Find the best business loan rates (2024)

By Roy Rasmussen Updated on December 11, 2023

10 Leading Business Trends in 2024 to Watch

Staying in tune with small business trends is a way to ensure your company remains relevant and meets consumer demand. Here are a few top business trends in 2024 and how they impact companies big and small.

1. Ecommerce Will Continue to Grow

In spite of brick-and-mortar retail’s rebound since the height of the pandemic, ecommerce growth will continue to be a digital shopping trend to watch. Even though growth has slowed a bit in this category, it’s estimated that global ecommerce retail sales will reach $8.5 trillion by 2025, according to Statista.

A laptop screen displays an online shopping cart.

2. Artificial Intelligence Will Become More Integral

While the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in business has been on the rise, the increase in ecommerce has certainly helped. Chatbots are being used in customer service, for example, while retailers are using AI for improved inventory management and demand forecasting. 

By 2025, revenue from AI technologies is expected to be nearly $100 billion worldwide, per Omdia by Informatech. Additionally, according to a Cisco report, 84% of executives say AI will provide them with a competitive advantage. 

3. 5G Will Accelerate Delivery of Online Services

One of the most important technology trends in business in 2024 is broader 5G network coverage, more 5G device models and improved capabilities. That said, growth will depend in part on the availability of parts.

According to a report by Ericsson Mobility, by 2028, 5G subscriptions are expected to exceed 5 billion. Currently, optimal 5G coverage is 25% worldwide, while in the U.S., it stands at 80%.

4. Virtual Reality Will Impact Business

One byproduct of 5G will be increased business adoption of virtual reality (VR), which consumes significant bandwidth and depends on fast download speeds for practical online use. 

Wearable products like VR glasses and handheld devices are starting to make VR more mainstream. Additionally, some retailers have begun offering virtual dressing rooms, makeover tools or floor plan layouts to encourage online shopping for clothing, shoes, cosmetics and home accessories. VR will also be used to host virtual meetings.

5. Demand for Virtual Services Will Remain

Even though COVID isn’t as much a concern anymore, certain virtual services will continue to see increased online demand, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce projects. 

Digital service industries expected to continue thriving include:

  • Telehealth
  • Home fitness coaching
  • Grocery delivery
  • Fast-food delivery and pick-up
  • Video gaming
  • Virtual event conferencing
  • Remote work software services
  • Cybersecurity

Rising demand for these types of services will create new market niches for entrepreneurs to fill, making this one of the most important new business trends in the U.S.A.

6. Alternate Payment Methods Will Increase in Usage

Alternatives to cash, checks and physical credit cards are another top business trend for 2024. Not surprisingly, the digital shift prompted by the pandemic accelerated the trend toward payment digitalization by 2 or 3 years, according to business news provider Business Insider. 

Indeed, mobile peer-to-peer payments (payments from one mobile user to another through a smartphone linked to a bank account), digital remittances (cross-border digital money transfers), digital business payments and mobile proximity payments (contactless payments from a smartphone with a digital wallet app) have all increased. Even palm payment is an available technology in 2024.

7. Infrastructure Will Continue Migrating to the Cloud

Another 2024 trend in business is the increased migration of business infrastructure to the cloud. According to Gartner, by 2025, approximately 65% of enterprise spending on application software will be for cloud technologies. 

In 2023 alone, cloud technologies saw revenue of $663 billion, up from $544 billion in 2021. This figure is expected to grow to $917 billion by 2025.

8. Remote Work Will Continue Growing

One of the factors driving businesses to the cloud has been the growth of the remote labor force, another small business trend in 2024. Telecommuting is such a preferred working style that almost two-thirds of survey respondents polled said they would choose the ability to work remotely over a promotion. This is thanks in part to the desire for a better work-life balance and improved flexibility. 

While some companies have gone back to the office, many have decided to make telecommuting permanent. Others have instated hybrid options, allowing a combination of work-from-home and in-office participation.

Two houses are next to each other. Windows reveal each home occupant is working remotely.

9. More Workers Will Be Independent Contractors

Growth in the gig economy has been particularly strong in retail, restaurant, cleaning, customer service and delivery driver industries. Additionally, freelance marketplaces, such as Upwork, which feature professionals in various sectors, such as creative, IT, consulting, sales and marketing, are growing in popularity and are used by such companies as Microsoft and Airbnb.

10. Sustainability Will Influence Consumer Decision-Making

Sustainability is another top small business trend in 2024 that is changing how some companies operate. Not only are “green” practices good for the environment, but they’re also good business, as environmental concerns are shifting the way many consumers think about brands. 

Sustainability in business could include: 

  • Ethical sourcing 
  • Waste reduction
  • Ecofriendly packaging
  • Renewable energy use
  • Socially responsible work practices

Staying on Top of Business Trends in 2024

Keeping up with the latest small business trends can provide valuable business intelligence, positioning you to capitalize on emerging opportunities. Continued ecommerce growth, a shift to virtual business models and infrastructure and the rise of AI and 5G represent some of the most important new business trends in 2024. 

Making the most of these emerging trends depends on smart financial planning. Fast Capital 360 helps small businesses by offering a variety of business financing options. If you could benefit from capital to achieve your business goals, take a few minutes to fill out our no-obligation application, and find out how much you could qualify for today.

Roy is a respected, published author on topics including business coaching, small business management and business automation as well as an expert business plan writer and strategist.
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