It is fair to say that the last few years have presented a difficult time for a wide range of businesses in a variety of sectors. As reported by bbc.com, the initial stages of the covid-19 pandemic caused the stock market to drop significantly in value in a way that had not been seen since 2008, as the FTSE market dropped by over 14% in 2020 as a direct result of the pandemic.
Thankfully, as the threats posed by covid and the resultant restrictions on movement seem to be easing, businesses are starting to recover. However, 2023 has not been without its fair share of controversy. The war in Ukraine has had several knock-on effects on a range of businesses.
In addition, the rise in inflation rates that is taking hold across many countries has resulted in an economic landscape that is still seen as being particularly challenging and uncertain. As seniorfinanceadvisor.com reports, the war in Ukraine has been one of the main reasons for surges in the inflation rates across several countries.
This article explains six key business trends that have become dominant across a range of sectors in 2023.
The continued rise of e-commerce
During the first stages of the covid-19 pandemic, e-commerce businesses experienced explosive growth. This was in part due to the restrictions on movement that were imposed on millions of people, which led to online shopping becoming a necessity for many.
Today in 2023, the rates of growth in this sector are predicted to continue in the near future. Shopify.com has information that illustrates the growth in the e-commerce sector, with global sales expected to reach $6.3 trillion in 2023 and continue rising to an estimated $8.1 trillion in 2026.
Many businesses are seeking to tap into the e-commerce market or increase their operations in this sector. Many small businesses that have come into operation in 2023 are solely based online. This offers the distinct benefit of not needing to have physical premises and the resultant rent on such high-street properties. There has also been a resultant decline in consumers shopping on the high street, which also results in online business being a more attractive option for owners as they seek to move increasingly into the online marketplace.
Trading in NFTs
NFTs stand for non-fungible-tokens. They can represent a range of digital assets from digital art to music tracks and are increasingly being traded and created on platforms such as OKX. According to gfinityesports.com, the first NFT was minted in 2014 by digital artists Anil Dash and Kevin McCoy. Since this first recorded launch of such assets, their value has increased significantly and they are now frequently the preferred forms of trading currency among the young and the wealthy.
Some investment firms are increasingly looking into diversifying their portfolios by moving into the NFT market. The NFT market is known to be highly volatile with the value of certain assets increasing rapidly over a period of hours. As such, this trading has experienced a massive surge in popularity among both private investors and large firms.
Use of social media platforms
In 2023, the value of leveraging social media channels for companies who look to increase their market share and gain new customers is being widely recognized. Social media has grown into a powerful tool for business in recent years. It is not just a place for friends to connect with each other; it is increasingly becoming a place where companies can place short and memorable adverts and promotions that can link back to their main company website. Regardless of the size of a company or its general function, harnessing the power of social media has become a highly effective sales strategy.
Abundance of big data
In the last decade, the phrase “big data” has grown from being a simple buzzword that was only understood by tech experts to a phrase that is now widely understood.
Oracle.com describes big data as being composed from a range of large data sources and contains characteristically complex data. Analytics platforms such as Microsoft Power BI are commonly used to analyze big data and transform it into usable information. The insights that are gained from this information can help to guide a business by providing highly accurate models and forecasts. Today in 2023, businesses of all sizes and in a diverse range of sectors are fully harnessing the power of big data to allow them to make intelligent decisions that will shape the future direction and plans of a business.
In recent years, the threats posed by global warming and climate change have started to become a reality. This year there were floods in Pakistan that displaced millions of people and caused immense suffering. This extreme weather has been directly attributed to the influence of humankind on the natural environment, especially in the release of CO2 on an immense scale.
Businesses in 2023 are increasingly looking to move every process to one that is conducted in a more environmentally friendly and sustainable manner. This can be achieved by minimizing waste at every stage of the production process and by ensuring that materials and waste products used can be recycled effectively. In addition, many businesses are looking to reduce their carbon footprint by allowing remote and hybrid models of work to be carried out (reducing the need for the commute to work) and by recommending car sharing for journeys that need to be undertaken. Consumers increasingly want to trade with companies that operate sustainably, so the need for every organization to operate in a sustainable fashion is also becoming an economic necessity.
As a final point, another key business trend in 2023 has been the widespread adoption of the philosophy of lifelong learning at work. Put simply, lifelong learning is a commitment on behalf of both the business and its employees to commit to continuous self-improvement. This philosophy has numerous benefits for any business. The most important benefit is that lifelong learning helps to create a workforce that is committed to improving its skills and knowledge. With increasing knowledge and training comes the ability to offer more beneficial working practices and to identify improvements that can be undertaken from many levels within the organization. It leads to increased levels of commitment and motivation in the workforce and can create an organizational culture that puts continuous innovation at the center of its operations.