2021 Business Trends
Nearly everyone worldwide is ready to say goodbye to 2020 and the chaos it brought. However, it’s no surprise that the coronavirus pandemic changed the way businesses work and will continually impact us for years to come. Consumer preferences have changed, and business models have adapted. We’ve all seen firsthand how fast business structures can pivot, which is why we need to prepare for whatever this year may bring. With technological and business changes occurring, here are a few of the business trends emerging in 2021.
Business Model Innovation
In 2021, every business leader needs to take some time to sincerely reflect on how their business is operating and what exactly they’re offering their customers. Many industries drastically changed in 2020, and because of it, they are out of the deep end and thriving. Several companies such as restaurants and retail stores had to implement contactless pickups and deliveries. From these changes, consumers saw the added convenience of not having to interact with employees. While change is always good, 2021 is the year to think outside of the box and make needed changes within your company.
As businesses were frantically searching for new contactless delivery services, they also started to consider how to deliver some of their services digitally. Methods were incorporated, such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality. Stores such as Sephora or MAC offered the option of having a virtual customer avatar “try on” makeup products that interested them. The “try before you buy” method may continue to transform how businesses offer their services. People will be able to upload a full-body photo of themselves to “try on” clothes, makeup, and so on, without having to step foot into a store.
Purposeful & Meaningful
Companies that offer “more than just a job” are on the rise, a business trend especially desirable to the younger generations. Future employees want to work for a company connected with a purpose and meaning behind everything they do. Not only are employees the ones who want companies to possess this trait, but customers care about this too. Businesses attract a larger crowd of loyal customers when they have a purpose and mission behind them. Customers not only get a product they love, but they also get to feel good about their purchase. They gain a sense of fulfillment by being part of a company that gives back.
In addition to companies having a mission, sustainability is an attribute that today’s employees and customers seek. The pandemic has shifted specific topics into emphasis, and sustainability is one of them. Companies and consumers recognize the environmental crisis and its impact. Businesses are taking the time to rethink and remodel operations concerning product packaging, eco-friendly products, etc. Little by little, businesses are working toward reducing their carbon and water footprint. Not only is this beneficial for the environment, but it also establishes your credibility as a company, which will help attract new, loyal customers.
Remote Working and Videoconferencing
It’s no secret that Zoom calls and working from home have taken the world by storm. It’s also reasonable to expect online work environments to continue flourishing in 2021 and beyond. Employees appreciate the opportunities and flexibility remote working affords and how much of our “used to be in office” jobs can be “at home” jobs. Few people are looking forward to returning to the office, which means companies will have to do some restructuring. Many tools are accessible online to create virtual offices and workspaces that replicate working together. It allows colleagues to communicate and collaborate easily to provide an effective work environment.
Social media either broke or saved brands in 2020. Business trends quickly learned the importance of social media presence and engaging with their audience. 2021 and beyond will foster an even more significant push toward an accessible, authentic human presence on social media and less of a “cookie-cutter” presence. Many appealing traits include “behind the scenes looks,” daily Instagram stories, employee highlights, and more. Not only do you provide your audience with unique content that only your business can provide, but you stay active and engaging on your platforms. Many businesses also include influencers in concert with their brand as they drive more conversations and engage potential customers.
Technology development and business trends in 2021 and the future will essentially be an upgraded and enhanced version of 2020. However, the influence of COVID-19 will fluctuate as 2021 progresses. The virus is highly unpredictable. The important thing is for businesses to stay ahead of the curve and not let changes slow them down. Various technological changes are coming full speed, and it’s time you get ahead of the game.