How Businesses Can Get an Edge in 2012

Inc.com contributor KC Ifeanyi shares the latest retail trends.
6:11 | 03/01/12

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Transcript for How Businesses Can Get an Edge in 2012
Every -- I'm Tory Johnson and this is at work. As we make our way through the first quarter of -- twelve the Commerce Department is reporting an increase in sales. That's a hopeful sign for business owners as they adapt to the latest trends in retail. Eight contributing writer KCE -- is here to tell us what your business can do. This year to stay ahead to hike key scene -- area. So first tell us about the early signs of the big trends that are expected this year. Right so you know we're now that the dust this kind of settling from what was really. Rather extraordinary holiday spending season. Were really getting a clear view. Typical consumer behavior. And as actually expected to go down a little bit this year The National Retail Federation. Projects that there's only going to be a 3.4 increase in retail sales compared to last year this four point six increase. And you know that's completely understandable given the current economic climate you know you have the European debt crisis you have in the housing market slump you have all these things that. That are affecting -- the the economy in the US and so consumers are naturally going to be a little bit reticent you open their wallets. And you know we're really kind of spend money this year by its you know I think that there are definitely. Trends that bad. Did to look out for they can easily take their businesses could easily put in place do you -- definitely increase in in their business. And one of those things is. Customers that are really looking for those bargains. And it's it's called you know -- stand in -- customer and this is actually something that isn't isn't all that -- if you really think about it but as something that's really supposed to you have like an upswing this year. And others are basically those consumers that. Art in that in the store with the product in their hand and -- actually is shopping around for a better deal on their on their Smartphone. And you know I think that that's something that is really done -- -- an upswing this year and also. E-commerce is gonna have a huge huge upswing this year. Com it. E-commerce sales is actually gonna go up dramatically is projected to go -- to ten billion. And that's supposed to last through this you know six point seven billion in e-commerce. Mobile -- so. Those are some definite definite things look out for -- also. There's -- -- be those the things that are supposed to generate the most revenue this year. Are going to be small electronics are electronics and you know small. Luxury item so these are things that definitely look out for. Okay so let them dig a little bit deeper on a couple of those that one of the things. That you mentioned is -- consumers looking for the bar again and we certainly can all relate to that -- -- if -- small business owner you know what does that mean for me you know -- small business owners who are terrified about just dropping their price is in response to every deal that's out there or for fear of just what the lowest prices on the Internet so as a small business owner. You know what should I be thinking about it. You know even though consumers are always welcoming of discounts and sales. Actually what the trends are showing for this year for 2012. Are that consumers are really concerned about. Having an elevated experience and so. Business is actually to be concerned about creating that elevated consumer experience and that means eliminating any sort of bears that might prevent. -- consumer from you from actually come from considering buying a product actually buying that product. So things like that you -- these businesses can sort of have that create that elevated. Consumer experience could be Q you know how. Have. Flexible shopping options you know streamline their return policies you know it's it's it's a -- between there in store policies and -- -- policies and also just having a very easy to navigate web -- you know everything's going to mobile everything's going -- line. And it sounds like kind of like a no brainer but you'd be surprised at how frustrating navigating some businesses web -- can be. You know oftentimes you know consumers -- -- you. A business's website and the most basic information will be completely buried -- store hours or the number or if it's a restaurant the menu or -- these basic things that you know people kind of overlooked in these businesses kind of overlook some times and so just having a really easy to navigate web -- can pay off big time. And that's something easy for a small business owner regardless of budget to be allowed to ask ten people for feedback on their web site. Orange response that feedback what out. Consumer dependence on mobile devices which use AA has -- in a real game -- and retail what does that mean small business owner who says. You know I don't know how to invest in its staff in you know I'm worried that this is it for me -- Alps the worry about not keeping up with the time. That's right well I think that you know for any business owners out there that are -- like this isn't for me I think that that is actually kind of a wrong way of thinking because you know. They lake mobile platforms and you know everything everything is going online and everything is going digital everything is going to you you know mobile devices so I feel as if businesses would really do a disservice to their customers if they just sort of you know neglect that. And I think that you know -- it's all about creating a very streamlined mobile platform and once again that backing go back -- you just creating a very Smart. Digital digital campaign whether that's you know social media campaign or whether that's you know creating creating a mobile app and you know actually you know a lot of times business owners you know get really intimidated. Abide by the digital space but it doesn't have to be at all there's plenty of resources out there for business owners to really kind of dig deep in the digital space and -- as they should because that's where everything has -- -- Right it's about taking it one step at a time getting his -- -- it. To a little bit of research talking as ever years -- and making something happen RA thanks Casey we appreciate thank all of your great insights -- -- -- and you can -- -- file a case in all of his insights on --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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