Ecommerce has experienced unprecedented growth due to social distancing during the pandemic, but there’s still plenty of room for brick-and-mortar stores. Many, in fact, have been flourishing. Here are the major e-commerce trends to prepare for in 2022 if you own a small or mid-sized retail business.
Despite the surge in online shopping, people continue to visit stores in person. In fact, according to a survey conducted by The Morning Brew, 63% of survey respondents intend to do their holiday shopping at retail stores rather than online. Access to vaccines makes many people feel more comfortable about in-person shopping, so it’s time to start planning your upcoming year. What trends should you get ready for in 2022?
Ecommerce Trends to Watch For
The most successful small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) with brick-and-mortar stores combine in-person shopping with online sales. That means staying on top of the latest e-commerce trends and knowing what’s coming before it gets big. As an early adopter, you’ll benefit more than those who join at the end of the trend.
Blended Shopping is the New Normal
Not surprisingly, you can expect people to do some of their shopping in person and other shopping online. For those in the more vulnerable population groups, ecommerce is still the way to go, but stores that offer both options are expanding their customer bases. In some cases, your customers may prefer to check online to see what you offer, then visit the store to purchase it. With that in mind, you may want to offer a QR code to encourage your in-store customers to check your store’s website.
Another way to increase sales is to offer a buy-online and pick-up in-store option. People can then make their purchase immediately and lock in their desired product. By visiting the store, they’ll have an opportunity to look at other products while they’re there.
Easier Accessibility Earns Customers
The ability to talk to someone is always a benefit when deciding where to make a purchase. Don’t forget that accessibility provides customers with the opportunity to reach out in more than one way. They may visit the store, make a phone call, or even participate in a live chat or Whatsapp to have their questions answered.
You don’t need to be accessible at all times, however, especially when running a small retail business with only a handful of employees. Chatbots are one of the hottest ecommerce trends that provide the answers your customers need.
Adjust to the New Norms
The world of e-commerce trends in 2022 is unlike any other. The post-pandemic retail world will require constant adjusting, as any business owner who has survived the past two years understands. The road to success means staying on top of new trends that pop up. You’ll need to track performance in all areas, including your online reputation, supply chain, expenses, sales, profit, and everything else. A good computer program can help you track the offline components of the business, but you also need online data analytics.
By analyzing data in every area of your business, you’ll notice changes or patterns quickly, and you can make adjustments for improvements or take advantage of new trends. The ground floor is where you want to be with trends since it ensures you get the most benefit from it.
Social Media Means More Interaction
Your business is likely on Facebook and other social media sites, but things change. With the advent of new social media formats and designs, businesses need to prepare for more interaction on these sites.
While it’s always important to respond to messages and comments on social media, platforms like TikTok and even the new Instagram make it simple to interact with your customers. Talk to them via videos, stitching with other videos or even creating a duet with another popular company or social media user. Your customers love to see your company active and participating in the online world, even if you’re locally based.
Gift CardA prepaid card that is loaded with a specific amount that the cardholder can spend at the sponsoring retailer. Sales Are Growing
In 2022, you’re likely to see an increase in the use of gift cards. These are becoming more common as birthday and holiday gifts, as well as helpful items for those in difficult situations. If you want to give products that would be useful in a medical crisis, for new parents, for a financially struggling family, or similar situations, your gift cards may be given as a form of relief or aid.
It was previously considered crass to offer gift cards instead of an actual gift, but open-loop gift cardA prepaid card that is loaded with a specific amount that the cardholder can spend at the sponsoring retailer. sales increased by 31.5% during the pandemic. The global gift certificate market is expected to hit a value of $440.7 billion by 2028.
Employees Want Hybrid Options
You should also prepare for employees looking for a better blend of work and life balance. The past two years have shown us that work isn’t the be-all and end-all of life, and more and more employees actively seek a more satisfying lifestyle. Burnout affects 53% of workers and may be prevented. What can you do to help your employees feel more fulfilled?
- Offer hybrid work options so they can work from home and the store
- Provide opportunities to socialize and build team relationships
- Watch for signs of burnout and take steps to avoid it
- Set business hours without contact outside of those hours
- Provide better benefits where possible
- Offer more time off for emergencies or sick days to support your employees
- Provide mental health days to prevent burnout
Family-style work environments foster happier employees and make it possible to prevent burnout. It takes some effort on the part of the employer but boosts productivity and overall health.
Credit Card Processing
The world has moved almost entirely to credit and debit cards as well as NFC payments, thanks to the new awareness of just how dirty money can be. If you don’t have high-risk credit card processing merchantA business that accepts credit cards for goods or services. services, you run the risk of losing business. Not only will the right high-risk payments experts help you with payments made personally, but they’ll also provide you with the protection needed to keep your business secure from fraud.
Credit card processing is essential for all brick-and-mortar businesses, so make sure you look into finding a merchantA business that accepts credit cards for goods or services. account that will always Works For You™. Companies like NMA help small businesses stay on top of credit card payments and help prevent fraud.
NMA is a merchant advocacy group dedicated to reducing or eliminating the unnecessary fees associated with accepting credit card payments. Since 2004, NMA’s payment processing solutions have been delivering tailored solutions, best-in-class customer service, and high-quality service offerings for businesses across multiple industries. Whether it’s high-risk or low-risk, brick-and-mortar or e-commerce, NMA will create the best processing experience for your company. For more information, visit us at our website, www.nationalmerchants.com, or by calling (866) 509-7199.