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Posted on September 22nd, 2020 in Economic & Business Development
Heather Strohm

~by Heather Strohm, Purdue Extension Regional Educator, and Community Development – Purdue University

In the midst of the pandemic, economic environments have shifted significantly. Competitiveness has increased tenfold, businesses are examining how to gain market share as storefronts become ghost towns, and e-commerce activity gains momentum. Striving to keep innovation and modern technology within a swipe of a finger and a checkout button. Five factors are expected to assist in businesses in growth during the last part of 2020.

  1. Securing the youth demographic: Generation X and older remember times before the internet, but younger audiences struggle to identify it as a part of essential living. As they continue to age, gain more influence in the market, companies must recognize their contribution by relating to moving their marketing to a digital platform. Consider TikTok, the eccentric video platform that experienced phenomenal growth over the past few years. The platform has more than 500 million users and is ranking ahead of Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. According to a VidMob survey, “59 percent of Gen Z respondents said they use their YouTube app more this year than last year.” What does this statement say to a business owner? It is a marketing tool, and you can share digital messages with your audience.
  2. Earth-conscious behavior: Going Green is picking up steam! Virtually every demographic of each population segment is hopping on the bandwagon. Save the turtles, recycle, reuse and repurpose. Hydro Flask is doing it with their shipping containers and contents. Lunya is constructing products from natural fabrics and fibers. Consumers are much more eco-conscious and ultimately want to lessen their carbon footprint globally.
  3. Innovation: It is always ongoing–never complacent or static. Can you employ what machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) advance in your company and/or industry to give you a competitive advantage? The influence of AI will increase exponentially in the future years. The more you establish personal experiences for your consumers, the more likely they are to return to your business.
  4. e-Commerce platforms: This will continue to explode, and sales manifest. Retailers of brick-and-mortar storefronts will need to develop strategies for transitioning to an e-commerce platform to support demand. Healthcare, services, products and distribution are all moving to online platforms. The pandemic of 2020 pushed the needle for demand and change. Apparently, there is no limit to what is sold online.
  5. Digital management platforms. Businesses and personal-use platforms will continue to emerge to satisfy consumer needs for handling financial transactions, security and banking via one portal location. Goals can be quickly accomplished with a swipe of a login and password, multiple activities achieved in one platform. Central business intelligence platforms have integrated AI solutions that will keep companies fiercely competitive and adapting to new business models. It is critical for businesses to know their consumers and how they are spending their money. All of the data and intellectual capital being collected will assist companies in strategizing how to grow in the coming years.