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2020 was the year of disruption. Every industry has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Small businesses especially have faced unprecedented times. Many failed to survive this and went flat. However, resilient entrepreneurs were able to sail through the situation with innovative solutions. These solutions have become the small business trends in 2021.

Business owners are exploring industry trends for assistance in planning the future. The revolutionary phase of last year has provided many new opportunities. A small business can now meet customer’s needs in a better way than before. For instance, many small businesses released mobile apps as marketing touchpoints after the closure of physical stores. Likewise, customized products and other features will give an upper hand to small business operating remotely.

We will delineate some of the best emerging trends to watch out for.

Small Business Trends in 2021

1. eCommerce Revolution

The eCommerce websites are in need of the hour. Brick and mortar stores are transferring their services online. Besides, many product and service providers have their whole business model based on online sales.

Small business owners are more likely to increase their sales by opening an eCommerce store for their traditional shop instead of opening another physical outlet. Moreover, the emerging eCommerce trends are providing some specific advantages to retailers.

Also Read: What is a 3D Product Configurator

You can incorporate the product customization feature on your eCommerce website. This lets users design their own product. You can proceed to design the product once they have been ordered. Additionally, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) lets users see what the product will look like when it becomes a part of their lifestyle.

2. Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is the highlight of the 21st century. It is going to be the biggest small business trend in 2021. The number of mobile device users is exponentially growing. More than five billion people are carrying a handheld device. It is the easiest and direct channel through which a retailer can grab the attention of potential customers.

The widespread practice for mobile marketing is building mobile-friendly websites. It takes no extra effort. You can just make a few changes to your existing website and make the interface appealing for the small screen.

A mobile app can increase your chances of successfully engaging customers. It allows you to personalize your marketing approach according to user preferences. You can send notifications and facilitate transactions on applications.

3. Remote Work, New Normal

Let’s face it. Remote work is the new normal in the post-pandemic world. People are either freelancing or working remotely at permanent/full-time jobs. This provides the opportunity to work in flexible hours and saves employee from commute fatigue. However, small businesses will face some distinct challenges in the work from home scenario.

Teamwork drive is particularly harder to ignite when people are not physically at the same place. So to foster a team spirit, you need to check on employees regularly. Arrange meetups through Zoom, Slack, or Google Meets.

The business owners can also ensure productivity by making the collaboration more smooth with the help of cloud technologies. Using the cloud allows you to keep all the work in one place. All employees, stakeholders, managers, and executives can access the data. It facilitates prompt feedback and team collaboration.

4. Expansion in Online Space:

The online presence of small businesses will be crucial in 2021 and beyond. Create online community for your brand. Share content about your business, communicate brand values, and present yourself as figure of authority in your industry domain.

Many big brands have already taking advantage of ‘stay home’ situation and holding free online webinars, workshops and other events. Such activities keep the audience engaged with the business.

Build a discourse around your brand. Create a forum where people can discuss your product and services. Give extra support to the online community. Stay in touch with your audience and contribute actively to the discussions.

Out of sight, out of mind phenomena applies for small businesses too. People are not visiting physical stores due to threat posed by coronavirus. Hence, if they don’t see your activity in the online space then they will forget about your existence. Therefore, it is important to remind them of your presence with marketing stunts every now and then.

Read More: Businesses Transforming By Cloud Computing in 2021

5. Digitization:

Digitization was incumbent upon small businesses in 2020. This trend will further accelerate in 2021. The incorporation of the digital aspect is no longer a ‘nice thing to do’. It is something that businesses ‘have to do’.

Customers reach out to brands online. They expect to get served in virtual space without ever having to visit the actual office. Small business needs to step up its game if they want to give customers a seamless digital experience.

The digitization of business involves following crucial steps:

  1. Mobile Ordering and Contactless Delivery of Products/Services
  2. Virtual Assistance with Chatbots
  3. Digital Applications and Ecommerce Portals
  4. Online Webinars, Product Launch Events and Q&As
  5. Expanding payment Structures to involve online services

6. Big Data and Personalization

The technological approach makes it easier for businesses to personalize their efforts. Artificial intelligence and big data let you collect a huge amount of data on your current and potential customers. Moreover, data analytics let you organize info and make sense of the data.

AI contextualizes the data and takes action on it as required. You can automate operations and let the technology take care of your business. It gives a custom experience to users by predicting behaviour patterns and interest.

Small business owners can also create targeted marketing campaigns by making use of available info. The efficiency at work will improve and productivity will increase.

7. Rise of Cybersecurity

The threat of cybersecurity is ever grave in 2021. Last year, we saw a rise in data breaches and cyber attacks on small business sites. Due to online operations, the vulnerability of data has increased. Therefore, we will likely see a rise in cybersecurity measures in the coming years.

Companies are already promoting data transparency. Almost all small business sites contain a privacy policy page and information on the use of cookies. This lets the visitors know how their personal data is going to be used by the businesses. Consequently, an environment of trust and credibility is built.

Interesting For You: What is Ethical Hacking?

We will also see an increased demand for cybersecurity professionals in the coming years. Companies are exceedingly hiring ethical hackers and software engineers who could identify and prevent security threats. Besides, the development of cybersecurity applications is also increasing

8. Fintech and Blockchain:

Financial technology is rapidly replacing the traditional technological industry. Fintech has presented its own banking system where there is no central authority. Blockchain is the main tool of this system.

Blockchain is a decentralized, distributed ledger. It is based on verification rather than trust. Small businesses are adopting blockchain for verification of transaction. With popularity of cryptocurrency, blockchain adoption will further accelerate in 2021.

Closing Thoughts:

Adaptability is the key to survive in challenging times. Multiple small businesses had to survive through regressive measures during the pandemic. Nonetheless, some hard-learned lessons have helped businesses adopt new trends in 2021.

The market places are going virtual. It is leading to crowds of small businesses in online space. Therefore, your business has to innovate, re-create and enhance in order to stand out in the crowd. Customized Products, Mobile Apps, and incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) can give your business edge over the others.

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