Shaping the business in this fragile environment is an arduous journey for most enterprises. The years ahead will be different than usual— a new normal that won’t be the same as the 2019 conditions. If so, what new business trends should we expect this 2021?
This year will be dedicated to transitions. Barring all unfortunate circumstances, businesses are finding ways to operate as much as the government measures allow. SMEs are buoyed by the vaccination efforts of the government, further increasing the optimism among the entities.
Let us know what are the latest business trends: its scopes, impact and what the next normal looks like.
New business trends post-COVID era
According to a survey from McKinsey, only 65% of the 13 countries they interviewed had the intention to continue digital shopping. Most customers evidently would still prefer to shop in physical stores until restrictions are lifted, or until it is utmost safe to do so. There was also a steady traction in online shopping from the third quarter of 2020, until the first quarter of 2021, which gave businesses a chance to up their game in the digital platform.
If you’re running an SME, chances are you too are exploring the digital channel and how you can better your sales in the online environment. Sites with faulty user-interface and counterintuitive websites are more likely to go lackluster and go downhill than those brands that are more technologically inclined.
Social media marketing
A big number of consumers are on social media, and there’s no denying that.
If you want to expand your reach, you might want to tap social media channels, especially if your market is among the younger generations. The time they spend online is massively lengthy that makes social media strategies powerful to make significant returns on investment (ROI).
However, it is best for SMEs to continue building a multichannel organic strategy as the social media channel can be too competitive as well. Create a strong brand awareness to establish your own audience, and then bolster it with social media efforts. Remember that content marketing is also proven to bring high ROI to businesses.
Increase in e-commerce
It was Plato who once said that ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’. Individuals have the propensity to work through disruptions and create their own business, which is exactly what happened during the pandemic.
Among the latest trends, the business model of e-commerce and digital transformation last year shows the future economy ahead of its schedule. Through digitalization, any individual who wishes to build an enterprise online can do so in a matter of a few clicks. You have access to a reimagined customer service, supply-chain balance, artificial intelligence (AI), and remote work- all in one platform. Convenience, indeed, at its finest.
Creating AI-led experiences
In our previous blogs, we tackled how the 2020 crisis advanced the use of AI, Big data, business intelligence (BI), and analytics, and how chief financial officers (CFO) can leverage it for better business decisions.
Machine learning makes sense of the big data you have. With AI, you further make data analysis much more precise and accurate. Such kinds of data extraction and interpretation give you an edge over your competitors as you can now create a highly personalized interaction for your consumers. When you customize your user experience, clients will feel more connected with your brand.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for SMEs
The pandemic depleted the cash reserves of many small businesses, leading to cutting down their payroll, or shutting down temporarily. And even though these businesses resumed operations after the initial lockdown, there are still qualms about cash flow and funding for their survival.
The $284 billion Paycheck Protection Program was pushed by former President Donald Trump under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. PPP provides loans for businesses to rehire their furloughed employees or retain them on the payroll.
If fiscal conditions are met, the PPP loan might be forgivable.
Loans such as PPP and small business grants are also helpful for SMEs to continue staying afloat. Considering that they underwent a financial loss, having another source of working capital to continue operating in this precarious situation is a life-saver.
The new business trends of 2021 bring together the social and economic impact of the 2020 pandemic. As of this writing, we can say that there’s no going back to the old normal, but with the recent efforts in vaccine distributions, stimulus packages and gradual opening of businesses, the next normal may be not too far ahead than we think.
If you’re an e-commerce owner, we can lend you a hand. D&V Philippines’ experts specialize in simplifying the finance and accounting processes of e-commerce. You can download our whitepaper E-commerce Accounting Solutions whitepaper to know how we can be of help in your financials, or talk to us today.