to date on the latest business tips and trends can help you to maintain an edge over your competitors. So what can you expect to see happening in the business world in 2022?

2022 small business trends will be dominated by continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on to discover the top trends to look out for this year and how you can use these to keep your business growth strong in the coming months. 

Growth of E-Commerce

One of the biggest trends we’re going to see in 2022 is the continued growth of e-commerce. Although online shopping already had a lot of momentum, the pandemic pushed us into a world dominated by e-commerce. That trend is going to rise in 2022, and business owners need to be prepared to meet it. 

If you don’t have one already, setting up an online store is a smart move for the coming year. Not only does this allow you to better connect with your local customers, it also gives you the chance to expand your customer base. And as we’ll discuss later, you should consider expanding sales onto social media platforms, in addition to on your website. 

Increased Selling Through Social Media 

Social media has become one of the best ways for businesses to advertise and reach new customer bases. But in the last couple of years, these networks have also become platforms for businesses to sell their products. Today, social media can be one of your most powerful tools for expanding your e-commerce reach. 

Platforms like Facebook allow you to list products for sale directly through your page. Pinterest has also added a purchase feature, and Instagram has made it easier than ever to add store links to your posts. Make sure you’re taking advantage of as many of these opportunities as possible so you can expand your business reach. 

Increased Alternative Pickup Options

The beginning of the pandemic also saw a rise in alternative pickup options for customers. Many restaurants started offering curbside delivery, and grocery stores ramped up their online pickup options. Retail stores also began offering curbside pickup as a way for customers to make purchases with less risk of exposure to COVID-19.

As we head into 2022, it’s a good idea to continue the alternative pickup options you’ve set up. People enjoy the convenience of curbside pickup and local delivery and may be more likely to buy from you if you offer these services. You may also brainstorm other creative pickup options to capture more audience attention.

Growing Foot Traffic

When the pandemic hit in March 2020 and lockdown orders went into effect, foot traffic came to a screeching halt for small businesses. People were staying home, and even businesses with premium locations weren’t getting many people in the door. Although we are far from out of the pandemic, we are starting to see a resurgence in foot traffic.

As people have gotten vaccinated, they’ve been able to expand their daily activities and start returning to some of their favorite shops. In 2022, you can expect to see more in-person shoppers in your store, and you’ll need to prepare accordingly. You might need to beef up your floor staff roster, and it’s a good idea to keep COVID safety measures in place to protect both your employees and your staff. 

More Need for Strong SEO

While the rise of social media and digital marketing have made advertising more accessible, it has also opened up the field of competition. These days, getting customer attention can feel like trying to flag someone down across a football stadium. As of this writing, there are nearly two billion websites, and you have to find a way to get customers to yours. 

Search engine optimization is a great way to grow your web traffic and bring new customers to your site. This technique uses the algorithms that power search engines to move your website to the top of search result listings. It will be more important than ever this year to make sure your site is following all the latest SEO guidelines.

Continued WFH Setups

Work-from-home setups are another growing sector that got accelerated by the pandemic. Although remote work had been getting more popular for years, almost all of us had to shift to work-from-home setups in 2020. While some people are beginning to return to in-person work, a lot of employees are pushing to stay on a remote work footing.

If you currently have employees working from home, it may be a good idea to assess how those setups are working for you. Do your employees want to stay remote, and if so, are you still able to achieve the same results you did before? Decide if you can continue this remote setup and, if so, how you can optimize it.

Rise of the Gig Economy

The gig economy is a new approach to a career that has gained a lot of traction in the last few years. People these days want the freedom and flexibility to set their own schedules, make money on their own terms, and pursue their passions. Gig jobs give them that opportunity and allow them to live more flexible lifestyles. 

As a small business owner, you may be able to use the growth of the gig economy to your advantage. If there are jobs that don’t stay consistent year-round, job them out to a freelancer, rather than keeping a permanent employee in the position. You’ll save money and be able to recruit more talent to your company.

More Digital Communication with Customers

With everyone staying home and shopping online, it should come as no surprise that digital communication with customers is ramping up. People want to be able to get in touch with their favorite companies whenever they need them. And these days, people do not want to have to make a phone call to get the answers they need.

Social media has become a popular way for companies to communicate quickly and easily with their customers. If you receive a message from a customer, it’s important to respond as soon as you can. This helps to build your reputation with your customers and can earn you better ratings online.

Refocus on Customer Experience

In the years before the pandemic, many businesses got caught up in an arms race of efficiency. Everyone had to have the newest technology, the most cutting-edge techniques, and the latest and greatest in marketing. Somehow, the customer experience became secondary to having the newest and shiniest business tool. 

But in the coming year, we’re going to see businesses returning their focus to the customer experience. Working to create a genuinely positive experience for your customers can get you a lot farther than flashing some state-of-the-art piece of equipment. Focus on content marketing, transparency, and creating genuine value for your customers. 

More Demand for Personalized Products

As technology has developed, it has become easier for manufacturers to create one-of-a-kind products for their customers. They don’t have to set huge minimum orders or deal with cumbersome setup routines. Instead, they can be much more agile, creating just one or two specific products before moving on to a different design.

This development has ushered in an age of personalized product marketing. People want products that are made just for them, and personalized products can be a great way to make customers feel cared for. Something as simple as adding a name to a pre-existing product design can send your sales soaring. 

Discover 2022 Small Business Trends

The pandemic has changed everything about our world, and our businesses are no exception. In 2022, we’ll see a lot of the effects of the pandemic still coming into play, from increased e-commerce to continued work-from-home setups. You need to plan to step up your social media selling, refocus on the customer experience, and offer more personalized products for your customers.

If you’d like to learn more about 2022 small business trends, check out the rest of our site at Hummel Group. We provide the benefits small business owners need, including personal insurance, health insurance, financial services, and more. Get a quote from us now and discover how we can save you money with the insurance solutions you need.