We have good reason to be optimistic about the future. With the distribution of the Covid vaccination, we will see people returning to the activities and businesses they were forced to avoid due to social distancing.
But keep in mind that some of the innovative business practices that evolved during the pandemic are expected to continue into 2021.
TREND 1: TOUCHLESS
Whether it takes the form of curbside delivery, home delivery, remote working, or zoom meetings, we will continue to have less face-to-face contact.
What this means for you: continue to rely on digital platforms to connect with your audience and deliver seamless customer experiences. Even if your business requires in-person contact, look for ways to innovate digital interactions.
Many new tools to facilitate digital communication, remote working, virtual training and video conferencing are emerging. Conduct an internal review to evaluate your online presence:
- Does your website need updating or a total redesign?
- Are you offering people an opportunity to learn about your business and stay in touch with you through a newsletter?
- Are you using video conferencing creatively to provide alternatives to in-person experiences?
TREND 2: INFLUENCERS
Consumers are increasingly embracing recommendations from social media influencers — these are people who are paid to endorse brands and products on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok. A Twitter research report showed that 40% of study participants reported they purchased a product after seeing a social media influencer using it. In fact, participants were more likely to rely on an influencer’s recommendation than one from a personal acquaintance.
What this means for you: Use social media to communicate information about your business and leverage testimonials and endorsements from customers. A steady stream of short videos is one of the most powerful tools you can use to persuade prospects to become customers. Motivate your customers to share their photos of their experience with your business.
Many pet daycare businesses do a good job of prompting customer engagement online when they post photos of the pets they care for. It’s hard for a proud pet owner to resist liking and commenting on an adorable photo of their beloved pet, and when customers like photos, by default their social connections see that authentic, meaningful engagement with the business and take it as an endorsement.
TREND 3: TRAVEL
A number of industries, including airlines and major event producers are predicting a significant return to travel once the Covid vaccine is widely available.
What this means for you: Into the early part of 2021, people will continue to be based in their home location with little or no movement, and sales of travel-related products and services will remain depressed. But things will change dramatically when everyone feels it safe to travel, attend public events and gather in large groups. Plan ahead for your business to be ready to pivot quickly when this shift in mobility occurs.
Need ideas for integrating these trends into your strategic planning for 2021?
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