Online trends for 2022

Over the last two years, the marketplace has changed for everybody. Between a global pandemic, political changes, and general economic uncertainty, the goal posts have been moved on a regular basis. While some high-street retailers and brick and mortar stores have struggled to adapt to these changes, online businesses have risen to the challenge and taken advantage of the new opportunities provided to them. As we head into 2022, online retail and eCommerce continues to thrive. These are some of the trends you can expect to impact online businesses over the next twelve months or so… 

Multi-channel marketing

It’s no longer enough to advertise your wares in one location only. However good your GoogleAds campaign or your Facebook adverts might be, you’re only exposing yourself to a small section of your potential audience. Online browsing is so fragmented that some customers might never even hear of you unless you diversify your advertising methods. Smaller advertising budgets applied to multiple channels can reap impressive results. 

Social media sales

Social media isn’t just a place to advertise your products and services. It’s somewhere to make direct sales. Recent studies show that almost three-quarters of consumers make purchase decisions based on social media. A significant proportion of those make their purchases immediately, clicking the ‘Buy It Now’ button direct from their social network of choice. All the more reason to strengthen your presence on the major platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. 

Make things personal

Custom items are a big seller at the moment and this trend shows no sign of slowing down. With ad-hoc production facilities allowing companies to add custom colours, designs, text, and more to their products, it’s never been easier to get the perfect gift for a friend or loved one. Even the biggest global companies like Nike allow some customisation of certain footwear lines. 

Shopping on the go

2020 and 2021 saw a rise in online shopping, as many people were stuck at home due to lockdowns, self-isolating, or working from home. As society has opened up, people are still enjoying the convenience of online shopping, but are more likely to do it from their mobile phone. Companies with dynamic websites (sites that change their layout to suit the device it is being read on) can benefit from this huge uptake in mobile shopping. These are just some of the online trends that will be impacting your business in 2022. For more information or to see how we can help you take advantage of these trends, get in touch with Top Local Leads today. 

Small Business Growth 2022

After a turbulent couple of years for small businesses – thanks largely to the combined impact of COVID-19 restrictions and new Brexit regulations – 2022 seems to offer greater opportunities for growth. A recent search conducted by Barclays Eagle Labs indicates that entrepreneurs in the UK anticipate strong business growth for the year ahead – around 37%. This reflects the current trend of increased financial transactions among small businesses, with many, reporting a considerable rise compared with pre-pandemic levels. 

Factors affecting business growth in 2022

During the national lockdowns that accompanied the coronavirus pandemic, many small businesses were agile enough to adapt to the situation, transforming their way of working to either an online or hybrid model. eCommerce exploded during the first lockdown in May 2020, by an incredible 61%, largely powered by SMEs. While online sales have dropped off a little in 2021 (by 9.1% across the board) this still shows a substantial increase in pre-pandemic levels and will affect the way small businesses continue to work into the new year. 

Consolidation of technology stacks

The first move to online and hybrid business models was conducted using off-the-shelf solutions for eCommerce and inventory. Now that the dust has settled, small businesses should be looking towards more bespoke solutions, tailored to meet their unique requirements. Whether this is their online shop-front, their video-conferencing tech for employees and customers, or their Business Intelligence software, the key to success will lie in integrating those solutions into a tailored package. 

Social media sales

With a global marketplace ready to be explored, social media networks are the ideal place for SMEs to find new leads and customers. Targeted advertising on the likes of TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook can reach your ideal demographic far more effectively than other marketing campaigns. 

Customer shift

During the pandemic, there was a dedicated effort to save local small businesses whose livelihoods were under threat. While most outlets are back open again, many consumers have stuck with independent companies, preferring the personal touch and the idea that they are making a difference. This is excellent news for small businesses, as makes customers feel part of the company’s story, which leads to greater engagement and growth. 

Visual commerce

Not being able to access most shops in person during the lockdowns led to a greater emphasis on visual commerce. Where online catalogues used to have a single image of a product or stock photos representing a service, small businesses have raised the bar in helping customers experience their products at a distance. 360-degree images and custom videos have helped SMEs across the UK to draw in new customers and clients. 2022 looks to be a good year for small businesses that are able to adapt to the changing times and take an innovative approach to marketing their brand. For details on how we can help, contact Top Local Listings today.