According to Mashable these are the top 5 trends we can expect for small businesses in 2011:
1. Increased Spending on Websites
Realizing that we have moved beyond the brochure style website, businesses will look to improve design, incorporate customer service features (such as reservation systems), integrate social media (blogs and links and widgets for other social media channels), and improve search engine results. Websites will become friendlier resources and less of a brochure.
2. Mobile Marketing
Smart phones will invoke the biggest change for 2011, changing the way all businesses reach customers. Websites will become mobile-friendly and businesses will continue to tweet on the go. Mobile advertising and location-based marketing will gain prominence.
3. Social Shopping and E-commerce
Small businesses will increasingly use e-commerce through their own website or online stores such as Etsy.com, or services such as Shopify.com. Social shopping is a growing phenomenon and services such as Groupon and Living Social are reaching vast markets with unique offers.
Ebay launched its Group Gifts service this year, enabling social networks to buy gifts together. Group buying is based on invoking group discounts when a group of friends purchase an item and is a trend to watch out for.
4. More Focused Social Media
This year's social media experimentation is paying off and in the year going forward, businesses will start to concentrate on those channels that are truly working for them.
5. Cloud Computing
Small business are starting to use more and more cloud computing services, from Google Docs to Freshbooks (invoicing), Batchbook (social CRM) to Dropbox (online storage). As office mobility increases, so will the demand for productivity software that can be accessed from a desktop, laptop, smart phone or tablet computer.
This sums up what we see as major trends for 2011 for small businesses in the online world. Join us on Facebook to share your thoughts on where 2011 will take us.