2020 has been one of the most challenging years for businesses due to the ongoing global pandemic. All businesses, small and large, have been significantly affected in many ways. Even though the fight against the pandemic is far from over, many business owners are optimistic that 2021 will be better than the last year.
Now that many vaccines are being rolled out and administered in most countries, we finally start seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Every year, new business trends emerge that can help businesses grow, and 2021 is no exception.
Here are some of the business trends for 2021 that every entrepreneur should pay attention to:
1. Remote work is the new normal
When the government issued lockdown orders to avoid the spread of the virus, this led to employees staying at home for some time. Companies had to quickly adjust to a remote workforce. This was challenging because most companies did not see it coming, but all in all, they had to adjust. Ultimately, this made many companies rethink their business model.
Some businesses even saw an increase in productivity when their employees started working remotely, and 2021 is expected to see an increase in this tendency. But remote working does not necessarily translate into a significant reduction of mobility. In fact, customer appointments, deliveries, and company benefits are some of the reasons that amplify the importance of company car rental companies now more than ever.
2. The rise of e-commerce
Without a doubt, COVID-19 has fast-tracked e-commerce growth. It has triggered changes in online shopping behaviors that will have lasting effects. The number of e-commerce sites is increasing rapidly. The stay-at-home and social distancing orders, which prevented consumers from going to the local stores, played a crucial role in the increase of online shopping. Many people go online to purchase products such as medicine, groceries, clothing, etc.
The increase in online shopping is not about to change any time soon. In fact, it is bound to continue growing. This is why businesses need to focus more on how they can digitalize their business whenever possible. But to succeed online, entrepreneurs must create a seamless e-commerce experience for their customers by ensuring that their site is mobile-friendly, too. So, e-commerce is a business trend that every business owner should seriously consider.
3. Implementation of contactless payment options
Contactless payment was already widespread in 2020, but its popularity is expected to increase in 2021. As businesses are starting to reopen here and there, germ-conscious customers and retailers are resolute in maintaining social distancing, and rightly so. This has led to the increase of contactless payment options. According to a global consumer study led by Mastercard in April 2020, nearly 80% of the respondents stated they used contactless payments, and nearly ¾ believe this trend is here to stay.
Another business trend in 2021 will be automation. It is no secret that automation has improved our lives in so many ways. The convenience that comes with automation should be applied to your business as well. Automating frequently repeated activities increases the flexibility of the company while maintaining economic efficiency. It also allows businesses to reach new customers simply and quickly.
Several businesses have already implemented automation in their operations, including supply chains, warehouses, trucks, vehicles, etc. In 2021, many businesses will automate most things such as sales, customer service, etc., to reduce operational costs during these hard times.
5. The rise of social media marketing
Social media continues to be an integral part of any business, regardless of its size. Research shows that the number of people who spent time on social media in 2020 increased rapidly, mainly due to lockdown. People spent most of their time on social media to get in touch with their loved ones or as a source of entertainment.
Accordingly, the number of worldwide social media users is expected to hit 3.1 billion people by the end of 2021. With millions of people using social media every day, it provides small businesses with an opportunity to reach their potential audience. In fact, these days, businesses are more likely to find their target audience on social media than anywhere else. This is why social media marketing will increase in 2021 and onwards—definitely a small business trend that small business owners should watch out for.
6. Growing online communities
Creating an online community is also a small business trend expected to become more popular in 2021. As a business owner, it allows you to provide a place where like-minded consumers can come together and promote your brand. On that platform, you can share informative, high-quality content that can help your business set foot. Bear in mind that it should not be all about you and your business; you can also use the platform to show empathy to your consumers during these uncertain times. This is one of the best ways for you to earn your consumers’ trust.
7. Personalized customer service experience
Nowadays, consumers don’t want brands to bombard them with too many options, especially if those aren’t even tailored to their needs. Personalized customer experience involves getting to know your customers on a personal level so that you can recommend the products and services that will meet their specific needs. This business trend is bound to make businesses thrive as it not only boosts engagement but customer loyalty, too. This is where SIXT has excelled even before the momentum was building as it presented its customers an easy-to-easy app through which they can do virtually anything rental-related. In a way, controlling your fleet is only one tap away.
SIXT as an example of digitalization
Every business is intended to thrive and grow steadily and healthily. Trends such as automation, social media marketing, and improved customer experience allow businesses to do just that. While these are indeed uncertain times, and none of us knows what will exactly happen in the future, one thing is for sure: businesses must embrace these trends if they want to succeed during these hard times. Remaining grounded helps your business stay attuned to the world’s needs. Seeing as the world is leaning toward digitalization, SIXT is doing its best to embark upon this new journey, well aware that the motto “sharing is caring” has never been as crucial as now.