Ever since COVID-19 struck and the whole world was thrown into a lockdown, several businesses have had to adapt to changes in consumer behavior and interests.
This also affected workplace culture because remote work started to seem a lot more sustainable and appealing to the workforce.
To avoid losing both your employees and customers to the competition, it’s time to adapt to the evolving changes.
The best way to start is by staying up to date with evolving business trends of 2022 and incorporating whatever strategies you can into your business model.
In this article, we’ll be sharing five popular trends you’ll see more of in 2022. We’ll be discussing how beneficial they are to your business and how you can seamlessly beat the competition by adopting them.
Five Most Popular Trends
1. Hybrid Culture is On the Rise and Here to Stay
During the pandemic, a lot of business owners simply assumed that after the lockdown eased, everyone would go back to the office. However, employees are refusing to go back to on-site work. And while the majority of these employees prefer to work fully remote, many are willing to settle for a hybrid work style.
This means a few days are spent working on-site while the rest is spent working remotely. Leaving only a select few who don’t mind returning to the office.
Many employees spent most of the lockdown reconnecting with their families and maintaining a work-life balance. Some even argue that they are more productive whilst working from home. There’s also the unaccounted time spent commuting.
Business owners on the other hand are worried about the work culture.
Questions such as; Will in-person communication be more effective? What if there are projects that are better tackled on-site?
So to bridge the disconnect, reduce the looming attrition rates associated with forceful on-site policies and satisfy your workforce, the hybrid culture seems like the perfect middle point.
Popular Fortune 500 companies like Goldman Sachs and Bloomberg have already implemented a hybrid work culture.
Natwest also predicts that 55% of roles will now be hybrid.
If you’re already operating or planning to operate a hybrid model, you need to prioritize team collaboration and task management software.
Aside from helping you clearly define goals, tasks, and progress, you can always stay on top of your team and drive the best results with your work style.
|Did you know? |
Around 67% of projects of organizations that undervalue project management as an essential element for driving change result in failure? Spend time prioritizing your tasks and projects for success.
2. Customers are Prioritizing Personalized Support
Lately, there’s been stiff competition in almost every sector. And while you can choose to cut down your prices till there’s no profit left, other businesses are improving customer satisfaction as another method to retain the clients they already have.
Customers know this and so, they are easily swayed when they enjoy the additional support you offer.
As it is, about 63% of companies are spending more time prioritizing their customer service to stay on top of the competition.
Before, customers stuck to the customer support they could get from a business. Be it a general email template or a boring call. However, now, customers want to feel special. They want to be treated as an important client and not a statistic.
And so when you offer a generic service, they look to another brand who can offer them a genuine connection. 66% of customers today expect companies to know and meet their specific needs.
If you’d want to make the most out of your customer experience going forward, you shouldn’t only stop at listening to their needs. You’ll also need to involve AI in personalizing your customer messaging, support and feedback.
Start by managing all of this with a top CRM software like Freshsales. With a 90% score based on features, usability, and reviews, you can engage better with your customers based on their interaction with your business.
Asides from adding a CRM, integrate a LiveChat to resolve issues faster and offer a better customer service experience.
Your transactional and marketing campaign emails can also be segmented based on the user’s journey. That way, they receive more tailored messages that’ll improve their engagement across your site.
|Did you know? |
90% of customers worldwide believe that issue resolution is the most crucial customer service concern? So invest human and time resources working on your resolution window for each request.
3. Virtual Events and Webinars Will Drive Engagement and Sales
Virtual events are rising and becoming a trend to be followed closely, with a special contribution from resources such as Facebook Live and Instagram Live, and Reels.
People love the comfort that comes with attending events wherever and whenever they can. In fact, thanks to wireless headphones, anyone can join in a live event and go about their chores. So customers find it convenient to just stop by.
45.9% of people attend ten or more online events compared to 12.6% who participate in in-person events
Businesses, on the other hand, find virtual events as a way to capture clients in the long term.
Asides from generating leads with registrations, you can always repurpose your events for other content. Share it on social media, create an eBook, and turn it into a blogpost – the list is endless.
It’s also an opportunity to educate your customers and keep them hooked on your product or service. When they can ask you questions, and get more insights from your events, they have a higher chance of getting retained and becoming loyal to your brand.
However, before you dive into organizing virtual events and webinars, you need an event application to seamlessly host and manage all stages of your events behind the scenes.
78% of businesses that use an event application say that it contributes to a positive event ROI.
One we recommend is the Go-to webinar. This software allows you to plan, promote and host any live event. You can also choose to use social media live streams like Youtube, Facebook, and IG Live.
For audio events, you can use Twitter space as it allows you to record events as they happen.
|Did you know? |
In virtual events, sound quality matters much more than what you think? Bad audio is the biggest virtual annoyance. Spend your resources investing in an excellent microphone and audio system.
4. AR is Becoming the Consumers’ Preferred Way of Shopping Online
Virtual try-on options and digital product placements are fast rising in eCommerce. In fact, popular retail stores like IKEA, Wayfair, Home Depot, and Target have recently incorporated this trend into selling some of their heavy-duty products like furniture.
At the moment, most social networks like Tiktok, Instagram, Facebook, and most recently, Snapchat, are staying one step ahead to ensure that their networks are fully integrated with AR.
This is why businesses like yours should hop on this trend too. It allows your customers to purchase what they need whenever they need to.
You also reduce the return rates recorded on your store because they get what works for them beforehand.
Oh and be rest assured, your leads will convert better thanks to this trend. VR/AR content saw a 94% higher conversion rate than products without any.
The thing is, customers want a highly personalized shopping experience and so far AR shopping is satisfying that need. For example, with AR, you can find the perfect furniture for your home without stepping out of the door.
Below, you’ll see how Target allows you to fit a piece of furniture into your space. With this AR, you can see in real-time whether this item is a perfect fit or not.
Since the pandemic, businesses have switched to creating a more immersive shopping experience that brings the store to a shopper.
For beauty and fashion products, customers prefer to try them on to see how much it fits before making a purchase. As visual beings, we love to see and that affects our shopping behavior as well.
To ensure you provide your customers with an engaging yet insightful shopping experience, we recommend setting up 3D assets for your business and products.
Before making a choice, ensure you review their individual license type, supported devices, supporting operating systems, and their capabilities. We recommend using Shopify’s AR for an immersive shopping experience.
|Did you know? |
In 2023 the AR market is expected to be worth over $18 billion with over 3.5 billion users. The best time to convert those users for your business is now.
5. Consumers Crave Snackable Content
Consumer engagement with unlimited visual content like Tiktok, Reels, and other short animation and carousels are not losing their steam soon. In fact, they are increasing by the day.
This is why Youtube created Youtube Shorts to cater to its audience that prefers shorter video content. And Instagram is shifting towards being a video social media app through reels and IG Live.
Due to the reception, video marketing is receiving brands are also gearing their marketing efforts toward snackable content.
Smaller stores tend to create these videos themselves or use micro-influencers to push out their products and services. While bigger brands do the same on a much larger scale.
This is not a surprise especially since 56% of consumers want to see more video content from brands they support. So you have major brands investing in an academy like Hubspot, or fun short clips like Netflix, Duolingo and so much more.
For Netflix, snippets of popular movies can drive traffic to their site and increase viewing time.
Other brands use it to drive awareness and engagement. Investing in video content has also been profitable since marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users. It’s a win-win.
Video content can also be repurposed into fun memes for your Twitter page or an article for your blog. The fact that you can use it across multiple social media channels alone makes it a useful resource.
As social media attention spans continue to shrink and more people scroll endlessly through feeds while bored at home or work, the need for shorter attention-grabbing content increases.
Now, the average person spends at least 100 minutes a day watching videos online. And since most of these types of content are user-generated, people are inclined to create as much as they consume.
So to create more awareness for your business, you need to stay on top of the video marketing trend.
You can start from as little as creating fun Tiktok videos with your employees or invest in reusable animations for more sales. With the best animation and video creation tools like Animaker, you can create stunning videos from preset templates and share them on your other social media channels.
|Did you know? |
Viewers retain 95% of the information they get from video content? Invest in creating educational yet fun videos for all types of customers in your sales funnel.
The Bottom Line
Business trends are always evolving with each year. We’ve moved from billboard advertising and generic consumer service to a more personalized and consumer-based approach. Over time, the current trends will also change.
So while you can stay ahead of the competition at this time with the above listed strategy, you need to familiarize yourself with emerging tools that can take your brand to the next level seamlessly. Spend time finding, comparing, and choosing the best software for your business needs.