Global Business Trends to Look Out For in 2024

In 2023, the business landscape has featured a mix of challenges and innovations. To excel in a progressively competitive market, businesses may need to prioritise digitisation as a vital strategic move.

This article explores key Global Business Trends in 2024 that companies should know when developing their business digitisation plans.

Global Business Trends in 2024

The global shift towards digital platforms, cloud solutions, and automation is reshaping the business landscape. Digital transformation has become essential for businesses worldwide, and by the end of this year, approximately two-thirds of the world’s population will be connected online.

This trend is reflected in the robust forecast for worldwide digital transformation spending, which is anticipated to reach nearly $3.9 trillion by 2027. This significant investment underscores the increasing importance of digital business models in the global economy. 

Here are the main Business Trends in 2024 that have emerged in the last five years, as evidenced by new digital business models:

Digital Transformation 2024

1. AI Technology

AI technology has increasingly become integrated into various business processes, revolutionising how businesses from different industries operate and make decisions. 

  • In customer service, companies like Emplifi employ conversational bots with natural language processing for enhanced online customer interactions, offering real-time product recommendations and updates​​. 
  • Firms like CrowdStrike use AI for behavioural analysis in cybersecurity to improve online protection​.
  • The recruiting sector benefits from AI with platforms like Eightfold AI, which uses deep learning to analyse resumes and assist companies in candidate selection​​. 
  • Salesforce exemplifies AI’s role in sales and marketing, using it to predict sales outcomes and customer behaviour​​.
  • In manufacturing, AI-driven machine vision is used for quality control, with deep learning models enhancing accuracy​​.
  • For healthcare and financial services, AI is used for pattern analysis and fraud detection, respectively​​.

Moreover, AI contributes to enhancing workforce skills, exemplified by tools like Grammarly which helps improve writing quality, and generative AI which assists in tasks such as coding and design. AI’s proficiency in organising and summarising extensive datasets is essential for operational optimisation, although human oversight is still necessary to address potential inaccuracies.

These industry-specific use of AI in businesses highlights the transformative influence of AI on refining decision-making processes, personalising customer experiences, and enhancing operational efficiency. The increasing integration of AI in businesses reflects a transition toward a more advanced, data-driven strategy that harnesses AI capabilities for competitive advantage.

2. Voice Technology

Advances in voice technology are profoundly reshaping interactions between businesses and customers, providing improved customer experiences and streamlining business operations. The rise of voice technology highlights the increasing significance of intuitive user interfaces and their substantial impact on business-customer interactions. 

iProspect Asia reveals that countries like India, China, and Indonesia are leading in voice technology adoption, with 82%, 77%, and 62% usage rates, respectively. These countries are categorised as “dynamic” markets due to their positive sentiment towards voice technology and high growth potential. 

The integration of voice technology is also evident in the digital landscape of Southeast Asia With a high internet usage rate, particularly in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia, there’s a clear transition towards adopting voice search and voice commands. For instance, 51.9% of Indonesians are reported to use voice interfaces monthly. This trend aligns with the region’s increasing preference for mobile-first and digital-first social experiences. 

The impact of voice technology is also altering consumer behaviour and preferences. According to PwC’s research, there is widespread awareness of voice technology among consumers, with 72% utilising a voice assistant. Interestingly, while younger consumers drive adoption, the heaviest users are found in the 25-49 age group​​.

Voice technology is also influencing how customers interact with businesses. For example, Walmart has established a voice commerce relationship with Google Assistant, illustrating the potential for voice technology in retail settings. 

Moreover, McKinsey Research highlights that about one-third of B2B customers prefer using voice technology during their customer journey​​. Voice-enabled artificial intelligence enables more personalised conversations between customers and businesses, enhancing the user experience. 

However, there are challenges, including data security concerns and the limitations in interaction quality that voice assistants currently offer compared to other channels​​. Despite these challenges, the adoption of voice technology is expected to continue growing, with companies recognising how it can transform business operations and customer interactions. 

Finally, Deloitte’s research emphasises the significant role of voice technology in search-based advertising. With the global spending on search ads through voice assistants reaching $19 billion in 2022, brands and advertisers are increasingly integrating voice-based search optimisation into their strategies. This trend mirrors the evolving preferences of consumers and the need for businesses to adapt to these changes​​.

3. Convenience as a Priority

In light of changing consumer preferences that prioritise convenience, businesses in diverse sectors are adjusting their strategies to provide smoother and more efficient experiences. Retailers are introducing innovations in omnichannel approaches, incorporating features such as virtual appointments and augmented reality for online shopping. This is evident in the notable surge in Taobao Live’s merchant participation and Kendra Scott’s Virtual Try-On platform.

The pandemic has especially accelerated digital transformation, placing a heightened emphasis on convenience. Digital delivery has become paramount for customers, particularly those restricted to their homes. This has led to a significant uptake of digital services, even among customers who previously showed reluctance towards digital adoption. 

A key factor in maintaining service continuity for many businesses has been the swift enhancement of digital value-added services, designed to make life easier for their consumers. The Bank of China serves as a prime example, attracting over 44,000 viewers to its initial three online broadcasts. These sessions featured top investment managers providing insights into market trends, the pandemic’s impact, and offering professional financial advice.

Other companies offer free digital services catering to existing customers and to attract new ones. This strategy is prominently observed in the fitness industry, where companies extend free trials for online and app-based classes. This approach resulted in a significant increase in app downloads and new sign-ups, ranging from 80% to over 250%. The trend suggests that many customers transitioning to these digital services during the pandemic are likely to continue using them even afterwards. 

Companies that have effectively transitioned and offer these convenient digital experiences are in a favourable position to grow their user base. Furthermore, they are likely to maintain these customer relationships beyond the global pandemic. The key takeaway is clear: prioritising customer convenience, especially through digital channels, is a successful strategy for establishing and sustaining a robust customer base in today’s market.

Convenience stores are also evolving to offer healthier food options, sustainable packaging, and enhanced customer experiences with amenities like free WiFi and charging stations​​. Globally, the retail sector is witnessing a trend towards consolidation, with discounters growing rapidly and major players like Walmart, Amazon, and Alibaba strengthening their market positions​​. 

These adaptations highlight a market-wide shift towards prioritising customer convenience and experience. By enhancing their offerings and integrating customer-centric amenities, businesses are positioning themselves to serve their consumers better. 

4. Live Selling Strategies

Live selling, merging the interactivity of live streaming with e-commerce, is transforming the online shopping experience. This innovative approach enables real-time customer engagement and personalisation, which is crucial for attracting and retaining a modern consumer base. 

A survey by Livestream reveals a striking preference for visual content among consumers, with over 80% stating they prefer watching a live video from a brand over reading a blog. This is evident in how e-commerce platforms in the Asia-Pacific region have experienced a remarkable 306% surge in gross market value and a 115% rise in order value, thanks solely to live-streaming efforts.

Countries like Vietnam and Thailand are at the forefront of embracing live selling in the context of global adoption. Many digital consumers in these countries frequently utilise live streams for online shopping, indicating a broader regional trend towards integrating live video content into the digital purchasing experience. This shift highlights the evolving preferences of consumers and the importance of live streaming as a powerful tool for e-commerce platforms to engage with their audience and boost sales.

Brands like the German beauty retailer Douglas, boasting up to 40% conversion rates from weekly streams, and the fashion giant Tommy Hilfiger, experiencing a single show in China that garnered 14 million viewers and sold 1,300 hoodies in two minutes, highlight the remarkable effectiveness of live selling. Similarly, Walmart’s live-stream fashion event on TikTok exceeded expectations, attracting a significantly larger audience than predicted and boosting their social media following by 25%. 

Another notable success story is Colourette Cosmetics from the Philippines. They began live selling in 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their live sessions, conducted on Facebook and Instagram by the company’s founder, featured product showcases and makeup tutorials, significantly increasing sales and building a loyal customer community​​. 

Facebook Live has emerged as an effective platform for this format, leveraging its built-in notification system, organic outreach capabilities, direct buyer interaction, and cost-effectiveness. Live selling has proven to be a formidable e-commerce tool, offering an engaging, immersive, and personalised shopping experience that significantly drives sales and fosters customer loyalty.

More about Qashier

Qashier offers multiple digital solutions, including QR code table ordering, table management (F&B), employee management, customer relationship management (loyalty programs), inventory management, data analytics, and cashless payments, in an all-in-one device.

Qashier promises a seamless setup within 10 minutes, without the need for technical expertise. It boasts a user-friendly interface that is simple for anyone to learn and use. If you require assistance, you’ll find 7 days-a-week responsive technical support from your local team.

Try the Qashier app for free on your own Android device! With just one terminal, you’ll be able to accept an array of payment types, from major credit cards, e-wallets and EFTPOS. Speak to us to see how Qashier Smart POS can meet your business needs. Schedule a meeting with us here, or reach out via email [email protected].