4 trends small businesses can take advantage of this year

By Rieva Lesonsky

NPD Group has released its top ways for businesses to win customers this year, based on retail sales data and industry trends from the first quarter of 2017. They identified 10 trends, some of which seem especially suited for small businesses.

  1. Give them all the feels. NPD reports consumers “don’t want to acquire more stuff—they want to do more stuff.” That means consumers would rather spend money on experiences than on products. To compete, NPD advises businesses to “reach out to consumers in creative, meaningful ways, and retailers must step up the shopping experience.”
  2. Be ethical, transparent and take a position. Consumers are focused on ethical shopping. They want to know where you stand on issues, because they prefer to do business with companies that share their values. NPD notes, “People feel they’re doing right when they support companies that are connected to locally sourced ingredients, donations to charities, sustainable environmental practices and animal welfare practices.”
  3. Make them glow. The cosmetics industry presents lots of opportunity. Makeup is “enjoying positive momentum, [because] people want to look good—and are more willing to spend on products that deliver just that.” Sun care, skincare and haircare are also expected to have huge growth potential.
  4. Get personal. NPD says, “Access to information is empowering people to do things on their terms, and the days of a one-size-fits-all blockbuster idea are over.” Even in the food industry, consumers are seeking “foods with a variety of value-added attributes (fresh, natural, organic), positive benefits (energy, brain food, etc.) and social value (local, sustainable, transparent).”