As 2021 gets underway, there is no way to predict exactly what this year will bring. But one thing is certain: Technology will continue to play a critical role for businesses and consumers across the globe.
Here are four tech trends we expect to see in 2021:
#1: Increased demand for AR technology
Augmented reality (AR) has seen unprecedented growth in the last year, a trend that likely will continue in 2021 and beyond. AR is an interactive experience that overlays digital images and information over the physical world, allowing users to visualize specific scenarios. Used for both business and entertainment, this immersive technology exploded in popularity during the pandemic as companies transitioned to remote work and many Americans found themselves isolated at home.
Popular apps like Snapchat, Facebook and Google Skymap incorporate AR to delight users, allowing them to add fairy wings to their selfies or pinpoint Saturn in the night sky. However, the technology is also used for more serious business, medicine and warfare purposes. In the coming year, we predict an increasing number of businesses will adopt AR technology to streamline remote communication, collaboration and training.
#2: E-learning is here to stay
During the pandemic, 190 countries enforced nationwide school closures, impacting nearly 1.6 billion people across the globe. As countless public schools, colleges and corporations transitioned to distance learning, this led to surging demand for online education platforms and technologies.
In the past few months, American students and educators have not only accepted e-learning—many have embraced it, hailing online education as a flexible and cost-effective alternative to traditional in-person education. Even as things slowly return to normal, the majority of U.S. schools, colleges and businesses will continue to offer these popular e-learning options.
#3: Online grocery shopping will see ongoing growth
Millions of Americans have taken advantage of grocery shopping apps and delivery/pickup services since the beginning of the pandemic. According to a 2020 survey by grocery e-commerce specialist Mercatus, 43% of consumers said they shopped online for groceries in the last six months as compared to just 24% in 2018. These shoppers cited Covid concerns, convenience and time savings as the primary reasons they chose to buy groceries online.
Even as the vaccine becomes more readily available, statistics show that grocery delivery apps will continue to gain popularity. Mercatus predicts that online grocery will swell to 21.5% of total U.S. grocery sales by 2025, more than doubling its current share of the overall grocery market.
#4: A boom in remote work technology
Only 15% of U.S. employees worked remotely before the pandemic, but that number has skyrocketed since March 2020. Today, half the total U.S. labor force works from home—a trend that is not likely to change any time soon, if ever. In fact, CCS Insights predicts that by 2022, more than half of all office-based employees will still work mainly from home.
From Microsoft to Twitter to Facebook, many big-name tech corporations have already told employees they can work from home permanently. Businesses across an array of industries are certain to follow suit. As millions of remote workers continue to spend their days emailing coworkers, attending video conferences and collaborating with coworkers online, remote work technologies will see soaring demand.
As the new year unfolds, we believe Americans will continue to rely on technology to stay connected, engaged and informed. That means consumers and businesses will be looking to upgrade to the latest and greatest mobile devices.
If you want to offer your customers a simple and delightful trade-in experience, we can help. Ready to learn more? Contact us today!