What 2020 Business Statistics Tell Us About Next Year’s Key Trends

What 2020 Business Statistics Tell Us About Next Year’s Key Trends

2020 has been a challenging year for many businesses. Organisations have had to adapt business models, grow their online presence, and diversify.  As 2021 approaches, we look back at key business statistics from the past year to see what next year might hold.

1. E-commerce set to win, again


E-commerce has been around for longer than you might think. The first true online sale came in 1994, although the battle still wages as to who got there first. Pizza hut claims their pizza was the first order, while others believe the first transaction was for a Sting compact disk. 

Either way, e-commerce statistics show us that online shopping has been growing ever since.

 E-commerce statistics in 2020

Today’s e-commerce market has been propelled forward by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Here are just a few of the staggering e-commerce statistics from the past year:

  • Global retail website visits rose from 16.1 billion visits in January 2020 to almost 22 billion in June 2020 (Statista).
  • Traffic was up by 16% for US-based Target, Lowe’s, and Walmart, which equals millions of extra visitors (SEMrush). 
  • Amazon saw an extra £2 billion in UK sales (PR Newswire)
  • Searches for Black Friday grew by 7% in the UK (SEMrush).


 E-commerce in 2021

The pandemic is still here and shopping habits are still changing. So, it’s only natural that e-commerce will continue to grow into 2021. We might also see some interesting and unusual collaborations. For example, Amazon teamed up with Vogue in 2020 to promote fashion SMEs and designers during the pandemic.

Shopify says that businesses need to adapt to thrive in 2021. They suggest “[focusing] on creating innovative digital experiences that make life easier for your customers”. This could include augmented reality, improved POS systems, and one-tap checkouts. 

So, it seems online shopping is also paving the way for new technologies.

2. It’s all about flexibility

Freelancing statistics in 2020

Traditional work environments are changing. From job roles to office spaces, flexibility is the new normal. Serviced offices are becoming a very popular option.  Pre-pandemic data indicated that the number of serviced office spaces would double between 2019 and 2023 (Statista).

And, it seems, flexibility is a key factor in the decision to hire freelancers. The top two reasons for U.S. tech startups to outsource to freelance developers in 2020 were “that freelancers are often more affordable than in-house developers and more flexible” (Statista).

But, companies typically trust freelancers with small tasks. 92% of tech company respondents stated they would outsource edits and fixes to freelancers, while only 51% stated they would trust a freelance developer with security tasks (Statista).


Freelancing in 2021

The Office for National Statistics reports year-on-year Q3 redundancy rates have more than doubled in 2020. With staffing cuts, how will businesses recover as business eventually picks back up?

The answer could lie in outsourcing to freelancers who can provide the necessary flexibility without the commitment and expenses of a permanent employee. From the freelancer’s point of view, they can divide their time between companies, making the impact of losing a client less dramatic than losing an entire job or career. 

Flexible working spaces, such as serviced offices, provide affordable and local options for freelancers and small companies alike. With shorter contracts and ready-to-go spaces, this is another trend we could see growing in 2021.


3. Office spaces will change

2020 remote working statistics

2020 saw the rise of remote working. We learnt how to do virtual meetings, make home-offices, and separate work-life from home-life. Here are remote working statistics from the Office for National Statistics for the UK:

  • In April 2020, 46.6% of British workers did some work at home.
  • Of those who did some work from home, 86.0% did so as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • More than half of people living in London (57.2%) did some work at home.


Offices spaces in 2021

It’s hard to predict which employers will continue to embrace the new normal, but downsizing or moving an office space is being considered by organisations of all sizes across the globe.  

Keeping an established office with a smaller capacity allows for increased flexibility. Some employees could work from home permanently, work on a rotation system, or choose to be in full time, all while keeping a company base.


At The Brentano Suite, we offer fully serviced office spaces in the heart of North London. We believe every office should run smoothly, which is why we take care of maintenance, mail handling, and more, so you can get on with your day-to-day.

Our four locations have fully-equipped meeting rooms, which are available to tenants and non-tenants.We also provide virtual office services with a registered office address at Brentano Suite location and a local phone number.


For more details on our locations and meeting rooms please get in touch. We’d love to show you around.

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