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As we wrap up this challenging year and look ahead to 2021, it’s important to examine what emerging and current trends will impact small business owners in the new year. The pandemic completely disrupted how people live, shop, and work, causing new changes in the small business landscape. Here are a few of the most notable small business trends to be aware of for 2021:
Consumers Will Prioritize Shopping with Small Businesses
The struggles of small business during and post-pandemic has been a topic that has repeatedly made headlines this year. But the good news is that it appears consumers are listening and will continue to strive to support their local small businesses whenever possible. A recent study from Visa found that more than four in five (86%) Americans will be shopping this holiday season and the majority (60%) plan to do half or more of their winter holiday shopping at local retailers. As a small business owner competing with Big Box stores, it’s important to continue to provide personalized service and to create positive and memorable shopping experiences for your patrons.
Service-Based Businesses Are Going as Virtual as Possible
Due to COVID-19 restrictions and continued hesitancy from consumers to patronize service-based businesses, we have seen a strong shift to virtual services. Many dance studios, fitness centers, art studios, tutoring centers, and cooking schools are now offering virtual classes. Those service-based businesses who continue to innovate and offer new ways of servicing their client base will be those who are ahead of the game in the new year. If you aren’t adopting an agile mindset to rethink how you can best accommodate your customers in the current reality, you’re going to wind up spending the majority of 2021 trying to catch up to those innovative service-based businesses who are.
The Popularity of Touchless Payments Will Continue to Grow
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only made us change the way we shop, but also the way we pay for things. The State of Retail Payments study, found that 67% of retailers now accept some form of no-touch payment. With an increased focus on health and safety, more and more consumers want the option to use touchless payments like Apple Pay or Google Pay.
Sustained Growth of E-Commerce
A recent study from IBM found that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift to e-commerce by 5 years. If your small business does not have e-commerce capabilities, you’re going to have a hard time staying competitive in 2021. While adding e-commerce capabilities to your brick-and-mortar store takes a bit of planning, it will be worth it in the long run in order to be able to give your customers the convenience of being able to shop from anywhere at any time, without having to leave their homes or offices.
Online Reviews Will Be More Important Than Ever Before
Nearly 9 out of 10 people read online reviews prior to making a purchase. And with the explosive growth that e-commerce experienced in 2020, that number will continue to grow in 2021. That’s why your business must have a solid online review presence. Having positive reviews is a free and easy way for small businesses to build consumer trust and increase sales.
SBG Funding is dedicated to providing unparalleled support and in-depth financial proficiency to help you make the best decision for your business in 2021. For more information on how SBG Funding can help your business during these unprecedented times, visit our website or apply here.
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