Technological change will maintain its importance as SMBs find ways to connect dispersed employees and customers. Some of those employees will be keen to get back to an office full-time, others will have converted entirely to working from home, others still will try for a mix. The challenge for SMBs is to accommodate all those new expectations.  

And all that distance doesn’t mean there isn’t room to get up close and personal – 38% of Australian shoppers want to see products in real-life and 33% want the personal connection of traditional shopping. So for all the focus on the growth of e-commerce, there are still opportunities for a smile across the counter and a voice on the phone.  

That personalised, individual experience resonates strongly with the continuing momentum of initiatives like Go Local First and Buy from the Bush or trends to shopping with local small businesses, which saw consumers prepared to sacrifice convenience and cost if it meant being able to help out a local business. 

Here’s a breakdown of the key trends small businesses can anticipate in 2022: