Small Business Owners Need to Anticipate Consumer Needs in 2015

by / Thursday, 20 November 2014 / Published in Small Business Advice

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With disruptive technologies, start-up culture, the rise of mobile and the unfolding battleground of mobile payment technologies set to be major influences on the business world in 2015, small business owners need to be prepared to adapt and stay up to date on what matters most; that being what it is that their customers want. Shifts in consumer habits are being influenced by the increasing integration of technology into the ways that people look for and purchase goods, and should business owners ignore these persistent trends, they do so at their own peril.

Be mobile friendly. Your customers are going to become more mobile-oriented as time goes on. The power of smart-phones continues to increase, and as a result, a larger percentage of the population is turning to mobile apps in order to locate stores within their areas when they want to make purchases. Review apps such as Yelp can also decisively affect customer perceptions of small businesses before they even set foot in a store, so acknowledging and responding to this important factor is something that business owners should be thinking about in the countdown to the new year.

Embrace the power of e-commerce. Hand in hand with the prevalence of mobile tech, more and more consumers are turning to online shopping as solutions for their busy, time crunched lifestyles. A business that has a brick and mortar location doesn’t need to be left out of the e-commerce equation; by expanding the methods your customers have to purchase your goods, you can increase both brand awareness and purchases. In fact, this year is predicted to be the biggest yet for online commerce, so making plans to adopt the technology bodes well for businesses that take the time to plan their web development effectively.

Keep your ear to your social networks. Business owners should be taking the temperature of their social media following in order to stay ahead of changes in consumption patterns and preferences on the part of their customers. Social media is one of the best tools for this because of the immediacy it affords, as well as the ability to actively participate in an ongoing dialogue between your business and your customers. With challengers to Facebook appearing on the horizon, being ready to adopt promising new social networks is another thing that small business owners should keep on their minds in order to stay progressive and competitive in 2015.

Photo Credit to Kenny Louie on Flickr

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