Trends come and go, and business trends are not immune to that old adage. But, some trends can benefit your business whether you use them for the short or long term. There are some trends to pay attention to this year. So, what are the small business trends 2022 that you should know?
6 small business trends 2022 to know
There are a lot of small business trends that pop up. Some trends may not apply to all businesses, while others apply to quite a few companies and industries. Take a look at six trends you may see or want to use for your business.
When it comes to e-commerce, selling online is not new. As a matter of fact, e-commerce began in 1982, and the internet followed in 1983. But, COVID-19 had a direct impact on how much customers shop online. The convenience of shopping from home is a trend that’s here to stay.
Businesses with both brick-and-mortar and online shops may see an increase in online sales in 2022. And, some businesses may choose to transition to online-only to reduce overhead costs.
Additionally, social media outlets are moving into offering shoppable links on their platforms (e.g., Instagram’s shop section). With the ability to provide products directly through social media, companies can expand where and how they sell their products.
2. Remote work
In 2020, COVID-19 saw many employees working remotely to abide by lockdown orders. The trend lasted through 2021, though some businesses did reopen and allow their workers to re-enter offices. But, remote work will continue to exist in 2022.
Some businesses adopted complete work-from-home policies, while others created hybrid models. As many as 70% of companies plan to adopt a hybrid model. And with 58% of employees saying they would look for a new job if remote work ended, this trend is here to stay.
3. Online communication
Let’s face it: working remotely was not easy in the beginning. Miscommunication, poor communication, and even workplace drama could pop up when workers weren’t face-to-face. Online communication tools are one of the most important small business technology trends that will play a big role in 2022.
Whether your business uses Slack, Google Hangouts, Zoom, or another form of technology to communicate as a group, online communication tools are here to stay. These tools allow your employees and managers to communicate throughout the workday. And, you can join meetings quickly and easily.
Are you planning to use a hybrid model? Communication tools allow you to gather all employees together at one time without having to call everyone into the office.
4. Social media
Like others on this list, social media is not new. But how businesses will use social media in 2022 might be new to some.
Again, social media allows customers to purchase directly from the marketplace section on the app or webpage. But, that’s not the only way companies can use their social media platforms in 2022.
Popular platforms include:
What social media trend should your business be most aware of in 2022? Video marketing. The most popular social media platforms allow businesses to share videos or livestreams to engage followers. With 69% of consumers saying they’d prefer to watch a video to learn more about a product or service, videos on social media will be incredibly important.
The popularity of video can also benefit companies. That same survey shows that 84% of customers have been convinced to buy a product or service because of video. So, take advantage of this trend to get more eyes on your products or services.
5. Cashless payments
In 2022, cash will no longer be king. The Federal Reserve placed caps on coin orders for businesses and banks in 2020 and 2021. Paired with decreased in-person shopping, there was a coin shortage for many businesses.
As online shopping and e-commerce trend upward, so does the frequency of cashless payments. Consumers now have access to mobile wallets, payment apps, and other technology (e.g., cryptocurrency) to make purchases. Not to mention, many customers have debit and credit cards.
If your business relies solely on cash or checks, cashless payments may be an option to consider in 2022. Businesses do not need to rely solely on cashless payment options, however. But, there is a benefit to adding more payment options for consumers. When consumers have more options for purchasing goods, you can draw in more customers.
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6. Blockchain technology
Online security is crucial for businesses now that so many employees work remotely. Add in how many transactions occur through the internet every single day, and data security should be a top priority.
Many businesses use standard online databases, including their own servers, to store information from customers. But, traditional databases can face data breaches, viruses, ransomware, and other risky malware. And, those centralized databases use third parties to encrypt data.
The increased security that comes with the decentralized nature of blockchain technology is why it is a 2022 small business trend. Because blockchains are decentralized, changing data is difficult. If one chain shows a change, the copies of the blockchain do not show that change. So, businesses can quickly identify breaches and changes to better secure data. And, businesses do not permanently lose that information to malware corruption.
Should businesses follow trends?
Trends do come and go, even in the business world. But, some trends are worth following if they open your business up to new income streams, lead to increased security, or let you save time and money.
Before following a trend, carefully consider how it will affect your business. Ask yourself if there are more pros or cons. And, research how other businesses use the trends to determine if it could be a good fit for you.