The COVID-19 pandemic dug potholes into the relatively straight and smooth path of the business sector. It hampered their drive for growth and put them into the gutter. Limited operations caused supply chain disruptions, massive layoffs, and temporary shutdowns. For two succeeding quarters, the global economy was in a deep recession.
Fortunately, businesses are starting to regain their footing and bounce back. Recovery is already within their reach despite the economic issues in large markets. Today, the challenge is how to keep up with the fast-paced new normal trends. This article will look at some tips to stay afloat amid the Changing Market Environment.
Adapt to Digital Transformation
The pandemic coincided with the advent of digital transformation. It was a perfect opportunity for businesses to take advantage of technology. When the government heightened restrictions, production and demand became limited. It prompted business owners to adapt amidst their stumbling performance. Technology is fundamental to the survival and success of businesses today. Here are some things you can do to adapt to the changing business landscape.
Increase Online Presence
Going online today appears to be a safer and more convenient alternative. Despite the easing of restrictions, increasing online presence is still a wise move. In 2021, there were over five billion internet users, leading to 40,000 searches every second. This massive change had a positive effect on many businesses, especially SMEs.
Also, 55% of internet users searched for business reviews and recommendations. Forty-seven percent went directly to company websites to buy products and services. Even those with physical stores did online transactions, increasing store visits by 26%. This year, online business transactions remain popular, comprising almost 30% of the total.
These observations show that going online is helpful with or without a brick-and-mortar. The biggest challenge is how to rise above your millions of competitors. Online marketing is another step once you make a business website.
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Adapt to Marketing Trends
The marketing world is changing minute by minute with new trends, technology and tactics being used. Businesses must be responsive and adapt to the avenues consumers are using to find their business. Two methods used to capture an audience are through digital marketing and traditional marketing.
On average, worldwide users spend 415.5 minutes of every day online in 2021, which is close to half of an individual’s awake time. This provides a big opportunity for businesses to implement digital marketing strategies. This can be social media marketing, email marketing, website content marketing and the largest of these being search engine marketing. With 62% of consumers using a search engine to find a business and 41% using it when they are ready to buy, investing in search engine optimization is the best method to help your business grow.
Digital trends have also influenced traditional marketing and the ways we can reach consumers outside of their homes. Digital ads have been a growing area worldwide with 50% consumers saying they pay attention to digital out of home advertising such as digital street ads and led truck advertising. This is expected to grow with almost half of spending being used for digital out-of-home advertising by 2025 as opposed to traditional out of home advertising. Given the data that 7% of Americans do not use the internet and worldwide, half of the world’s population, 3.7 billion people, are offline. This shows there is still a large audience that can be reached through out of home advertising.
The debate between both digital and traditional marketing is ongoing but it comes down to which fits the needs of your business.
Having cashless payment methods is a big step towards business adaptability and growth. Now that many people prefer to stay home, having their items delivered remains normal. Physical and virtual cards and e-payments continue to exceed cash transactions. This shows the increased preference for online payments in the last two years.
Many mature and emerging economies have shifted their attention to new payment methods. For instance, Japan’s cash usage dropped from 79% to 54%. Other parts of Asia have shown even lower values, such as Singapore and South Korea at 39% and 34%. In the Netherlands, the US, and the UK, cash transactions were only 14%, 22%, and 23%.
With cashless payment methods, things will run smoothly. Businesses may opt to use a company credit card to cover all business-related expenses of employees. It will help them keep track of their finances and transactions. You and your accounting staff will not have to check the piles of invoices one by one.
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Optimizing workflow helps you keep track of your transactions. Business workflows through technology may help streamline processes. That way, businesses can grow both on the production and consumer side. For the next few years, the online presence of companies is expected to increase further.
Workflow optimization may also lessen the tediousness of tasks and employee burnout. It is crucial, given the continued surge of resignation. Of course, you don’t wish to see your prized employees jump ships. Hiring new ones may be more expensive than investing in the right tools.
Keep in Touch with Your Customers
You and your employees can identify how the business process goes. But it’s your customers or clients who can tell the quality of your products and services. They can dictate how your business will perform in the market. As such, you must get in touch with them to get their feedback and find more ways to improve.
Whether starters or seasoned businesses, qualitative surveys are often done. For example, food product surveys can be done in supermarkets. Hotel surveys can be done by giving slips or forms to every room. Online surveys and phone calls are often used to get customer feedback.
The problem with surveys is that they can hardly be quantified at times. Also, they may limit customer responses and overlook other aspects. Touchpoints like Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) will help achieve or realign goals. That way, you can figure out how much your products affect your customers or their business.
Today, QBRs are pivotal to programs by the Customer Success team. It makes communication with customers constant and comprehensive. It revolves around the assessment of the value of products and services delivered. And with proper application, this method can boost customer satisfaction and renewal.
Often, QBR contains product performance reviews and performance assessments for the past quarter. It also discusses the gaps to fill and goals to realign and achieve. From there, you find ways to address the challenges and reach the target. There are templates available online if you want to try them.
Be Mindful of Your Finances and Economic Changes
Keeping track of your financial performance and checking business reports are a must. It can measure your productivity and viability. You can determine the optimal amount of products and services to produce. Doing so will help you sustain and grow your business.
Also, watching the economic trends provides a broader view of your potential performance. Massive changes in the industry can affect prices and demand, and financial performance. As an uncertain recovery in 2021 has now been followed by a looming global recession, businesses have to be more careful. Observe the inflation and interest rate movements since they are primary macroeconomic indicators.