Economic Trends Businesses Face in 2021
February 23, 2021
Long before the economic impact of the COVID pandemic, industries and businesses began making massive changes to the way they serve customers. Trends in the American marketplace revolving around technology and consumer behavior forced them to find smarter, more efficient strategies. The appearance of COVID-19 merely sped up those changes. Knowing this, here are a few of the top trends businesses face in 2021:
The On-Demand Economy Shift
The on-demand economy continues to intensify as more consumers want products and services delivered immediately. With many people working remotely, observing social distancing, and avoiding leaving their homes, COVID-19’s influence created a surge in on-demand solutions. Apps provide businesses with the necessary solutions across multiple fronts for customers, and now it seems every company has one.
Contactless Payment Options
A significant impact of the coronavirus on all aspects of society is the need to take payments without personal contact. Businesses need to make a concerted effort to limit in-person transactions, like contactless payment options, to slow down the spread of the disease.
The American Office Space Looks Different
While certain service jobs will always require an on-site presence, many US employees are now working from home either full- or part-time. It is hardly a new concept among workers, but suddenly business owners recognize they do not necessarily need dedicated office space. This means commercial building projects may decline a bit in 2021, with public amenities like hotels and amusement parks taking the biggest hit. Instead, money is being spent on technology to connect employees remotely and help them share work efficiently.
Retail and eCommerce
The pace of digital growth for businesses during the pandemic has been staggering. COVID-19 certainly accelerated the need for e-Commerce solutions; however, US retailers were already experiencing significant revenue growth online year-after-year before 2020. This means that physical retail sales will continue to drop even after the pandemic ends, particularly for inexpensive goods that are delivered quickly.
Personalized Customer Experiences
Brands wanting to build solid relationships with customers must personalize each interaction. Customers want businesses to see them as individuals with unique needs. They want to access services on every channel from which they choose to operate, whether that is in person, on a website, or through an app. These shoppers are typically more loyal than single-channel shoppers. They shop more often and recommend brands to family members and friends. If you take care of them, they will take care of you.
Economic Recovery from COVID
The momentum of the economic recovery in 2021 likely comes down to two critical variables: vaccine distribution and the probability of further stimulus. A bipartisan effort to extend relief is focused on more money for education, help for small businesses, and extension of job benefits. Continuation of the Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) seems likely as the last round achieved its objectives after the spike in spending on wages after the legislation passed.
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