Follow the data to find out where small businesses are investing in 2022, as well as what customers want from you.
The last two years have seen unprecedented changes to how small business owners start and run their business, which is why the Future of Commerce Report* makes for such insightful reading. Business decision makers and consumers were asked what matters most to them in the digital age, and we’ve identified seven key trends from their responses.
1. Prioritise customer experience
Providing a memorable experience for customers is what builds the loyalty to keep them coming back again and again. According to the study, 27% of businesses said improving customer experience was their biggest priority for 2022.
2. Focus on online revenue
Even for those with a brick-and-mortar operation, small business trends show that online sales remain key for growth. The data showed that 54% of businesses plan to focus on online revenue to achieve their 2022 priorities.
3. Optimise for uniqueness
One of the worries about expanding online is increased competition, with 40% of businesses saying they expect increased competition to hinder their growth. But the data also reveals how to persuade customers to choose your brand over another. 61% of customers identified a strong quality or satisfaction guarantee as important, closely followed by excellent past experience (60% of customers).
4. Invest in solutions for supply chain issues
The pandemic has shown how kinks in the supply chain can impact businesses, and 40% of consumers believe global supply chain delays will impact orders.
Rather than cutting costs to deal with these issues, 44% of business plan to invest in improving collaboration with supply chain partners, and 44% plan to invest in increasing the speed of their supply chain.
5. Build trust with customers by making shipping faster and more transparent
It’s increasingly becoming the norm when shopping online to choose fast shipping that gives a clear anticipated delivery day.
In the report, 68% of customers said next-day shipping had a significant influence on their decision to buy a product online. 49% of businesses said they plan to invest in providing clearer shipping information.
6. Make international shipping easier for customers
Staying competitive means being able to ship anywhere. Customers still have some hesitations, though. 43% don’t want to pay fees for international orders, and they are also worried about paying increased shipping costs, or that shipping would take longer.
Price adjustments for different global markets, localised taxes, and setting clear international shipping rates are positive areas to focus on. It’s good to be upfront about additional fees so there are no surprises (and abandoned carts) for customers.
7. Invest in sustainability
Over the next 12 months, 46% of businesses plan to invest in enabling customers to easily recycle products; 39% want to improve the efficiency of their manufacturing process; and 39% plan to invest in using natural, renewable, or recycled materials.
Building sustainable business practices is a worthwhile process, and includes: educating customers, offsetting carbon emissions, using social media to promote messages about sustainability, and finding sustainable shipping partners.
These small business trends for 2022 can help you determine where to focus and invest for the upcoming year. At Thrive, we help small and independent businesses understand the e-commerce landscape and prosper in the new commerce era. To learn more about how we can help your business, give us a call on 01675 446101 or drop us a line here.
*Future of Commerce Report (Forrester, 2022)
To learn more about what’s possible with Shopify, contact Thrive on 01675 446101 or via our contact form. Our friendly team of ecommerce experts can help you determine the best approach for your business, whatever product or service it sells.