Think about all of the changes we’ve made in how we buy and sell our goods and services since 2010. We’ve seen the advent of mobile payments changing how we pay at the register, apps like Venmo changing how we pay our friends and our bills, and the rise of subscription-based streaming services entering what seems to be one of the most saturated modern markets. As we enter into a new decade, tons of small businesses are looking forward and preparing for what else is to come. Here are some of the predicted trends in small business for the upcoming year and beyond.
Make Way for Gen Z
Move over, Millennials. Gen Z consumers are here and changing the way businesses market and sell. Gen Z are those young adults born in the mid to late-1990s that are entering the workforce and gaining (a ton of) buying power in the upcoming decade. Gen Z has been raised in the world of instant information, the evolution of the internet, and has essentially grown up side-by-side with social media. It’s essential for businesses to capture this audience as they have an estimated $143 billion in buying power in the US alone. Here are some tips to target and cater to this new generation, according to Forbes.
Get their attention – Grab attention by keeping up with digital and social trends. Gen Zers enjoy documenting and sharing their experiences, create one for them!
Tell the truth – This new generation of consumers demands more of the brands they buy from. Have values and stick to them.
Tell your story – Gen Z is looking for an identifiable and authentic presence online, don’t be afraid to be genuine and excited.
Green & Ethical
As the media coverage of Climate Change ramps up, and more and more activists are gaining near celebrity-status, companies are beginning to react. The reaction has generally been to transition, or start to transition, to green and sustainable practices and products, and the trend does not seem to be going anywhere. It’s not unusual to hear the terms “green”, “sustainable”, and “eco-friendly” interchangeably, but their definitions vary. According to EcoCult, these terms can be defined as:
Green – a term frequently used in a colloquial speech to apply to almost everything related to benefiting the environment, from the movement to architecture and fashion.
Eco-friendly – something doesn’t harm the planet.
Sustainable – means the item or action is generating environmental, social and economic benefits, while not using up too many resources or causing pollution.
The plus sides of going green go beyond benefiting Mother Nature, as businesses are seeing the benefits too. In one study, while 66% of global consumers said that they would pay more for sustainable products, 73% of Millennials said that they would. According to a study conducted by GreenMatch, the generation of Gen Zers are following in the steps of Millennials as well, leaning toward green and sustainable products. “According to GreenMatch’s findings, 72 percent of Gen Z would spend more money on a service if it was sustainably produced.”
Artificial Intelligence & Customer Service
It’s more than just stuff of sci-fi movies! Artificial Intelligence, often referred to as AI, is evolving and working its way into small business practices. Chatbots and virtual assistants on business Facebook pages and company websites are changing and improving customer service. In an article for Entrepreneur, Omer Khan, CEO of VividTech describes how these kinds of technologies are changing the customer experience, saying, “Today’s chatbots and virtual assistants are able to handle more customer service tasks than ever before to better facilitate the customer journey. As they utilize machine learning to better respond to customer requests, these interactions become even more efficient.”
There’s an app for everything. Seriously. Even small businesses are jumping on the trend for e-commerce purposes or to enhance the customer experience. If you’re worried that creating an app will be impossible, have no fear! In 2020, almost anyone can make an app. According to Grasshopper, there are ‘no-code platforms’ that work in a drag-and-drop style so there’s no need to take a coding class.
Financial Platform Consolidation
As owning and running a business become increasingly more complicated and intricate with multiple programs and “moving parts”, owners are starting to turn to platforms that can do it all for their transactional, security, and banking needs. Entrepreneur describes the business owner’s need for this when appealing to their consumer base, “Customers want contactless credit options and the ability to pay with cryptocurrency or their phone. They also demand high security and instant, 24-hour access to funds.” Businesses will need experts to guide them through these changing financial trends.
True Merchant Helps Small Businesses Grow by Providing Merchant Service Solutions in 2020
The merchant services professionals at True Merchant believe that businesses of all sizes deserve tailor-made merchant service solutions. We take the time to work with our clients to develop, grow, and strengthen their businesses by helping with payment processing, payment security, and business funding. No matter the size or nature of your small business, our experienced sales professionals are here to help!
To learn more about how we can help your small business grow, please call or email a member of our qualified merchant services team today!