Balboa Survey Reveals Business Owners Will Embrace Mobile Payments, Cloud Software in 2021

According to the results of Balboa Capital’s Small Business Trends for 2021 Survey, the use of e-commerce, mobile payments, cloud software and remote work are four business trends that are likely to continue being embraced by small business owners in 2021.

“It’s no secret that 2020 was an extremely challenging year for small businesses across the country,” Kevin Umeda, manager of sales planning and coordination at Balboa Capital, said. “However, SBOs are resilient, and a significant number of them are evolving their business models to keep their companies moving in the right direction. The results of our latest survey reveal that SBOs will prioritize things like e-commerce, mobile payments, cloud computing, inventory tracking software and customer relationship management software in 2021. In addition, it appears that SBOs will continue to offer remote work options. Eighty-seven percent of SBOs said they will continue to have full-time or part-time work schedules, up from 82% as reported in our July 2020 survey results. Lastly, digital marketing looks to be [a] very popular trend in 2021. Ninety-six percent of SBOs will market their companies, and more than half of SBOs said they will increase their digital marketing budgets this year.”

Key Survey Takeaways

  • 44% of small businesses offer e-commerce/online shopping.
  • One in three small business owners whose companies do not offer e-commerce/online shopping are planning to make it available in 2021.
  • Five in 10 small businesses offer no-touch credit card and/or debit card payments.
  • 38% of small businesses offer mobile payments.
  • Seven in 10 small businesses use cloud software.
  • One in four small businesses use automation software for inventory and pricing.
  • 11% of small businesses use AI-driven marketing such as website chat bots.
  • 96% of small business owners said they will market their companies in 2021 and 53% said they will increase their marketing budget, while 34% will keep the same marketing budget.
  • Increased sales is the most important marketing-related goal of small business owners in 2021, followed by retaining and re-engaging customers, deploying new digital marketing strategies, and generating website traffic and leads.
  • 87% of small business owners said their companies will continue to offer remote work options for their employees in 2021.
  • 58% of small business owners said that all of their employees are working remotely.
  • 38% of small business owners are using remote hiring and onboarding technologies such as video interviews and video training.
  • Among small business owners who will be investing in these and other business trends in 2021, 52% will apply for funding at a bank and 42% will apply for funding from a non-bank lender.

Balboa Capital’s Small Business Trends for 2021 Survey was sent to a sample of small business owners and equipment dealers during the first two weeks of January 2021.

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