4 tips to keep your small business on trend in 2019

- January 29, 2019 2 MIN READ

Right now, we’re comfortably making headway into a brand-new year, but the question is, is your business really prepared for 2019? Whether it’s evolving technology or changing consumer expectations it’s a fast-paced and highly competitive environment out there so, the beginning of the year marks a perfect time to get ahead of the game.

Here are some tips and trends to help get your business ready to help embrace new opportunities, trends and challenges that 2019 may bring.

Personalisation will be key

Personalisation is important for customers, as it helps to make them feel like you care about them. There are a few different aspects of business that can benefit with a more personalised approach. For example, going the extra mile to include a thank you note in purchases, and addressing customers by their preferred name via email marketing and receipts can help to influence repeat business. After all, everyone likes to feel valued. What’s more, a greater focus on personalisation could even help you shape more relevant (and effective) content for your website and communications, as you get to know your customers and learn more about what makes them tick.

Wherever there’s opportunity, taking personalisation seriously throughout 2019 really could pay off. In fact, statistics show personalisation can boost email open rates and click-through rates, while consumers are more likely to be responsive to personalised offers and discounts.

Customer reviews and word of mouth can be a powerful influencer for new business

There’s nothing like the persuasive effect of peer opinions when it comes to swaying a potential customer’s buying decision – it’s reported that as many as 84 per cent of people trust online reviews as much as friends. This is why equipping your website with testimonials and customer reviews will become increasingly important throughout 2019.

So, why not take every opportunity to build and showcase a bank of positive reviews that could rival many marketing campaigns. For example, invite customers to take a customer satisfaction survey after making a purchase – as many as 68 per cent of customers could leave a review if asked. And, if you do receive a negative review, take this as an opportunity to gain valuable insights for improvement, as well as a second chance to turn an unhappy customer into a satisfied one.

Cybersecurity is essential

Late last year, the World Economic Forum revealed that cyber-attacks are now in the top five risks to doing business in the world’s most advanced economies. And they’re becoming a growing concern, largely because it’s easier to launch an attack today thanks to the sprawling internet of things and increasing digitisation. In 2019, it will be crucial to have sophisticated cybersecurity measures in place for your website and business online presence while ensuring they’re kept up-to-date to help minimise the risks to your business and customers. When choosing website security elements for your website, look to a provider who can offer around the clock support and increased protection.

Shipping will continue to be a major opportunity

Sure, the competition for the fastest and most cost-effective shipping options may not be news but convenient and efficient delivery solutions are still one of the most popular ways in which businesses try to gain the competitive edge. According to one survey, 91 per cent of consumers said free shipping would make them more likely to be a repeat customer while 90% say free returns are very important. So, with these compelling statistics in mind, 2019 could be the time to get your shipping methods ship-shape – that is if you haven’t already.