The COVID-19 pandemic has been very transformative for many businesses throughout 2020 and 2021. Those that are still operating today have managed to stay afloat (and even grow) by quickly adapting to the new rules of the game, and by acting on the new trends imposed by the pandemic.
Growing a startup consistently, for example, demanded that leaders retain an agile business model and adopt the new trends as they appeared.
Others, however, have been forced to close their doors for good. Now that the pandemic seems to be subsiding and that life seems to be returning to normal, you need to start planning for 2022 and the trends that will shape the year and the business world.
Whether your goal is to increase Ecommerce sales or drive more quality traffic to your blog, or achieve any other business goal over the long term, now is the time to start acting on the 2022 predictions. With all of that in mind, here are the key predictions you should take to heart in order to plan ahead safely and achieve consistently better results throughout the following year.
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The greater push towards contactless payment
The COVID-19 crisis has affected the modern consumer in a big way, and it has brought many uncertainties into their lives. Simply put, people are scared of the virus, and rightfully so, and that is affecting their shopping habits and payment preferences in the new normal. Even though we expect little to no restrictions to remain in 2022, consumers will still retain some self-imposed restrictions in order to elevate their health and safety.
For example, they will continue to use contactless payment systems more and more as time goes by. During the pandemic, contactless payment skyrocketed 40% due to fear of germs on cash and credit cards – a time when the US saw unprecedented levels of contactless payment adoption. In 2022 and beyond, contactless payment will continue to thrive around the world, with consumers increasingly using these systems to stay safe but also elevate their overall experience.
Contactless payment is easy and convenient for everyone, so make sure to introduce it into your business as soon as possible.
Delivering personalized omni-channel experiences
Personalization has been one of the foundational pillars of sales, marketing, and customer support success throughout the years. However, in 2022 and beyond, your focus should be on weaving personalization into an omni-channel strategy. Your marketing, sales, and support departments need to be able to engage users and customers across a variety of online and offline channels to achieve their goals. This means engaging with people across all customer touchpoints.
The key here is not only to further personalize their experience, but to also create a seamless and consistent brand experience as well. People want you to know them, acknowledge them, and interact with them on all channels that they use, so for your 2022 strategy, you want to delve deep into customer research.
Make it your goal to identify all the relevant customer touchpoints for your business, and start building a plan right now to centralize all your customer data for seamless engagement between channels. This will also empower your marketing, sales, and support departments to collaborate more efficiently and push your business further.
Build branded apps to capitalize on the mobile demographic
The on-demand economy is on the rise across the globe, meaning that mobile and desktop apps are dominating the consumer market. People want immediate solutions to their problems, and in 2022 and beyond, the need for functional apps and hybrid app development services will continue to rise among businesses in Ecommerce, SaaS, retail, and many other industries. Hybrid apps in particular will help reduce customer effort and create a seamless user experience across channels and platforms.
That said, the emphasis in app development should also be on better branding, because launching your own app is an opportunity to weave your brand into the consumer mindset. Combining a brand dissemination strategy with hybrid app development will help you capitalize on the growing mobile demographic, which will continue to rise throughout 2022 and the years to come.
Facilitating and enabling efficient remote work
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a rapid shift towards remote work. Regardless of the industry or the size of their company, business leaders have been forced to adopt certain Ecommerce processes, shift their operations into the online realm, and somehow adapt to leading a remote workforce. This was the prerequisite for business continuity during the height of the pandemic, but it’s interesting to note that in the new normal, remote work will continue to dominate the business realm.
This should come as no surprise, though, as remote work brings numerous benefits to a growth-oriented business. While it does require strong leadership on your part, you will also need to promote leadership within your remote employees to achieve efficiency and higher productivity.
To facilitate collaboration and efficient communication, you need to invest in a better conferencing solution, and a comprehensive collaboration platform for your remote employees. These technologies will help them work together seamlessly no matter where they are located around the world.
Employee happiness will dictate business growth
Last but not least, in 2022 you’ll want to focus heavily on employee retention. Why? Simply because when the pandemic ends, job security will no longer be a pressing issue for talented employees, and the job market will once again begin to flourish as companies stabilize their finances.
To keep the best of the best at your side as new career opportunities come to light, you will need to invest in employee happiness and advancement programs. Higher salaries and financial incentives coupled with a positive company culture and positive leadership will be the pillars of employee retention. What’s more, focusing on automation will empower your employees to do better work, and shift their focus from repetitive tasks to complex problems.
Throughout 2022, you should also look into kickstarting several career-advancement programs that will provide education and training for your employees so that they continue to thrive professionally.
Over to you
The next year is going to be challenging in many ways for business leaders, and now is the time to start addressing these challenges before they turn into risks. Use these predictions and insights to plan ahead and achieve better results in 2022, setting the stage for continued growth and success.
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