COVID-19 has permanently altered how companies operate, consumers shop and employees work. From large-scale work from home, to greater adoption of digital technology, to the significant rise of e-commerce, the last two years have seen significant changes in the business and consumer landscape.
What can enterprises do to ensure they stay agile, competitive and ahead of the competition? We chart the trends of 2022 and how companies can be best positioned for success in the post-COVID-19 era.
How should companies strategise for the future?
1. Prioritise sustainability
Consumers are more aware now than ever before about the environmental impact of the things they buy. And businesses are taking notice: 62% of executives believe a sustainable strategy is necessary to remain competitive. They cannot afford to sideline sustainability, and have to instead centre their business strategies around sustainability.
Environment, social and corporate governance (ESG) is the yardstick through which a company’s corporate sustainability strategies are evaluated. McKinsey & Company reports that businesses with higher ESG ratings do better in terms of medium and long term revenue.
2. Focus on employees
COVID-19 has altered how Singaporean workers view their work. Singapore has the sixth lowest employee engagement rate out of 25 countries surveyed, according to ADP’s Global Workplace Study 2020. The last two years have given employees the time and space to reassess their priorities and to seek greater balance between work, life and purpose. Overwork and burnout caused by remote work has also pushed workers to resign, and to look for workplaces that offer better regard for their well-being, creating what has been now termed as “The Great Resignation Wave.”
In order to retain talent, companies need to reevaluate how they treat their employees and provide them with a sense of purpose and opportunities for growth. The workplace also needs to evolve from how it was pre-pandemic, providing workers with flexibility, better work-life balance, a less hierarchical management structure and a more diverse culture.
3. Embrace digitalisation
Industry 4.0 – the digital revolution – is set to disrupt the economy and transform the way we work. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, automation and other digital solutions can help to drive insights from data, anticipate issues early and increase efficiency and productivity.
Such technologies automate menial, labour-intensive tasks such as the process of data collection, or protect human workers from tasks that expose them to hazardous elements. Predictive analytics uses statistical algorithms that allow data extrapolation in order to anticipate trends and behaviours.
For example, by integrating fintech platforms that use cloud-based systems to support payments, businesses can offer fast, reliable and responsive payments. In this way, they can easily transition to a digital environment. In order to gain the competitive advantage, it’s in a company’s best interest to adopt such strategies.
4. Leverage cross-border opportunities
In 2020, amidst the pandemic, approximately 1,600 Singapore companies sought out opportunities to gain access to new markets and propel their brand internationally. Singapore offers significant support for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking for cross-border and innovation opportunities. With the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) network, set up by Enterprise Singapore and Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), businesses can expand into global hubs like Beijing, Paris and Berlin.
COVID-19 has also fueled online retail, driving more people to shop and purchase online. The gross merchandise value of Southeast Asia’s e-commerce is expected to double in five years, to nearly US$254 billion. With e-commerce’s rise, companies need not set up brick and mortar stores in order to gain access to overseas markets. By simply selecting the right overseas e-marketplace, strong local partner companies for logistics, as well as choosing a cross-border e-payment facility, such as Opal – you will be better able to seize the digital opportunities abroad.
The pandemic has also changed what people consume. Some industries, such as the Supermarkets & Hypermarkets, Computer & Telecommunications Equipment industries saw a growth in sales of up to 31% during the first year of the pandemic. This pattern in purchasing can be largely attributed to people buying more goods like groceries and computers and IT accessories to support remote working. Businesses can leverage this shift by offering goods and services that see an increase in demand.
Preparing for a post-COVID-19 world with Opal
As you ready your organisation and gear for future challenges, partner with a payment solutions provider that covers all your banking needs. In this way, you ensure your business’ growth is properly managed.
Opal’s fully integrated banking platform helps businesses by offering efficient solutions that cut costs and saves time through the removal of tedious processes. We provide competitive FX rates and our multi-currency account provides the flexibility to hold multiple currencies at no cost.
Our cross border money transfer solutions ensure your overseas ventures are adequately supported. To gain access to the capital required to give employees adequate facilities and adopt digital solutions, we also offer viable financing solutions along with our international money transfer services. Our Buy Now Pay Later product works like a credit card and provides you with a SG$20K monthly rolling financing and light-touch-credit-assessments.
Find out how our services can ensure your business is always a step ahead of your competitors.