Business Trends for 2024
2023 has seen the rise of AI, continued disruption to the working world post pandemic, political and economic instability and much more. As we say goodbye to 2023, we also look forward to forecasts of business trends that will continue and emerge next year. This article will explore some of the business trends forecasts that may help you to make decisions that will impact the future of your business.
Consumers are increasingly seeking memorable experiences rather than just products. Necessary cuts across enterprises have shunted customer obsession down the priority list, and customers are noticing. Organisations have long held customers’ needs at the heart of every decision, knowing that good customer experience led to healthy revenue growth. This is still the case, but economic challenges are forcing compromises, hitting customers’ pockets. Customers will be more discerning with their spending and will remain loyal to brands that look after them, especially in tough economic times.
Information, perspectives, communication, shopping; whatever people use the internet for, the process is getting an upgrade. Generative AI is using large language models to stage intelligent, two-way conversations, giving people solutions to “I want to” rather than simply “I want a.” These exchanges invite people to be more precise in their choice of words, giving AI the chance to get to know them better. Consumers are expecting businesses to capitalise on generative AI applications.
Technology and wellbeing
Technology feels like it’s happening to people rather than for them and people’s relationship with technology is at a critical juncture. It currently feels like something that happens to them rather than for them, demanding too much and often failing to make a positive impact on wellbeing. Businesses can’t shy away from the frustration and fatigue, so their best route is to become part of a solution that boosts people’s sense of agency.
Deconstruction of traditional paths
Traditional life paths are being rerouted by new limitations, necessities, and opportunities, significantly shifting demographics. School, career ladder, marriage, property ladder, family, retirement…the path to old definitions of success was marked by common milestones. Now, new opportunities and challenges are throwing out questions around what was once obvious. As people look at life more flexibly, demographics are being upended.
E-Commerce growth persists post-pandemic
The pandemic completely changed the way consumers shop. E-commerce was already on the rise before COVID hit. But the pandemic helped the eCommerce space take off at an astronomical rate. Shopify reported that e-commerce experienced 10 years’ worth of growth in just three months during the pandemic.
Employees actively seek out remote and hybrid work
It's no longer about companies surviving the pandemic, it's about offering flexible arrangements, valuing employees' time and harnessing the potential of a global workforce. Yes, workers returning to the office has been a theme of the past 12 months. However, employers are also ensuring that they retain the ability to work with geographically dispersed teams and attract talent from anywhere in the world. For these reasons, we'll see the number of job postings with "remote" or "hybrid" locations remain well above pre-Covid levels throughout 2024.
Businesses expand on social media
The importance of social media in business marketing will likely continue to increase in 2025. A report from November 2022 showed that consumers’ usage of social media is up nearly 8% since the beginning of the year. Estimates showed 4.95 billion users currently on social media as of October 2023, up from 4.74 billion a year earlier.
Voice and Visual Search
As voice assistants and visual search technologies become more prevalent, optimising online presence on these platforms is crucial. Investment in search engine optimisation strategies that consider voice and visual search queries will grow. Ensuring websites and digital content is optimised for voice and visual recognition will make it easier for consumers to find and engage with your brand.
Changes to UK company law: Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023
New changes to UK company law are being brought in by virtue of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (“ECCTA”). The aim of these changes is to tackle economic crime and improve transparency. Companies House has stated that its fees will increase to reflect its new functions and powers under the ECCTA. The measures are being brought in at different stages and dates.
Double cab pick ups to be classed as cars from 1 July 2024
For the last twenty years, private individuals have been able to run pick ups as company cars and pay significantly less tax on the benefit in kind, than if they were a regular saloon, hatchback or SUV. However, in note EIM23151 released on 12 February 2024, HMRC signalled its intention to rescind the tax break on all new pick ups ‘purchased, leased or ordered’ from 1 July 2024.
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