Top 7 Business Trends to Look Out For in 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit industries and markets hard, and they have been undergoing dynamic and fundamental changes more rapidly now than ever before. It has been a big blow to many businesses. However, it has also acted both as an accelerant and an intensifier for others. With markets being very volatile, companies need to pay attention to the latest business trends to navigate through the pandemic and put themselves ahead of their competition. Key business trends in 2021 revolve around technology and real-time consumer preferences and behavior, which will help companies grow sales, offer better customer service, and operate effectively. Highlighted below are the top 7 business trends to look out for in 2021 so you can boost your revenue and beat the competition.
1. Work From Home (WFH) / Remote Work is Rising:
- An increasing percentage of the workforce is now choosing to work from home. As companies and employees have realized the benefits of a remote work setup during the lockdown, they will most likely retain it to a large degree after the pandemic ends. So, by 2021, this trend is expected to become the norm for many new entrepreneurs.
- Remote work gives companies more employment options like hiring remote workers to handle digital touchpoints. Moreover, having remote workers mean more savings on electricity, office overheads, and equipment maintenance. Further, commercial space and infrastructure are no longer required to build a growing company.
- Companies that require on-site appearances for service work will not get entirely rid of on-site jobs.
- Working 9-to-5, five days a week, will no longer be the norm.
- Disruptive communication technologies will encourage workplace collaboration when everyone is working from a different place. Employee communication apps will make it easy to video conference, chat, send messages to the team, fill out online forms or checklists, etc.
2. Gig Economy / Freelance Work is Growing:
- With the rising trend of remote work, the gig economy is bound to grow. Many people are also choosing to do several freelance jobs. Gig work is becoming more and more popular because people like flexibility and prefer to be their own boss.
- Gig work is also a gateway to entrepreneurship. Many who start working as freelancers end up creating their own consultancy or professional services business.
- With the gig economy rising, small businesses will no more need to hire permanent employees or spend time identifying and hiring the right talent. Gig work allows companies to hire someone temporarily who can work remotely instead of working at the office.
- Transitioning to a gig setup provides many benefits to businesses, including paying lower compensation packages, no need to pay employee benefits, incurring lesser overhead costs, and less equipment maintenance.
3. E-Commerce is Dominating:
- With the popularity of online shopping increasing by the day, global e-commerce is estimated to grow exponentially in the next four years. So, new entrepreneurs and start-ups should keep this trend in mind.
- Now, more and more retailers are moving investments from brick-and-mortar stores to online stores and e-commerce portals to facilitate transactions from the comfort of homes or virtually anywhere in the world.
- By leveraging social media to gain more sales and implementing innovative warehousing to ship orders more quickly, e-commerce businesses can stay ahead of the competition.
4. Mobile Commerce is Growing:
- With the advancement of mobile technology and the internet, mobile businesses are booming! Consumers are gluing to their phones for a significant portion of their time. As smartphones gain more powerful computational powers, many consumers are also choosing to access online shops through their mobile devices. That is why smart entrepreneurs are leveraging this to their advantage by paving the way for a more streamlined mobile commerce process.
- It is estimated that by 2021, mobile commerce will account for 54% of the total e-commerce sales.
- With the growth of mobile commerce, there may be more options for mobile payments and transactions soon.
5. Ubiquitous 5G Network:
- With the increasing use of digital platforms, businesses can no longer escape the move to better, faster, and smarter technology. In 2021, 5G networks will likely be all across the world and will open avenues like never before! With 5G offering higher bandwidth, lower latency, and high download speeds of about 1 Gbps, it makes interactions on the internet far more instantaneous, allowing businesses to communicate and get things done much faster.
- Experts estimate that 5G networks will have a global penetration of 40% by 2024, handling 25% of all mobile data.
6. Use of Social Media is Increasing:
- More and more businesses are now using social media to engage with their existing and potential buyers and promote critical business functions, such as sales, marketing, and customer service. This results in more web traffic, more sales, and more profit for businesses.
- Businesses are increasingly investing in social media marketing as this channel alone can bring more customers and generate more profits.
- As social media is becoming more popular, many have started selling and buying online social media sites and apps. Social media have people, and people like to buy things. So, buying and selling on social media (social commerce) is increasing. Social Commerce is a natural development as e-commerce and social media both become widely used.
7. Growing Internet Media Outfits:
- Young entrepreneurs like gamers, comedians, musicians, artists, and educators are creating niche internet content. They flock to social networks to create and monetize content and create media outfits on their inter-webs.
- There are many avenues to share and promote media, such as gamers have Twitch, musicians have Spotify, and everybody else has YouTube. Being on YouTube can be a job or a business for enterprising people.
- Internet media and content seems to be a good fit for young entrepreneurs. In the coming years, more and more aspiring entrepreneurs will venture into creating internet media outfits. However, the only mantra for their business success is making relatable, engaging, and shareable content for target audiences.
All of the above business trends deal with technology development and use. The bottom line is that technology will play a significant role in businesses' overall success in the future. Companies should keep an eye on these latest trends and adapt to them to stay ahead of the competition.
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