The year is winding down for 2021, and 2022 is about to be underway. Last year, businesses around the world were put to the test, as many were forced to adapt to new conditions and changing customer demands.
In 2021, the world saw the impacts of a global supply chain shortage, the second year of an ongoing pandemic, and a looming climate crisis that still threatens us all. However, in the same year, the world also saw the power of human resilience, the need for fraternity and connection, and the uncanny ability of people to adapt to change. The same year also gave way to some incredible trends and innovations, which have set the stage for the upcoming year that’s practically already at our doorsteps, and this will be the focus of this blog. So, without further ado, here is a list of the top trends that businesses can expect to see moving forward into 2022.
DEMAND FOR ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS BUSINESSES
As mentioned before, the looming environmental crisis is a going threat to ALL OF US, and that means small and large-sized businesses alike (we’re looking at you there, Amazon).
Environmentalism is going to be a topic that’s on everyone’s minds going forward into 2022, and businesses are going to be expected to pull their weight when it comes to reducing the global carbon footprint: that means, finding new and better ways to move inventory while putting fewer cars on the road, avoiding single-use plastic items and recycling waste, and using energy-efficient products that consume less energy. Businesses that avoid adjusting to these standards are likely not going to do well in the years to come, especially as the trend towards conscious consumerism continues to grow.
DEMAND FOR MORE FLEXIBLE WORK CONDITIONS
In addition to a global supply chain shortage, businesses were dealt a double whammy last year as record numbers of employees around the country walked off their jobs. After an entire year spent indoors and learning about the wonders of working from home, expectations about working conditions have changed, once it was discovered that working from home neither hurts nor hinders productivity or collaboration on online projects. Consequently, many employees have taken to view workplaces that require daily in-person attendance five days a week as being unnecessary and excessively rigid, with “more than 40% consistently say[ing] they would quit or start searching for another job allowing some WFH [work from home],” according to stats from to WFH Research.
With work from home becoming a more common practice among major companies– such as Adobe, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and Capital One to name only a few–and more job seekers deciding to hold out longer for either a remote or hybrid position (with some days being in-office, and some days at home), businesses are being challenged to begin offering better opportunities that can accommodate employee lifestyles to attract the best talent and maintain steady growth against the competition. Businesses that wish to compete against such offers may have to consider adjusting their in-person attendance policies in order to retain their best employees in the years to come, and as studies have shown, allowing employees to manage their own workflows under set deadlines may actually improve both productivity and performance in the long term.
MORE SHOPPING THROUGH MOBILE APPS
The trend towards increases in mobile app usage is one that has been on the rise even before the start of the pandemic, and this is one that certainly shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In fact, according to forbes.com, “as recently as 2016, [mobile commerce] represented 52.4%” of all online sales, meaning “almost three out of every four dollars spent on online purchases are coming from mobile,” and this number is expected to grow to at least “68% by 2022.”
“AS RECENTLY AS 2016, [MOBILE COMMERCE] REPRESENTED 52.4% OF ALL ONLINE SALES… AND THIS NUMBER IS EXPECTED TO GROW TO AT LEAST ‘68% BY 2022.”
Between the convenience that it offers and the recent growing trend towards contactless pay, more consumers are expected to increase their mobile app usage over the upcoming years. Fortunately, for business owners, the rising trend towards mobile commerce can create valuable opportunities for companies to connect and collect data from consumers while also helping them to secure loyalty and optimize mobile-app designs. Businesses would do well to incorporate some aspect of mobile commerce in their campaigns for 2022; those who do will likely see higher rates of customer engagement and retention than those that don’t, and this will also be the case moving forward for the rest of the current decade.
MORE CONTACTLESS PAYMENT OPTIONS
With the popularity of apps such as Google Pay, Paypal, and Venmo continuing to grow alongside the phenomenon that is Bitcoin, as well as other forms of contactless digital currency, a big trend that can be expected moving into 2022 is an increase in the variety of contactless payment options that will be floating around in the market. Put simply, the increasing number of companies attempting to capitalize on the digital payment industry will give consumers a plethora of options when it comes to how they choose to pay; however, unfortunately, not every business will accept every form of payment that will eventually be out there, which will result in many people being excluded from accessing goods and services sold by vendors that only accept certain payment options.
To ensure that no customer is excluded, business owners should be sure to accept multiple forms of contactless payment–the more the better–and be mindful of current trends towards certain payment methods. In this way, by making it convenient for customers to pay–regardless of their payment method–vendors can attract and retain business with people who have invested in newer forms of currency, or who might simply prefer using mobile apps instead of either credit cards or cash.
Be on the lookout for the following
- Contactless payment cards, such as Europay, Mastercard, and Visa.
- Mobile QR codes.
- Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Ethereum.
- Mobile wallets, such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Paypal.
- Wearable devices, such as Fitbits, Apple Watches, and Samsung Watches.
MORE PERSONALIZED SHOPPING EXPERIENCES
As a result of steeper market competition, brought on by an increase in suppliers selling goods through eCommerce, customers now have more options than ever to decide where they want to shop, which puts pressure on suppliers to give them what they want–and that means giving them more than just goods; it means giving them a fully personalized brand interaction experience.
As many vendors have already discovered, creating targeted ads and content that fit customer preferences is an effective way to capture their attention and keep them engaged longer with marketing material, which increases the likelihood of them eventually committing to a purchase. Many vendors have even turned to using pattern-recognition technology and artificial intelligence to identify customer habits, preferences, and behaviors so that they can leverage them to create a more personalized experience.
Last year, trends towards greater personalization were already on the rise, and the same is also expected to continue in 2022. Companies who wish to stand out from the competition and improve customer retention in the upcoming year should strongly consider adding more personalized features to their emails, websites, and mobile apps.
SUMMARY: WHAT YOU’LL NEED FOR 2022
With the new year fast approaching, many business owners are wondering how they should begin preparing to transition into 2022. After a turbulent year filled with pandemics, walkouts, and just general catastrophe, knowing what to expect in the near future can help bring some certainty to business managers and give them an idea of how to plan for the upcoming year.
Following the trends that took place in 2021, what businesses can expect to see looking forward are greater demands for convenience, personalization, and social responsibility, as well as more accessible services, and contactless pay. For vendors, this will mean focusing on customer service and retention, which will require a strong loyalty program and a means for providing omnichannel access to customers across all possible devices.
LOOKING TO GET A HEADSTART ON THE NEW YEAR?
Fortunately, for vendors, FTx POS is built specifically for providing a fast, cost-effective service that automates many of the facets of the business process: from contactless payment to updating prices across stores from a single location; FTx POS is a complete suite of fully integrated tools that allow vendors to cut out much of the hassle of business and get back to sales. Core features include time tracking, biometric security, mass updating, inventory management software, and cloud storage for extra protection against both power outages and hackers.
FTx POS also integrates seamlessly with our sister company, Loyal~n~Save, which offers a fun and easy-to-use mobile loyalty app that comes equipped with A.I. learning for a better, more personalized online shopping experience. With Loyal~n~Save, companies can boost retention and improve access to goods, all while incentivizing customers to shop more and tell friends, so that they can earn points towards receiving better deals and swag from the online Swag Shop.
And for more information about FTx POS, please reach out to one of our team members to schedule a free demo or consultation.