It’s no secret that COVID-19 has had significant impacts on business trends across Australia. Unforeseen shake-ups to how we approach life and do business have emerged in 2020 and will continue to permeate the landscape until the pandemic is officially over.

Keeping your eye on emerging business and technology trends and reacting appropriately will be key to thriving in a post-COVID-19 world.

Economic impact of COVID-19 in Australia

The economic impact on Australia has been severe. For the first time in 30 years, we’re officially in a recession, which is negative growth for two consecutive quarters.

Notably, in the June quarter of 2020, national GDP numbers indicated that the Australian  economy went backwards by 7%. This is the worst decline on national record and slightly worse than economists had forecast.

“Our record run of 28 consecutive years of economic growth has now officially come to an end. The cause? A once-in-a-century pandemic,” Josh Frydenberg, federal Treasurer.

The economic impact of COVID-19 in Australia may seem dire, and there’s no doubt it’s not rosy. Yet, Australia is in a much stronger position to bounce back compared to most countries. For us, there’s light at the end of the tunnel and many businesses are beginning to show signs of improvement.

eCommerce trends

The eCommerce trend was well on its way before COVID-19, but the revolution has certainly been set to overdrive since. The eCommerce business trend is now incontrovertible.

Those business owners who were previously reticent to join the revolution have either seen the writing on the wall or they’ve been virtually forced to adopt online business models due to various shutdowns and restrictions.

In such an environment, making sure you dominate eCommerce with excellent websites, top notch customer service, fast delivery and of course, first class eCommerce solutions, are paramount to success.

Building an eCommerce marketing and sales plan is imperative and, if you get ahead of the curve with this business trend, you’ll have a head start that will see you in the best position possible for business success.

Technology trends

Technology trends will be an interesting arena to keep an eye on as developments unfold over the next months and years. Remote commerce and work are now the norm and this business trend will continue to shake up the technology industry.

It’ll be truly interesting to see where this trend goes and what kinds of services and products we can expect to see.

These technology trends are expected to increase rapidly:

  • advanced remote setups and software
  • AI and chatbots
  • new contactless payment methods
  • cloud apps and computing
  • remote education and healthcare
  • eCommerce

Impacts of the pandemic on small businesses

The impacts of the pandemic on small business has been particularly sharp. Small businesses have no doubt been struck the hardest out of Australia’s business community and negative trends are rife.

With decreases in cashflow, poor outlooks and less capital as a backstop, we’re seeing many Australian businesses struggling.

On the bright side, in recent months the impacts of the pandemic on small business have begun to look up as restrictions ease and new business models take effect.

Let’s take a look at some key stats from the Australian Bureau of Statistic’s recent September 2020 study ‘The Business Impacts of COVID-19 Survey’:

  • More than a third (35%) of Australian businesses expect to find it difficult or very difficult to meet financial commitments over the next three months, according to the latest results.
  • Small businesses were almost twice as likely to report that they expected to find it difficult or very difficult compared to large businesses (35% compared to 18%).
  • 41%of businesses reported that revenue had fallen over the last month and 22% had an increase in operating expenses.
  • 28% of businesses expected a decrease in revenue over the next month.

Future business trends to be aware of in 2020

Future business trend navigation will be key to new and current business success. If you have a crystal ball, whip it out because predicting future business trends will amount to prosperity. Some of the best businesses to start in 2020 should be predicated on a sharp future-focused mindset.

Never an exact science to say the least, but a keen mind and some piercing eyes, coupled with observation, data collection and research will result in some good ideas for a future-focused business. Some possibilities:

  • Completely remote, global reaching businesses.
  • Heavy reliance on cloud applications.
  • New social media trends for business marketing.
  • The death of the CBD and office block.
  • The decline of face to face, necessitating new ways of interacting and forming relationships.
  • Sharp uptick in AI and VR.
  • eCommerce and online payments will skyrocket.
  • New forms of digital entertainment.
  • Lean cloud-based business models with employees no longer limited by geography.
  • Decline in traditional tourism and travel.

Whatever business trends may emerge in 2020 and beyond, the business landscape will never look the same again. Adaptability and resilience will be key markers of business success.