Small business trends to watch out for in 2020 and beyond

Small business trends to watch out for in 2020 and beyond

Business Development

GlobalLinker Staff

GlobalLinker Staff

196 week ago — 7 min read

2020 has been a year of uncertainty, and businesses globally have had to adapt to a new paradigm. While there have been unprecedented challenges for small businesses, equally, it is also an opportunity to do bigger and better things. A new set of business trends are emerging, and small businesses can leverage these trends to emerge stronger than ever.


Listed below are the small business trends of 2020.


1. Rise of remote work

With the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown and social distancing norms, even companies that did not earlier have a remote work policy have been compelled to operate remotely. Owing to its numerous benefits, this trend is likely to continue. Businesses are seeing that employees continue to be productive and perform well, even while working from home. Technology has definitely made remote working easier than ever.


Remote work has several business benefits as well. With remote working arrangements, small businesses can save on infrastructure and real estate costs. Moreover, they can hire talent from different geographic locations. Businesses are also embracing the gig economy with more companies hiring freelancers.


Also read: Work from home: How to handle it?


2. Increase in online retail

Online retail will see a sharp rise more businesses will be offering contactless delivery. Businesses must utilise this time to create their online presence. Customers will continue to feel more comfortable shopping online rather than going to crowded malls and supermarkets.

The pandemic has brought to a halt all trade shows and live events. People are now hesitant to travel. In the current scenario, most small businesses will be looking to leverage eCommerce to create new opportunities to sell online and expand their customer base. Now more than ever, a transacting website has become the storefront for businesses. The way forward for businesses will be to ramp up their digital presence


Also read: Taking your business online: An economic necessity


3. Mobile marketing will become more popular

With an estimated 5 billion mobile phone users worldwide, the most direct medium to your audience is very likely their phone. Mobile marketing is one of the biggest small business trends, and more businesses will market to their audience by reaching them via their smartphones or tablets.


Apart from creating a great mobile responsive website that caters to users on-the-go, there are several ways to leverage mobile marketing for your small business. For instance, you can keep your customers up to date by sending text messages of your latest product or promotion. Businesses can also use geo-targeting to reach out to potential clients who are in your area using Google Ads.


4. Cashless payments will increase

According to Razorpay’s ‘The Era of Rising Fintech’ report, between 2018 and 2019, our country saw a mammoth growth of 383 per cent in digital payments. In May 2020, the digital transactions rose to ₹2.18-lakh crore, primarily due to the fear of contracting Covid-19 through cash transactions. Apart from convenience, digital payments offer the promise of greater transparency. According to KPMG, India has more than 45 mobile wallet providers and some 50 UPI-based wallet providers. In 2020 and beyond, we will see greater efforts to enable all Indians the ability to conduct safe and convenient digital transactions.


5. Emphasis on personalised customer service

According to Gartner, by 2020, smart personalisation engines used to recognise customer intent will enable digital businesses to increase their profits by up to 15%.


The time of showcasing everything to every customer is over. In 2020, it’s imperative to clearly define your target audience and offer them personalised customer service as per their needs. People today do not want to be bombarded with too many options and expect your business to know precisely what they want.


Businesses will develop buyer personas to gather data about clients. They will increasingly use analytics tools to gather insights about customers and learn what’s driving purchase decisions. Using this knowledge gathered, businesses will track strategic points as your customer navigates your site and tailor their personal experience using marketing automation.

6. Big data to gather insights

Small businesses are increasingly harnessing the power of data. Analytics applications will make it easier to interpret data. Every business needs to have a big data strategy, which will give them a competitive edge. Data must offer clear, actionable insights to be effective.


A word of caution—one must also be very careful with data, as several restrictions are being imposed on how and what kind of data can be collected. Businesses will have to find a way to work with these restrictions.


Also read: 8 big data trends to invest in 2020 and the years to come


7. The need for data protection

According to Forrester report, in 2020, ransomware incidents will grow as attackers learn that holding data hostage is a quick path to monetisation. Small businesses must pay attention to cybersecurity to safeguard their business and data.


8. Employee wellness will be a priority

Employee health and wellness will be a top priority for businesses in 2020 and beyond. The pandemic has brought both physical and mental health into sharp focus.


Despite the advantages of remote work, it has its drawbacks too. Employees working from home for prolonged periods miss social interactions, and this can have an adverse effect on mental health. Businesses will look for ways to engage employees as they continue to work from home. Only happy and healthy employees can be productive. There will be more discussion around physical and mental wellbeing.


9. Being socially responsible

Consumers are now more aware of social and environmental issues, and they expect businesses to display greater social responsibility as well. Businesses are taking action in a number of ways, such as being more cognizant of mental health, donating to causes, and becoming more sustainable in their operations.


With these trends in mind, it is time to revamp or reboot your business strategy. Share with us the small business trends that you feel will take centre stage in the coming months.


Also read: Technology and business trends in 2020


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