Looking at a crystal ball to 2021
January 2, 2021
Hopefully with at least one vaccine being mass produced we will see the end of the virus this coming year. But where does that leave business and commerce in the future? Will we ever go back to business as usual or are we looking at a new normal?
Experts have been looking at our world changing to a more digital online society as far as how we do business. Now they are telling us that shutting down the country has fast forwarded us 10 years into the future.
It is hard to argue with the numbers. Salesforce Inc. tells us global digital orders continued to grow after Cyber Monday, November 30, to a staggering 71 percent over the previous year. U.S. Digital sales grew 36 percent in the first two weeks of December as consumers hunkered down to finish their holiday shopping at home. One bright spot for U.S. retailers was that digital sales grew 52 percent for businesses that had curbside, drive-thru or in-store options. Many of us still like to shop at individual stores if we have the option.
Where and how we work from will be different in the coming years as well. It has been reported that 74 percent of companies expect that at least some of their employees will be working remotely. This will cause some stress in the commercial real estate market, especially in larger cities. Companies are looking at the cost of high-priced rentals and are now looking at cutting back space and moving to less expensive areas. An expensive store front becomes less important when people are buying online. Jobs will also be changing as more training will be needed to stay current with the new buying trends and changes in how we do business.
Some of us like the personal touch in shopping. Many of us like going into a store and meeting the people you'll be buying and dealing with. But this cyber world we are a part of has been growing and the 2020 pandemic has just accelerated the inevitable!