Business trends for 2021: Start your year right

Business trends for 2021: Start your year right

A little over ten years after the economic crash of 2008, the world has found itself in a similar position - only this time with a lingering pandemic. There are parallels to be drawn here, but for most industries the pandemic brings a new set of challenges and – most importantly – a new set of opportunities.

The economic crash of 2008 created companies like Uber, WhatsApp and Groupon. So with greater government support and a large section of society with more disposable income, what are the key 2021 trends to help your business grow during this difficult time?

We’ve compiled a list of the five key trends for business success this year.

1. Change in perceptions  

Nothing makes you question your stance more than a crisis. Like in 2008, uncertain times breed creativity, and a change in perceptions enable us to look into niches that we didn’t know needed filling. Uber is a fantastic example of this. The business idea was created in 2009 by one person, not finding a taxi in Paris. The word Uber is now synonymous with taxi services across the globe.

Businesses that pay attention to the changes in perceptions and the opportunities they present will be the ones who can take advantage of it in 2021. One of these is the growing commercial impact of Youtubers and influencers and the growing trends towards authentic content which really connects with users. Even B2B businesses can take advantage of this with personal branding strategies for key stakeholders in their business.

2. Technology

Unsurprisingly, technology is still king. But customers are now looking for access to brands online with the equivalent to an in-store experience. They want the familiarity of an expert you’d find in-store, along with the ease of technology and shopping online.

Merging online and in-store experiences is one that makeup brand Charlotte Tilbury is already promoting. Their virtual store launched last year, complete with 3D visuals of a physical store, product displays and a talking Charlotte avatar. We anticipate more businesses will jump on this trend in 2021 to provide an in-store experience from the comfort of our homes.

3. Buying locally

With retail spending down, many of us chose to buy locally rather than from large international chains last year, allowing our Highstreet to make a comeback with much smaller businesses. And we expect to see this trend continue in 2021.

Independent businesses provide a service based on recognised talent and personalisation, and communities see them as community assets. So, if you’re a small independent business, 2021 could be your year. Larger businesses can capitalise on this by creating personalised experiences around each community, donating to causes at the heart of local communities and partnering with smaller businesses.

4 . Spending

It’s not just where we shop that’s changed; it’s also how we shop. With the pandemic, the ability to spend on eating out and holidays and the need to spend on clothes have shifted. Many have focused on longer-term visions like savings and investments, as well as spending on their homes. To stay ahead of this 2021 business trend, companies need to offer products and services that hold value or create a sense of investment for the customer. Those that do will thrive.

5. Environment

Workers, companies and customers are demanding more sustainable business measures, from ethically sourced materials to paperless receipts. Businesses that include the environment in their ethos will be more desirable to customers and will likely see more sales.

We’ve seen the impact of environmental respite; China saw a drop in CO2 emissions at the beginning of last years’ lockdown, and customers are aware that business can keep levels low. We anticipate businesses will become more environmentally conscious and responsible not just for sales but for the long haul.


There is no doubt that 2020 threw us challenges, but challenge creates space for creativity, and creative thinking leads to opportunities. Businesses who take the lessons from last year and get creative with the issues they face will be the ones that thrive. 2021 looks to be the year of opportunity, and we advise you to take it.




Jan Navratil Head of Strategic Partnerships at ADAMAPP


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