Rapidly changing technology and consumer landscapes, especially in light of the pandemic, have given rise to trends that influence how we do business. There have been a number of business trends that have picked up momentum in 2021 and which we expect will continue this year.
We’ve summarised 5 trends that we believe will impact small businesses in New Zealand. Learn what’s in store for 2022 and how you as a small business owner can take advantage of these dynamics to grow your business.
The “shop local” trend is gaining momentum among Kiwis
Due to the economic impact of recent lockdowns, more Kiwis are increasingly engaging with local businesses to help them thrive and grow.
In 2021, a research report from MYOB said that nearly a quarter of Kiwis claim they now visit local shops more often than they did before the pandemic to extend their support to local businesses. The survey also found that in a given week, over three-quarters of consumers now always or often shop local.
Given the support offered by the buying public, small businesses have the opportunity to leverage this and overcome some of the financial challenges they are facing. Some general actions that small business owners can take to engage the local community include using social media, offering more payment options like contactless payments and loyalty programs to retain and reward their customers.
Social media continues to grow in popularity with Kiwis
With the growing popularity of social media, more and more Kiwis are now using these platforms to base their purchase decisions.
Social media marketing can be a great opportunity to expose your brand and increase revenue by increasing awareness of your company’s products and services. It’s free, easy to use, and has the power to do wonders for your business. And with around 97% of Kiwis being active mobile social media users in 2021, it is too good an opportunity to bypass.
Small businesses can utilise Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn or Pinterest today to start making contact with their target audience and increasing their brand exposure. Check out our small business marketing series to learn more about how to do this.
Sustainability & responsibility is significant to consumers
Just over 70% of Kiwis are willing to pay a bit more to get the best organic, sustainable & ethically produced products available, according to Colmar Brunton’s Better Futures Report. Therefore a focus on sustainability and selling responsible goods and services is fast becoming a consideration for both businesses and consumers.
It is important for business owners to look at aspects of their business such as ethical supply chains, paper consumption (consider going paperless if possible!) and waste reduction strategies in order to operate more sustainably and responsibly. Every little initiative counts such as even with your EFTPOS terminal, you can save the environment by turning off printing paper receipts.
Contactless payments grow and cash continues to decline
According to the 2020 Reserve Bank of New Zealand Cash Survey only 8% of Kiwis said cash was the payment method they used most often.
With card payments being the most preferred method of payment for New Zealanders (59%) and contactless payments increasing by 62% since 2018, it is fair to say Kiwi’s are moving far away from using cash. Contactless payments in particular are gaining popularity due to their versatility, convenience, speed and reduced physical contact with public surfaces.
By offering the option to pay via contactless methods you can provide safety and convenience to customers during payment and future proof your business to changes in technology. With the added ability to share the cost of acceptance of these payments with your customers, offering contactless payments is now easier than before.
Mobile marketing dominates online sales
In 2020, there were more mobile subscriptions than people in New Zealand with 122 connections for every 100 people according to Statista. Last year, New Zealand’s smartphone market recorded its highest quarter of annual growth of 30% since 2013. So it comes as no surprise that mobile marketing is becoming an important factor small businesses should consider.
For better results, merchants with online stores should cater to shoppers who use their mobile devices to make purchases. In fact, Google includes mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal for local search results, so small businesses embracing this continued trend will help to make both their website and online presence successful. Other mobile trends include sending SMS messages to your customer base to promote exclusive offers as well as location targeting on Google that lets you choose your target locations to reach potential customers in the area.
By understanding and adapting these five small business trends for 2022 and beyond, small business owners will continue to thrive in their local community and attract an engaged audience with the potential to turn them into loyal and repeat customers.