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Business owners might be caught up in the chaos of the holiday season, but it’s never too early to look ahead to the challenges and opportunities of the new year. As this busy season winds down, there are plenty of opportunities for you to get the new year off to a strong start by bringing in some fresh initiatives that boost customer engagement and brand loyalty.

If one of your business goals is to achieve more growth and boost your bottom line, here are our top business growth tips to help medium to large businesses wanting to expand in the upcoming year and beyond.

Adopt Better Technology Solutions

Running a successful business is a 24/7 practice. But there’s a wide variety of technology solutions that help take pressure off your operation, including:

QR codes. This tool makes it much easier for businesses to facilitate cross-channel activity and improve customer engagement. For example, adding a QR code to your packaging that customers can scan to access your Instagram will help to boost your follower count.

Real-time analytics. Up-to-the-minute data and insights are critical if you want to grow in today’s fast-moving world. For example, knowing where your inventory is stored and how many units you have is the key to providing customers with real-time insights that drive sales, such as providing updated stock levels at store locations.

Live chat. According to a recent Social Sprout survey nearly half of consumers (46%) now expect companies to respond to queries faster than 4 hours, brands need to be able to facilitate quicker, more seamless communications. Hosting a live chat on your site is an easy and approachable way for customers to get in touch.

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Incorporate New Marketing Channels into Your Growth Plan

The world of marketing is always shifting as technology and innovations give birth to different ways of reaching new customers. That’s why it’s so important for businesses to keep a close watch on these developments and think about how they can incorporate them into their own marketing strategy and growth plan.

These two marketing channels are some of the top ones that will make waves in the coming year:

Social commerce. Selling directly via social media channels has grown in popularity as an increasing number of consumers use social media platforms to discover new brands and products. If you have a large Instagram or Facebook following, it’s worth adding this additional selling channel.

Video marketing. With many customers now preferring to learn about what a brand offers through video, it’s worth exploring how your business can take advantage of this medium. When video can be repurposed across so many different channels, this offers a massive boost to your content marketing strategy.

Find Ways to Grow Through Customer Referrals and Word Of Mouth

Thanks to the huge number of vendors that exist for every product or service, social proof is essential to winning over skeptical shoppers; 88% of customers trust online reviews just as much as they trust recommendations from people they know.
But you shouldn’t rest in the new year and assume that customers will talk about you; be proactive by offering incentives for them to refer your brand to others, such as:

  • Offering customers a discount on their next order in exchange for leaving a review.
  • Partnering with influencers to talk about your brand on social media.
  • Giving customers the chance to feature on your feed by tagging you in their content.

Find Ways to Increase Your Customer Lifetime Value

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is a measure of how much revenue your business generates from a customer throughout their relationship with you. The higher your CLV is, the more loyal they are.
Increasing CLV is a business growth strategy that requires your company to retain customers over multiple sales cycles. So, what steps can you take in the new year to entice your customer base and keep them returning to your business?

Answer: Focus on the customer experience.

Delivering a positive customer experience means paying attention to every touchpoint to ensure that customers feel supported during their shopping journey with you. It involves tactics like:

  • Offering support across multiple channels — e.g. email, live chat, social media.
  • Implementing a loyalty rewards program that incentivizes existing customers to come back
  • Asking customers for regular feedback on their experience.
  • Providing value-added content through your marketing channels.

Increase Sales by Being Present in Multiple Channels

Putting all your eggs in one basket isn’t the best way to build a steady revenue stream and cash flow. Brands have a growing number of online and offline selling channels to extend their reach and connect with potential customers, including:

  • Setting up pop-up retail stores
  • Selling products on online marketplaces (e.g. Amazon, Etsy)
  • Selling through social media (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok)
  • Engaging in “store-within-a-store” (SWAS) partnerships

However, this doesn’t mean you should start selling through every possible channel; they still need to be the right fit for your target audience.

For example, if you don’t have a large Instagram following, there isn’t much point in setting up an Instagram shop.

It’s a good idea to do some audience research to find out where your intended audience is spending their time.

Launch New Products

The new year is a great period for new product development.

The gifting season has likely extended your business’s reach to consumers who may not have encountered your brand before.

The blitz of holiday and gift merchandise during Q4 likely attracted new customers to your store. This makes the new year the perfect time to introduce some fresh product lines that re-ignite interest in your brand and help you win more business.

It’s also worth remembering that return rates after the holidays are at an all-time high. If a person is considering returning merchandise to your store, you want to make sure you can present them with a range of alternatives to prevent lost revenue.

It’s a good idea to analyze the current market and consult sales data from this period in previous years to help you curate relevant and engaging product offerings. You could also run polls and surveys on your social channels to get some insight into what old and new customers are interested in.

The apparel retailer Showpo does a great job here. The brand frequently polls its Instagram audience to get their thoughts on various looks and outfits. Aside from generating engagement, this tactic also gives Showpo insights into the preferences of its customers.

New Years Tips For Greater Business Growth 2022 Body Image 1 Instagram Poll

Accept Multiple Payment Types

A pivot away from traditional credit cards is underway as consumers embrace a wide array of payment types, from contactless digital wallets like Apple Pay to cryptocurrency and scheduled payment models like Buy Now, Pay Later.

Part of this shift is generational and demographic-related: Millennial and Gen Z consumers have 14% fewer credit cards than consumers over the age of 35, thanks to a preference for debit-based options. The events of the past few years have also made a serious dent in credit spending, with new credit card accounts falling by 65% during 2020.

As such, the more payment types you accept, the more flexibility you can offer customers.

Providing better payment options gives people more reasons to buy from you, which then improves your company’s growth and cash flow. This also gives your business a competitive edge against other merchants who are less accommodating to customer preferences.

The good news?

There are plenty of vendors that can help you keep up with the latest payment trends. Stax, for example, is an all-in-one platform that supports various payment methods — including contactless payments, mobile payments, invoicing, ACH, and more.

With a wide range of features offered at merchant-friendly pricing, Stax continues to be one of the best merchant services providers in the market.

Ready to Implement Your Business Growth Strategy?

The new year is always an exciting but anxious time for businesses. As the dust settles after a frantic holiday season, the start of a new year is the perfect time to take stock of your current performance and look for ways to enhance the customer experience. With a bit of strategic planning and by following the tips outlined above, you can gain a competitive edge as we head into the new year.

If you’re looking to increase market share and level up your business success next year, get in touch with Stax. Our payments technology solutions — coupled with an innovative pricing model — can help you unlock more profit and growth opportunities in the coming year.

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