Well, 2022 is here and there are some trends that will be useful to know going forward. I participated in an online presentation sponsored by www.score.org. The presenter was Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media & www.smallbusinesscurrents.com. Rieva really has her finger on the pulse of business and offers very useful information that we all can benefit from. Since so much was covered during this presentation, I’ll offer highlights over the next few newsletters so that you’re not overloaded!

What’s hot in Sales:

1.      Retail

·        Consumers are extra-motivated to support locally-owned businesses.

·        Consumers are thinking more consciously about sustainability, value, quality & timeliness.

·        Customers care about more than just product/service. They want to know there are
ethical practices, sustainable materials & other considerations in place. People find value in companies that have morals that align with their own and will do business with these companies over others, even cheaper options.

2.      Post pandemic consumer buying behaviors

·        48% of consumers are more likely to try new businesses than they were pre-pandemic

·        83% of online shoppers have experienced technical issues while shopping on a small business website, which threatens sales.

·        Shipping is the biggest challenge for about 29% of consumers who have shopped with small businesses online, particularly high shipping costs (22%)

·        48% of consumers stopped shopping at a store they visited before the pandemic because the company didn’t have an online store.

·        53% considered using a business but changed their minds because they did not have a website. (source: QuickBooks Commerce Small Business Shopping Report)

3.      Activists Consumers

·        Millennials & Gen Z consider consumerism a “channel for change” and are activists when it comes to purchasing behaviors.

·        Having a social purpose is essential.

·        What does your company stand for? What kind of culture do you want to create? How are you making an impact beyond simply improving the bottom line?

4.       Shoppers want a clean store

·        92% won’t return to a dirty store

·        88% are concerned for their safety in a dirty store

·        66% want to see cleaning taking place

·        91% will have a negative view of a dirty store

5.      E-commerce

·        Total U.S. retail sales are expected to increase 2.5% in 2022 to $6.624 trillion

·        E-commerce sales are expected to grow 16.1% year-over-year while growth for in-store sales which will account for more than 80% of total retail sales will be close to flat.

6.      M-commerce

·        M-commerce is buying via your mobile device

·        U.S. retail m-commerce sales grew 41.4% in 2020 & predicted to grow another 15.2% in 2021 to $359.32 billion (final numbers have not yet been tabulated)

·        Annual sales are projected to nearly double between now and 2025.

·        New technologies are driving this growth: AR (augmented reality), 5G, Apple Pay,
Google Pay are just a few. Social commerce, live shopping and influencer direct selling will also spur growth.

7.      Social commerce

·        Buying products directly from social media platforms is quickly growing. 45% of consumers are “open to making holiday purchases directly from within a social media

                     i.    77% Instagram and Facebook
                     ii.   45% Directly from a blog post
                     iii.  37% Pinterest
                     iv.  19% YouTube
                     v.   12% TiKTok
                     vi.    4% Twitch (source: Influence Central)

8.      Mobile Payments

·        In-store mobile payment app usage likely hit a milestone in 2021, reaching 101.2 million Americans ages 14+. This comes after 29% year-over-year growth in 2020.

·        Usage is now on track to surpass half of all smartphone users by 2025.

9.      Free Shipping

·        96% of online shoppers want free shipping

·        93% want a free & easy return policy

·        74% say loyalty rewards

·        70% want same or next-day delivery

·        92% expect some type of discount. Specifically:

                         i.     39% want percentage-off discounts
                         ii.    26% expect free shipping promotions
                         iii.   12% want a dollar amount off
                         iv.   12% prefer BOGO discounts (source: Influence Central & Adtaxi Data, Digital Trends & Reopening)
Saturday, January 8th

Wheeling Nailers Home Game - Puck Drop 7:10 PM
WesBanco Arena, Wheeling

Sunday, January 9th

Wheeling Nailers Home Game - Puck Drop 4:10 PM
WesBanco Arena, Wheeling

Monday, January 10th

ArtsLink - Annual Meeting
Francis Center, New Martinsville
There will be an informational meeting at the Paden City Library in Paden City, WV on Monday, January 31 for anyone interested in becoming a member of the world's largest service organization - Lions Clubs International. The meeting will start at 5pm. The goal is to relaunch the now defunct Paden City Lions Club into either a branch Club of the Friendly, WV Club or return to a standalone Paden City Club. 
 If anyone has questions, please contact Dan Heintzman at 304-652-1766 or 304-904-6589.