8 Business Trends of 2020 (and Beyond)

Economy Business Growth

2020 has been an unusual year in many ways, but some things remain constant. One of those things is the way that business trends ebb and flow. Unsurprisingly, most of these trends relate to advanced technology. As the tech industry continues to explode, the business world will have to grow with it, preparing for every possibility, both good and bad. No matter if your business is small or large, you’ll want to look out for these unstoppable trends.

1. 5G Technology

Despite being an existing technology, 5G isn’t going anywhere. Instead, it’s looking to improve its capabilities over the coming years. As this technology advances, expect to see a 5G that can compete with WiFi. Its signal could soon carry the same strength, opening the door for cell phones and other handheld devices to operate in higher capacities.

Much of this depends, however, upon how carriers decide to invest in and market these new capabilities. As with any technology, the endless opportunities for positive outcomes are equal only to the opportunities for negative ones, so companies must be prepared to keep up not only with one another but also with everything that could go wrong.

2. Middle Class Growth

According to economic reports, the middle class is experiencing a massive growth spurt. Experts anticipate that the middle class will double in size by the end of 2020 and triple in size within the next ten years.

Much of this is thanks to increased access to education and technology. Countries that have traditionally fallen behind now have the same opportunities and are able to catch up to their peers, leading to an overall increase in the middle class population. This will have a number of effects on the global economy, many of which are still unknown.

3. Economic Decentralization

Venture capitalist Mark Stevens is one of many to note the financial and economic shifts on the rise. Part of this growth is rooted in the development and expansion of cryptocurrency, but experts stress that this is only the beginning of a decentralized economy. Increased access to education and technology have leveled the playing field for smaller economies. Additionally, the competition between humans and technology will grow as trading goes digital; a bot trader can do the job of a human trader much more quickly and efficiently.

4. Artificial Intelligence

On the surface, AI, or artificial intelligence, provides groundbreaking technological inventions to make everyday life easier. Ranging from self-operating vehicles to smart homes, current AI capabilities are endless. It’s therefore no surprise that AI is expected to expand exponentially over the coming years. Due to this expansion, up-and-coming entrepreneurs should consider ways that they can incorporate AI into their products and services, or else risk getting left behind in a non-stop movement.

5. Eco-Friendly Products and Capabilities

The green movement is here to stay, and so are green products and services. Thus, expect to see more businesses adapting eco-friendly models moving forward. Gen Z is responsible for much of the green movement’s success; this socially-conscious generation reports that most try to purchase goods from local or sustainable sources. With Gen Z being the primary consumers of the next several decades, businesses need to consider this generation’s preference for clean living.

6. Robots

When you hear the word “robot,” you likely have a specific image in your mind of what that looks like. It may walk, talk, and think for itself. It may, because of this, become a threat to humanity, taking its jobs and rendering physical labor a thing of the past.

That’s not what it has to mean, however. Imagine a machine that can do every tedious, menial task that you don’t want to do. As businesses search for ways to cut costs and use employee time wisely, it’s possible that society could soon see bots who complete these tasks on their own. This could leave employees ample time to cover the things that matter most.

7. Contract Work

Contract work, or – as it is more popularly called – gig work, has been steadily climbing the ranks for years. Now, it’s estimated that roughly 20% of the workforce falls into this explosive category. A large number of gig workers complete their jobs remotely, so as remote jobs gain popularity, so do gig jobs. The growth of this field could lead to more businesses hiring contract workers for their specialized talents.

8. Technological Retail/E-Commerce

Amazon has dominated the retail scene for a while, but e-commerce is not the only way that technology can aid retail businesses. While it is true that brick-and-mortar shops have to work hard to keep up with their online counterparts, finding new ways to use technology to their advantage will help keep them afloat. Expect these advances to revolutionize the shopping experience.

Businesses who want to keep up with ever-changing technology have a lot on their plates going into the new decade. It’s essential that each is prepared to track these trends and incorporate them into their own practices in order to stay relevant.

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Aaron Gordon is a writer for various blogs.

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