With every year, new challenges arise for businesses, highlighting the need for enterprises to continuously evolve and adapt. Spencer Schar is an avid businessman with experience of a range of different industries. From a slowing economy to digitalization and increased adoption of AI and automation, this article will provide an overview of business trends tipped to feature prominently through 2024 and beyond.
An Emphasis on Sustainability
In a world where consumers are becoming increasingly socially and environmentally conscious, businesses are coming under pressure to focus on creating sustainable products and business practices. Forward-looking enterprises of all sizes are putting in place strident ESG strategies to help them address global challenges, for example resource depletion and climate change, enabling them to better align themselves with changing customer expectations.
A Cooling Economy and Rising Interest Rates
In the United States, the Fed has consistently increased interest rates since 2022. Despite falling inflation, analysts suggest that this could equate to a slowing economy, which could have significant implications for both consumers and businesses alike – chief among them difficulty borrowing money. Experts suggest that this could lead to businesses investing less in expansion and growth, while from the consumer’s perspective, this could trigger a decrease in spending on big-ticket items that require credit.
Increased Investment in Social Media
Although marketers were already turning to digital advertising before the arrival of COVID-19, the pandemic undeniably accelerated this trend. Experts anticipate continued investment in platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, helping advertisers to reach their target markets. According to a report from Zenith Media, social media spending is on course to reach $225 billion in 2024, suggesting that the money is following advertising avenues where marketers are seeing the best ROI.
Alternative Capital Sources
With unpredictable lending rates and ever-changing markets, traditional small business loan options are rapidly falling out of favor among business owners. Today’s companies are seeking innovative new ways to raise capital, enabling them to take on less risk while still paying lower rates of interest. There has been significant growth in alternative financing options in recent years, including peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding, venture capital, and more. Not only do such funding routes help those just starting out, but they can also offer a vital lifeline to existing businesses trying to stay afloat in unexpectedly challenging times.
Increased Adoption of AI and Automation
Although automation was already gathering momentum even before the pandemic, in recent years it has become even more widespread and sophisticated. Blockchain is transforming supply chains, making them more transparent, traceable, and secure than ever before. Meanwhile, ChatGPT and other generative AI and machine learning innovations have made it possible for businesses to automate virtually any operational process. Generative AI solutions can even come up with marketing materials such as images, articles, and soundtracks, as well as delivering customer service support. Indeed, the boom of AI and automation is comparable to the rise of the internet during the 1980s and 1990s, enabling businesses to harness the power of AI by integrating automation into their operations, reducing costs, improving efficiency, and achieving a competitive edge over market rivals.
Data-Driven Decision Making
The advent of AI has paved the way for increased reliance on data analytics, enabling companies to make better-informed business decisions about customer behaviors, business operations, and market trends. Big data is now making it possible for businesses to personalize customer interactions at scale. To remain relevant, companies must adopt AI and big data technologies, analyzing customer data for valuable insights that enable them to deliver highly personalized, customer-centric experiences.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
Advancements in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are having a revolutionary impact in a variety of industries. From AR-powered training programs to virtual product demonstrations, businesses are increasingly harnessing the power of AR and VR to enhance customer engagement, staff training, and productivity. Experts predict a surge in innovative applications over the coming months, reshaping the way consumers experience products and services.
A Continued Uptick in Subscription-Based Business Models
Modern consumers are increasingly shifting away from conventional purchasing models in favor of subscription-based alternatives. Experts anticipate that market savvy businesses will continue to capitalize on this trend throughout 2024 and beyond, presenting subscription services for products and services – presenting a convenient option for the customer while enabling the business to benefit from a continuous revenue stream.
Changing Attitudes to Workplace Mental Health
The pandemic shone a spotlight on mental health issues, triggering a rise in digital therapy and psychiatry solutions. Responsible businesses are increasingly recognizing the need to protect the mental health of employees, taking steps such as providing access to mental health programs and rethinking their approach to sick leave. Putting in place procedures and frameworks to support workers’ mental health can have numerous advantages from the employer’s perspective, helping businesses to attract and retain talent, reduce absenteeism, and become more productive and profitable.