As the new year has rapidly crept upon us, it’s important to understand, acknowledge, and use the latest trends to your advantage.

Business owners can no longer get away with turning a blind eye to new trends and advancements, instead, they need to embrace them wholeheartedly. Without knowing the latest trends your business will fall behind and may not last! There is no need to worry, however, because Smartie is here to keep you informed and updated.

Here are the top 5 trends for 2021 that every business owner should be aware of;

  1. Online Shopping
  2. Cashless/Contactless payments
  3. Less people, more robots
  4. Shopping local
  5. Working from home

Let’s dive a little deeper into each trend so you know exactly what they mean and what to expect when it comes to the impact on your business.

1. Online Shopping

We all know that the popularity of online shopping has increased in the last 5 years, but in the last 12 months alone, online shopping has skyrocketed. According to Australia Post, 73% of Australian households shop online which is around 7.6 million households!

In November 2020 there was a 55.6% increase in online sales when compared to November 2019, these statistics are so significant that there is no other way forward than ensuring you offer your products for sale both online and in-store.

The top categories for online sales:

  • Games
  • Clothing
  • Fashion accessories
  • Books
  • Sporting
  • Alcohol
  • Pet products
  • Athleisure

If your business sells any of the above products, now is the time to set up shop online and start promoting online sales. Your profit margins will thank you for this in 2021!

2. Cashless and contactless payments:

With Covid-19 making a come-back this year in Australia, the cashless trend will continue as more and more people avoid ATM machines and businesses preferring contactless payments to protect staff safety and health. According to the RBA, 83% of POS card transactions were contactless in 2019.

So, how can you ensure your business has the best equipment for the job?

Investing in a modern POS system is the first place to start. If your POS cannot integrate with the latest apps and contactless payment services then now is the time to upgrade.

The next step is evaluating your current EFTPOS machine and merchant fees, aim for lower merchant fees, and a quality machine that can handle both the volume required daily and tap and go functions.

3. Less people, more robots:

As technology becomes more and more advanced, intelligent and sophisticated, it’s easy to see how robots entering the workforce can seem threatening. Instead of being scared, it is time to embrace the future. According to Australia’s future workforce report, “40 percent of jobs in Australia have a high probability of being susceptible to computerisation and automation in the next 10 to 15 years.” With key industries affected such as; farming, mining and hospitality. That being said, there will always be room for humans as we can provide customer service, empathy and human interaction.

How your business can benefit from robots:

4. Shopping local

The pandemic has made a lot of customers re-think where they make purchases from and where they spend their money. The biggest trend at the moment is shopping local, with “Australian made” goods becoming twice as popular as organic goods. This is particularly true for produce stores where Australian goods have been in demand and purchased more than international goods.

Consumers are concerned about two key factors; supporting local businesses and creating/sustaining jobs for local Australians.

How can your business take action? Partner with local brands and purchase your products from Australian providers to ensure the circle of work and profit is benefitting local businesses all around. Make use of marketing and advertising to promote your business to key audiences like Millenials who are time-poor and the older population who like to buy close to home. Your business and your customers will appreciate your efforts.

5. Working from home

It may not have worked perfectly at the start for your business and some businesses like hospitality and retail simply cannot get away with working from home arrangements, but there are many benefits to working from home that has ensured it is here to stay, at least for the near future.

Staff are less fatigued from commuting and have more energy to get tasks done throughout the day. Not to mention the all-important, work-life-balance that has been re-introduced, which allows your staff to live healthier and happier lives. “49 percent of respondents who worked in finance, property and business services said they had worked from home [in 2020].” according to Statista.

With your staff expecting you, as an employer, to take their health seriously, it is important to have procedures and plans in place for remote working if staff would like to do so. Your business can save thousands of dollars per person that works from home just on maintenance, upkeep and office rental costs. Consider the benefits before you rule it out as an option for your workplace.

The Wrap Up:

Following the latest trends in 2021 is the best way to ensure that your business will thrive this year, with the newest products, equipment and information up your sleeve, there is nothing to leave to chance.