It’s not an exaggeration to say that the world has changed recently. Some companies are more successful than ever, while others remain reeling from the harm caused by the pandemic.

If you’re a small business owner, it’s natural to do your research, keep tabs on the latest trends and news and make plans for what the future may bring.

You’re in luck. We’ve reviewed the latest research to save you from having to go through figuring it out. In this article, we’ll look at seven of the most significant trends to keep an eye on in the year 2022 and beyond.

Now is the time to buy, but you can opt to pay later

In the last few years, Buy now and pay later (BNPL) has evolved from being a payment option that was only available to large retailers to a regular appearance at the checkouts of numerous companies acworldwideAffirm, a U.S.-based BNPL firm has reported its users that active merchants using its platform grew between 10,000 to 102,000 between July and September 2021. Similarly, BNPL providers in other nations reported a rise in users.

The rapid adoption of the BNPL trend is due to small-scale companies’ need to draw younger customers and encourage impulse purchases. As per eMarketer, the figure is 44 percent of Gen Z, as well as 37 percent of millennials, are likely to use BNPL by 2022. It’s a method of payment that provides convenience to consumers and increases revenue. Several businesses offering BNPL are experiencing an increase in sales and competitive status.

If you’d like to allow customers to purchase immediately and then make a payment later, you can do it with solutions such as ShopPay. Shop Pay is an accelerated checkout available for Shopify stores. Shop Pay allows your customers to make payments in full or divide their purchases into four equal payment options that are interest-free. There aren’t any outrageous charges or even late fees that are passed on to customers.

Prioritize online sales, including marketplaces

Even for businesses with a physical store, business trends suggest the importance of online shopping vital to drive revenue and expansion.

The Shopify 2022 Future of Commerce report cited research showing that 54% of companies acknowledged their importance in focusing on the online market to achieve their goals. Further to the data, 49% of businesses said they would spend more money on their company’s online store. Do you have an online store that you own? Examine its design to determine what areas that could be improved using some cash.

The business community also recognized the value of online marketplaces, and 56% said they plan to invest more money in these platforms. This could be highly advantageous from a sales standpoint, and 55% of people reported buying on marketplaces online regularly or monthly. If you are considering investing in online marketplaces, consider making your presence known on multiple leading marketplaces.

Embrace live commerce

One of the more interesting small business trends is the idea of founders advertising their products on live streams allowing customers to purchase items in real-time. It’s a catchy name, “live commerce. It’s predicted to bring in approximately 25 billion dollars of US sales in 2023.

Live commerce began to take off just five years ago in China. Today, it’s opening the way for companies in other countries to offer distinctive customer experiences. One thing is clear. Regardless of where it is in life, commerce has more engagement and a better conversion rate than other kinds of selling via electronic channels.

Please look at the case of Canadian footwear retailer Aldo which has logged 17,000 page views and an engagement rate of 308% on its website in the first five days following hosting live shopping events in the year 2000. Additionally, as per McKinsey, firms that implemented live commerce experienced conversion rates that were about 30%, as well as a slight rise in their share of younger consumers, mainly Gen Z and millennials.

Do you want to leverage the power of live-streaming commerce? Join an online shopping platform that streams live, like ChatShopLive, and show off your products to increase sales. Installing some of these applications can help you offer live, interactive shopping experiences to your customers if you’re running an online store on Shopify store.

To increase the average value by providing free shipping

In a world of shipping that Amazon’s speedy and free delivery has significantly altered, customers are increasingly looking for savings when they choose to receive their purchases.

Based on Jungle Scout’s Q1 2022 Consumer Trends Report, shipping costs play a significant aspect in online customers’ purchase choices, more so than the item’s price. The study also identifies free shipping as a critical element in increasing the average value of orders and the basket size. In the report, they state that 58% of shoppers ensure they spend enough funds to be eligible to receive free shipping for online purchases.

Free shipping is a tried and tested method of increasing the value of orders and conversion, but raising delivery costs make it hard for small companies to keep up. If you opt to provide free shipping, ensure that you determine a minimum amount that will cover the cost of shipping, customs duties, the price of the product, and the profit you earn.

Improve your business’s performance to attract international customers

eCommerce has helped companies to connect with consumers across the world. Attracting customers means that they must deliver a superior shipping experience. Cross-border commerce is expected to comprise 22 percent of e-commerce-related shipments of physical products by 2022.

Shipping remains a source of concern. However, it’s not as bad as the Shopify 2022 Future of Commerce report. Forty-three percent of customers said they do not want to pay additional fees for international shipping. In addition, they’re worried about higher shipping costs and longer delivery times.

It’s a good thing that taking a couple of steps can help alleviate the majority of concerns about international delivery. Shopify provides tools to assist you in improving your cross-border shopping experience with price adjustments to accommodate different markets and setting up the correct international shipping rates.

We recommend that you be transparent about any additional charges so that there aren’t any unexpected costs for customers. Also, ensure you provide proper documentation for customs to avoid problems at the time of the day of arrival. These documents inform customs officers at departure what’s in the package, what it is, and if it’s a commercial item or a gift.

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