What New Trends Will Affect Small Businesses in a Post-Pandemic Economy
Following the vast amounts of unpredictability that came with 2020 and 2021, being able to predict what will happen in the future seems harder now than it has ever been, that being said, it hasn’t stopped small business adviser’s from sitting down to work out what is next for said businesses. Realistically, due to the rough time they’ve had, small businesses will need as much assistance as they can get when it comes to adapting in a post-pandemic world and as such, this article will discuss what the latest trends for them in 2021 will be.
Personalised Shopping Appointments
Initially, during the pandemic many people made appointments to visit stores due to the safety concerns that came with simply letting everyone come in as normal. Now, people are wanting to continue utilising these services, so that they can have a much more personalised shopping experience. Though it was at first just a safety measure, it’s now a great marketing opportunity.
This can be used alongside a new further reliance on technology as shoppers can book appointments online and then go into the shop or have their one-to-one shopping experience over video call. Employees will need to be trained on how to deliver these kinds of sales pitches in a way that it would make sense for the business to continue implementing them.
Subscription Bundles for Consumables
Subscriptions have only gotten more and more popular as it has essentially doubled every year since 2013. This steady increase has only gotten stronger throughout the pandemic as many customers have enjoyed how easy it makes purchasing consumable products. This means that they’re likely going to become permanent fixtures for lots of shoppers.
Curb side Pickup / Direct Shipping
There has been a huge influx in people been able to buy items on their own terms thanks to the pandemic due to an increase in people who utilise the services of curb side pickup and direct shipping. One of the effects this could have post-pandemic is that it changes the perception that customers have of stores post-pandemic.
One of the partners in consumer practice of Kearney, Michael Brown said, “we will see the change in the role of the store not just about ‘come in and buy from me’ today but it will be ‘come in, have a brand experience, build your shopping list, let’s connect that on your cell phone so we can directly market to you.’”
There is also the increased quality of communication towards customers that will be experienced as a result of the new trends in curb side pickup and shipping. Essentially, timely texts that outline the likelihood of date and time of delivery will be regular practice for organisations and the expectation of regular consumers.
This was one of the first things to be emphasised in lockdown as contact was asked to be minimised as much as possible. There was a huge risk of transmissions brought on by regular transactions and as such, there was a huge emphasis on contactless payments. As a result the thresholds from contactless payments was increased from £30 to £45 and is also set to increase even further.
Not only do contactless payments reduce the risk of infections but they are also much more convenient for the customer, allowing a quicker and more flexible checkout. People can use a tap and go wallet, just their card and even their phone, which is much more straight forward than prior to the pandemic. As such, even if your business is small, it would make a lot of sense to implement a contactless payment method into your store.
This behaviour becomes almost habitual in nature, which means that even as lockdown eases and things go back to normal, consumers are still going to expect the convenience that comes with contactless payments.
With 2020 and 2021 came numerous alterations in the way businesses operate and though the majority of them rely heavily on technology, they are all incredibly different in nature. Regardless, whether your small business intends on utilising contactless payments, curb side pickup or subscription bundles, one thing that is for certain is IT support will likely be a necessity.
If you are considering one of the above or you have implemented the same and are struggling to use it, you may want to enlist the help of small business advisors and support.