SMB Digest January 2020 Blog Hero Image

Top 2020 Trends for Faster SMB Growth

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3 emerging trends in customer behavior and how your business can adapt.

Business trends come and go, but there is one truth that remains consistent – your customer should always come first. By analyzing your customer’s behavior, we’ll help you focus on trends that can grow your client base and product offerings this year.

Let’s look at three general trends in customer behavior:

  • More customers shop online than ever before
  • More shoppers use their mobile devices to make a purchase
  • Customers are active on social media

Customer trends to build on

1. Leverage e-commerce

Find ways to grow your customer base and expand your business by selling online. This allows you the ability to experiment with new product types at much lower cost.

No matter what type of business you have, you can either sell your own products or find unique products from distributors to sell to the customers. For example, interior designers can create a signature line of rugs or write an e-book on decorating for small spaces. Restaurant owners can bottle their secret sauce or produce a cookbook.

First, Identify a specific type of product to sell that the market needs, but within a product category that doesn’t feel oversaturated. Starting small with low quantity lot purchases is a wise choice while you’re trying to find your selling niche. It can allow you to experiment with selling a variety of products individually before you invest in a large inventory of products that are too difficult to sell, store, and/or ship. Lastly, if you don’t create your own product, you could sell your favorite products as an affiliate. Affiliate marketing is an option for many businesses who sell on Amazon, Alibaba, and Shopify.

Plastiq Pro Tip: If you have a new product and/or service idea but lack the capital for research, development, and sourcing, float your spend with Plastiq. Use your credit card to get up to 60 days of cash float and test new niches with small orders. This allows you to remain liquid and jump on the opportunities that rise to the top.

2. Build out a mobile app

Want to build better relationships with customers? Start by building out your app. Your app can be a direct line to customers and lets you send out promotions or accept mobile payments. Consider how your customers will use your app, and determine key functionality before you design and build. On a basic level an app should allow you to directly message customers to stay in touch, send offers, and allow customers to confirm or change appointments.

Plastiq Pro Tip: Savvy entrepreneurs may want to consider contracting with overseas developers to build your apps. This allows for the ability to expand your contractor pool and get them paid quickly via Plastiq wire payments. See if you can negotiate better rates with your development team by utilizing Plastiq’s expedited payments.

3. Lean into online marketing

Are you reaching the right customer with the right message? Online campaigns can be more targeted and affordable vs. traditional advertising options (billboards, print ads). Start with Search Engine Marketing (SEM) as one of the pillars of your marketing plan. If you’re not an SEM pro don’t worry, there are contractors who can get you up and running quickly.

Social platforms like Instagram have become hotspots for consumers discovering new brands. Direct to Consumer (DTC) brands typically run on Facebook and Instagram, but we’re seeing brands branch out to other platforms like Pinterest.

If you’re not sure online advertising is for you, test the waters by creating free content. Keep your newsfeed current, and highlight new products or services via Facebook livestream, Instagram stories, or YouTube videos. You can connect with your audience in an authentic way and see immediate results (e.g., increased likes, higher click thru rates, and more).

Plastiq Pro Tip: If you need to quickly ramp up online advertising to promote a new product, or meet your monthly sales target, you can use Plastiq to pay for your digital campaign and to increase your reach and frequency. Google, Facebook, and Instagram have a $10,000 transaction limit on credit cards used for media buys, but you can use Plastiq to complete higher buys and use our expedited payment suite to send that payment right away.

Let us know if you’re ready to explore ways to partner with Plastiq on your business growth this year. To schedule a one-on-one meeting with a Plastiq representative, please reach out to sales@plastiq.com.

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