Small Business News: 12 May 2023

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson
Discover content team
3 min read
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This week’s SBN roundup includes Gen Z’s appetite for augmented reality, and the startup promising to boost your sales after checkout. 

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Younger buyers look for immersive online experiences

Could augmented reality help your business attract Gen Z? A study by Forbes found that the demographic – those aged between 11 and 26 in 2023 – are 42% more likely to make a purchase when engaging with immersive technology1.

“[This year], the pressure will be on e-commerce companies to turn the customer journey into a memorable and engaging experience,” the business magazine said. “Augmented reality and personalized experiences are especially important.”

These features are just two of the 15 e-commerce trends we have tipped to transform the global e-commerce sector in 2023. Discover how to integrate them into your business, and the others you should consider – including voice search, AI-powered chatbots, and video marketing – with our exclusive guide. Insights and innovations to transform your selling!

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UK entrepreneurs make their mark

Thinking of starting a business? Here’s something to inspire you: UK entrepreneurs made £11.8bn selling their companies in the past year, according to data from Bowmore Asset Management2.

“British entrepreneurs have had another good year for selling businesses,” said Mark Incledon, the company’s CEO. “Even during the extremely challenging economic conditions of the pandemic, UK entrepreneurs were able to generate significant amounts of money by exiting their businesses.”

However, it’s important to highlight the other side of the coin: in 2022, SMEs accounted for 99.9% of the UK’s business population3, yet 20% would have failed in their first year4. So, how can you ensure your business idea succeeds? Follow our guide to business growth planning for the best chance of success.

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The future of checkout: post-purchase offers

E-commerce startup Rally5 is continuing to expand its checkout solutions for online businesses. The headless platform offers tools for merchants outside the Shopify ecosystem, including one-click checkout and the option to inject personalized offers immediately after checkout.

“Displaying offers before your customers have completed their purchases adds unnecessary friction, but post-purchase offers allow you to close the sale before you start the next one,” the company said6.

Rather than being taken to a “thank you” page, customers can receive bespoke offers that complement the purchased products. Merchants can even set timers on these offers to create urgency and encourage purchasing. Rally claims these post-purchase offers boost revenue by up to 12%.

“We want to establish a reputation as the best choice when a merchant is looking to either upgrade their checkout or build a new site without having to build their own checkout,” co-founder Jordan Gal said7. “You can’t just build it and leave it alone, so merchants are looking for a partner that they can trust so they can focus on what they’re best at.”

etsy logo on mobile phone screen

Etsy wins the battle of the marketplaces

Etsy has come out on top in a customer experience analysis of leading online marketplaces. Startup Chattermill8, which specializes in using AI to analyze customer feedback at scale, evaluated over 42,000 performance-related responses to some of the most popular online marketplaces, and concluded Etsy “excelled in all aspects”9.

Of the buyers and sellers using the platform in the year to January 2023, Etsy “[was] beloved by its users for its helpful and knowledgeable staff, as well as the quality of products sold”.

So, is it a good sales channel for your business? Find out with our guide to the leading online marketplaces.

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Will repair replace recycling in the sustainability sphere?

Consumer insights agency Canvas810 is tipping the repair of products as the next big sustainability trend to watch, as consumers become disillusioned about the real impact of recycling.

As global recycling programs fall short of waste targets, “people are no longer asking themselves how they can best discard a product but how they can best preserve and prolong its lifespan.”11 Resourceful consumers are increasingly choosing to repair items instead.

So, what can your business do to improve its green credentials amongst sceptical customers? Offering a repair program is one service that can reduce your carbon footprint. Discover more with our in-depth look at reverse logistics.