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Top Business Trends That Will Affect The USA in 2021 and Beyond

The best entrepreneurs and businesses remain at the top by staying ahead of the competition. Know your trends to stay ahead

  • MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Global Executive Study and Research Project found that 85% of executives believe AI will help businesses build a competitive advantage
  • 67% of employees said they would consider leaving their jobs if they’re work arrangements became less flexible
  • Ericsson predicts that by 2024, 5G will reach 40% worldwide coverage, and the remaining 60% 4G
  • In a survey of 600 US consumers by Business Wire, 46% pay close attention to a brand’s social responsibility efforts when buying a product

The best entrepreneurs and businesses remain at the top by staying ahead of the competition. Knowing current trends can help any company and its executives make decisions that exploit these trends and create opportunities to achieve business vision and strategy. Read our top business trends in the USA to do the same for your business idea or startup. 

1. Growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is going everywhere. AI software and technology is being put into everyday devices from telephones, cars, security systems, batteries, cameras, gaming devices, smart offices, and much more. The software uses machine learning to recognise and categorise users habits, then recommend personalised solutions.

Businesses can use AI to predict customer habits and create products that meet their needs or wants. AI has the power to impact every digital market, as well as production and manufacturing of all goods with AI-powered equipment like robots being used to create goods. MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Global Executive Study and Research Project found that 85% of executives believe AI will help businesses build a competitive advantage.

2. Rise of on-demand products and services

Growth in on-demand services began as far back as 2008 with the rise in mobile apps. This trend has only grown and intensified this year with Covid-19. Consumer habits have changed significantly, with many people preferring to buy and experience goods and services from home.

The pandemic has forced people to stay and work from homes and companies to remain closed for long periods. Business owners have found new ways to interact with their customers. The majority have shifted online and provided products and services straight to customers doorstep from food and drinks to manufactured goods, education and schooling, professional training, healthcare, fitness, transport, and more. 

Businesses that can provide on-demand services will grow and have thrived mostly during the pandemic. Peloton, which offers virtual fitness services, sales grew 172% during the pandemic.

3. Work from home

Before the pandemic, only a few industries like IT, finance, or legal offered work from home options, but most companies stated that this option was not viable. They were wrong. Covid has forced companies to allow workers to from home and still operate at the same quality level.

Many workers prefer the option to work from home as it offers flexible working, and this is not going to change once offices are open, and life returns to normal post-pandemic. According to Staples 2019 Workplace Survey:

  • 64% of employees said they want to work remotely some of the time 
  • 90% of employees said allowing flexible work arrangements increase morale
  • 77% of employee said allowing employees to work remotely may lower operating costs
  • 67% of employees said they would consider leaving their jobs if they’re work arrangements became less flexible

Companies will have to continue expanding their flexible working options for employees to work remotely. Businesses can capitalise on this to make workers happy, and entrepreneurs can startup firms to help companies create a flexible working environment.

4. eCommerce will dominate sales

Ecommerce has been growing globally, year-on-year (YOY) for over a decade. Covid-19 intensified consumer online buying and pushed Ecommerce growth to levels not expected until 2022. According to Emarketer, US eCommerce sales were predicted to grow 18% but instead increased by 32.4%, reaching $794.50 billion. This is 14.4% of all US retail spending and is set to grow to 19.2% by 2024. 

To read up more on US eCommerce trends visit Emarketer

Businesses offering products online can take advantage of two eCommerce trends to make even more money. First, use data insights to provide products, content, recommendations, or reviews personalised for each customer will increase purchases as customers spend 48% more when shopping is personalised. Second, companies should use social media and influencers to endorse their products as this will lead followers to buy goods. As such, companies are expected to increase influencer marketing budgets by 65% in 2021 onwards. 

5. 5G (Fifth Generation) coverage 

5G is the next generation of the cellular network from 4G, allowing much faster and wider connectivity and coverage. For companies, this means software and hardware technologies can operate faster, smarter, and for more extended periods without outages. Ericsson predicts that by 2024, 5G will reach 40% worldwide coverage, and the remaining 60% 4G.

6. Growth in electric and hybrid cars

The effects of climate change is a hot topic worldwide, with many countries realising its impact on our environments and especially CO2 emissions and air pollution. Many cities globally are reporting unprecedented high air pollution levels that are directly causing deaths in children and the elderly. Some countries have responded by banning the use of diesel cars in cities, and even the manufacture of diesel and petrol cars.

So far, nine countries, mostly European and including the UK, have banned the production of new diesel and petrol cars starting in 2030. This means that carmakers must begin producing electric or hybrid vehicles to meet future government and consumer demands, now. The US is still to adopt such a strict policy, but many states and cities are implementing initiatives to improve air quality. It is only a matter of time before this moves to manufacture and production too.

7. Massive growth in socially conscious consumers

More news and information is online about world social issues such as climate change, environmental damage, fake news, racism, and LGBTQ issues. This is significantly influencing consumer buying habits. 

More and more customers are choosing not to buy products that harm the environment, or from companies that do the same. In a survey of 600 US consumers by Business Wire, 70% of respondents want to know what social and environmental actions their supported brands take, and 46% pay close attention to a brand’s social responsibility efforts when buying a product. These issues affect business everywhere. Like in the UK, a Deloitte survey of consumers found that 44% of 2140 respondents opted out of reading marketing messages during Covid as they’re increasingly wary of wrong, fake or dishonest messages. 62% are more likely to spend with companies who took extra steps to ensure their employees’ safety and well-being during Covid and offered better work and pay opportunities for Black and Ethnic Minority workers. 

Nowadays, customers expect the brands they buy or support to be socially and environmentally conscious. Companies that do the opposite face a massive risk of damaging their brand image, which could be smeared on radio and TV news, social media, and online by the very customers they are looking to capture. 

Final Words

These trends are not going to remain fixed. They are temporary and will continuously change or evolve. What matters is how you use this information. Existing businesses should use this to make better decisions. Entrepreneurs or investors to startup or invest in the right industries

Amin Bilal is a business consultant, founder of CompanyHand.com, and content creator. He specialises in advising SMEs and large multinational corporations solve finance, operational, and technological problems.

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