2021 is already set in motion. More than ever, people are hoping for a better year than the last. In that regard, here are some trends and topics to watch for the coming year.
Obviously, everyone is eagerly anticipating the recovery or “going back to a normal life”. The process will likely be gradual, meaning that companies will still have to adapt their practices to existing measures.
A short and long term strategy
Indeed, the beginning of the year will probably look more like Fall 2020 than the beginning of a post-COVID era. This means that companies will need a two-phased strategy.
Organisations will, on one hand, have to conceptualize a longer-term plan in order to adapt to changes of habit left by COVID.
On the other hand, they will have to stay vigilant and flexible faced with the short term situation, which, as we know, can suddenly change.
A possible two-speed recovery
If organizations put a two-phased strategy into effect, some predict that the recovery could also operate at two speeds.
First, big companies and public organisations, which are usually tougher and more adaptable to this new context, could rapidly get back to their normal activities.
Simultaneously, SMEs could experience a more difficult recovery. They have been hit harder by this crisis. Some had trouble shifting to digital, some accumulated debts, some lost employees or completely shut down.
Recovery could be slower and more hazardous on their side, as well as for their employees’.
We will have to watch for the strength of the recovery in industries most impacted by COVID, including the entertainment and tourism industries, especially considering that a majority of Canadians and Americans say they plan on travelling in 2021.
Habit changes to watch for
COVID-19 and sanitary measures shook consumers’ shopping experience and some of the habits established during the pandemic might remain.
How much shopping will Quebecers still do online? Will they continue to prioritize Quebec companies and shops close to their homes? What percentage of workers will be able to work remotely and what impact will that have on city center shops? These are all trends companies will have to watch closely for in 2021.
It will also be interesting to watch how much the pandemic will give Quebec companies the chance to make up for the e-commerce tardiness, as well as the effect shop closures will have on shopping malls.
Trust : a key word in 2021
Whether at the beginning of the year, when it seems that the pandemic has saved its worst for last, or at the end of year, where the situation should improve considerably, it is essential for brands to keep customers’ trust.
To do so, clients need to see how serious companies are about sanitary measures and also how concretely they respect them.
Brands will also have to keep offering solutions for those who don’t want to go to points of sale, like delivery at clients’ cars. For online purchasing, they will have to make sure any exchanged personal information stays confidential and shipping stays reliable.
Conflicts to follow
There will be several interesting commercial conflicts to follow in 2021. 5G for example, which will generate a strong competition between telecommunication providers, but also between smart device manufacturers.
Among others, another conflict to follow will be between the principal streaming services, being Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Disney Plus, which had 74 millions subscribers a year after its launch, and which plans to enrich its offer.
We should also keep an eye on how traditional television services will keep losing supporters in favour of these big on-demand tv players, and how advertisers will adapt.
It will also be interesting to follow the competition between Tesla, who experienced a big year in 2020, and its competitors.