During the pandemic, big and small businesses took significant hits to their bottom lines. Lockdown and social distancing protocols changed the way both businesses and consumers behaved. Companies started pivoting their organizational structures and business models to adapt to changing market behaviors.
Ecommerce, digitalization, and technological integration all served to improve how businesses could continue to serve consumers despite the transition from brick n mortar stores being forced to shut down and limit foot traffic.
Consumers also started looking into more convenient ways to shop, pay bills, bank, and consume entertainment. In various sectors, more and more companies started to put more weight into establishing sales-enabled online platforms which could provide consumers with seamless touchpoints to make purchases.
In terms of corporate financial trends, we’re seeing the extreme resilience of global markets in the midst of such difficult times. Economies worldwide went into a synchronized recession during the pandemic, a record-breaking phenomenon that hasn’t happened in the last 150 years.
However, as the world slowly begins to open up again, different sectors in different countries are all bouncing back with the help of innovative ideas on how to navigate the pandemic best. Taking a closer look at the industry trends that have emerged during the tail end of this year gives us insights into the future of individual and corporate finances in the new normal.
Sectors boom despite the odds
While some industries have struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic, there have been businesses that have not only survived but thrived. It’s no surprise that cleaning services, grocery chains, delivery apps, and gaming companies have all come out of the pandemic with even higher profits than the previous years.
While some of these can be chocked up to a unique spike in demand due to the pandemic, not all of them were merely just lucky. Cleaning and disinfection services were already available before the pandemic, but quicker response rates, online booking, and mobile cleaning vans equipped them to serve consumers more efficiently.
Entertainment also became highly sought after in the midst of lockdown orders. Streaming giants and online gaming platforms saw an increase in users and advertising dollars as the market sought ways to entertain themselves at home safely. It wasn’t just online gaming that saw an increase, but traditional gaming consoles offered users the ability to purchase and interact with other players online.
While the service wasn’t something entirely new, it came in clutch for these companies during the height of social distancing protocols. We’ve seen the new business boom in various sectors continues to unfold despite uncertain market conditions.
Consumer liquidity and behavior
The pandemic saw individuals come out of it with varying levels of liquidity. Many socio-economic factors influenced how different sectors of the population were either in dire financial situations at the end of the year or had a surplus in savings.
Because unemployment disproportionately affected different members of society, some industries that could successfully transition their workforce to work from home and provide them with financial aid packages left the market flush with cash.
As purchasing opportunities dwindled because of less interaction with traditional businesses, corporations began to heavily invest in digitalization and tech integration. Ecommerce platforms, digital advertising, and even automation grew in popularity as companies shifted business models to establish better avenues for revenue.
Along with this market liquidity, investment practices also became extremely popular. Investment apps for the stock market, cryptocurrencies, foreign currencies, and NFTs popped up left and right, offering users a platform to take control of their investments. Inclusivity was also a big thing for these apps. Some provided access to foreign markets, international trading, and Islamic account offers that followed different guidelines than other traditional accounts.
Technology takes over traditional models.
An overarching trend in the business landscape has been the integral role played by technology in multiple aspects of handling the pandemic. It’s not been a saving grace for businesses looking to develop new revenue avenues. It’s also helped transition the workforce to work from home, improve efficiency, automation and communication. Technology has also seeped into what’s being called the great equalizer, mergers, and acquisitions in the new normal.
As smaller and more nimble corporations that initially were able to better adapt to the pandemic start to merge with larger firms, their technologically equipped systems and workforce move with them. The adaptability of traditional corporations has come into question as rigid practices force them to stay the course of their everyday operations. Smaller firms, now ripe for mergers, provide them the opportunity to not only reduce competition but absorb established modern practices along with it.
These continue to evolve as more businesses start to open again and the market behaviors continuously change. However, it doesn’t look like the industries will ever go back to how things were before the pandemic. The market’s behaviors continue to drive corporations to develop new ways of serving demand and increasing profit margins.