2020 has been a year full of adjustments and changes. It has altered the way the world and businesses operate. It’s important to stay educated on the top business trends and developments that are sure to stick around for 2021.
Here are some trends to account for in 2021.
Remote Work is Here to Stay
Several companies have already begun to take the flexible working arrangement seriously. It’s clear that for some industries, businesses do not fall apart when people work remotely.
There are some amazing advantages to giving employees the freedom of working remote, such as:
- Business savings on things such as office space, utility costs, equipment, or office supplies
- No time spent commuting and reduced transport related expenses for employees
- Increased productivity. FlexJob’s annual survey found that 65% of respondents are more productive when working remotely
- Higher employee retention. In fact, companies that allow remote work have a 25% lower employee turnover than those that don’t
Flexible work arrangements have always been a major consideration for talent when evaluating job opportunities. Not only is your company saving money, but also contributing to overall employee satisfaction.
Increased Focus on Customer Experience
Customer experience has become a top priority for all business types, and in 2021, it will become even more important but with greater emphasis on digital experience. When it comes to customer loyalty, product pricing is no longer the driving factor.
Customers remain loyal to companies due to the experience they receive. 86% of buyers across several categories are willing to pay more in exchange for a better customer experience.
The customer experience journey begins the moment the customer engages with your business. This can be in several forms such as through websites, ads, social media, or referrals.
You may be asking yourself: “How can I improve the overall experience?” Here are a few tips to help you get started.
- Offer superior customer service. One of the simplest ways to get started is by offering real-time support
- Keep engaging with customers across different lifecycle stages
- Create loyalty programs
- Keep branding consistent
- Acknowledge customer reviews
Due to the pandemic this year, several companies were forced to digitize their services and operations. This will continue to be the case in 2021.
Having an online presence of some sort is expected by customers. Making sure your website is responsive is crucial. This means that your website has been designed to respond based on the technology and type of device the visitor is using (it’s just as functional on a smartphone as it is on a computer). Over the past few years, more and more people are using their mobile devices to access the internet and Android is the #1 operating system globally.
Businesses must operate with a digital mentality to keep up with competition.
Carrying cash is becoming rarer these days. There has been a rise in digital payment options. Digital payment options such as Apple Pay, Paypal, Cash App, or Venmo are starting to be more widely accepted by many small businesses.
Although going cashless isn’t the right choice for every type of business, there are quite a few benefits to consider. For example:
- More security
- Faster checkout
- Reduced operating expenses
- Less accounting errors
In a time dominated by the pandemic, offering alternative payment types such as contactless, mobile wallets, or credit and debit cards can help reduce the risk of spreading Covid.
Before making a drastic decision to become completely cashless, we recommend doing some research. Don’t be afraid to ask your customers what they think!
Now is the perfect time to begin preparing for 2021, regardless of how your business has performed in 2020. Take a moment to evaluate what worked best or not so well; financial docs, customer reviews, and business plans are a great place to start.