The previous year was a rollercoaster for the business world. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many entrepreneurs worldwide either to adapt to the new reality or simply shut down their companies. But there is also the good news. Lockdowns have created the demand for entirely new digital products.
Startup Trends Of 2021
As a result, startups that build a potentially disrupting app, either with internal resources or by hiring a custom software development company, get much better chances to succeed.
Exoft has developed a number of web and mobile applications for startups. This article covers the main startup trends that, as we think, will shape 2021. Read it to know what to expect from the next twelve months.
Tools for remote work
It may seem that there are plenty of tools and applications that help companies organize efficient work from home. But the quarantine has taken the number of remote tasks to a whole new level.
Besides, some businesses changed the way they operate, which has led to the transformation of many traditional processes. Since most software products were originally designed with completely different market conditions in mind, they often fail to satisfy the new companies’ needs.
Take, for example, video conferencing. When the first lockdown was imposed, Zoom’s user base skyrocketed from 10 million to 200 million in just a couple of months. But then, security concerns were identified, and businesses started to search for more reliable alternatives.
All these factors played in favor of new entrepreneurs that wanted to enter the relevant market. Today, several promising startups, including Remotion and Shindig, are competing in the video conferencing arena, receiving a lot of investors’ attention.
The same happens with other aspects of remote business management. So, we have all reasons to believe that startups focusing on remote working tools will have many opportunities to win the market in 2021.
Software systems for telehealth
The previous year showed that the global health system must undergo a digital transformation process to remain efficient. As the world has faced new challenges, many healthcare organizations admitted that they no longer can provide quality medical care without proper technical support.
The demand for medical software grew many times in 2020 and is anticipated to grow even more during 2021. So, startups tackling hospital digitalization issues will have more than favorable market conditions in the year ahead.
Telehealth is one of the most important tech trends in the medical industry. It is a way of providing clinical services to patients using telecommunication technologies, for example, video calls and remote health monitoring apps.
Statistics show that the number of telehealth doctor’s appointments in March 2020 (i.e., when the pandemic started) was 154 percent higher compared to the same month in 2019.
Yet, there is still a lot of vacant space on the market of telehealth solutions. That’s why we can expect that more telehealth products will be released this year. The competition among startups for both investors’ money and the clients will likely become a bit tougher as well.
Online education has become popular long before the COVID-19 outbreak. But e-learning was mainly centered around such platforms as Coursera, Udemy, Masterclass, Skillshare, and alike.
In most cases, people paid around $10-200 to access content that taught them some soft skills (e.g., speed reading), one specific hard skill (e.g., a programming language), or a particular subject (e.g., Greek philosophy).
Today, things have changed. Educational institutions were forced to move to the digital space. And it has raised the demand for edtech software of a totally different kind.
The matter is that studying at school, college, or university isn’t just about attending classes that can be replaced with video conferencing tools and chats. Higher education institutions have to give students something more than Zoom/Skype calls, especially if they want to continue charging $30-50k a year.
Comprehensive educational experiences must include not only skills and knowledge but also networking, access to library resources, and adequate communication with professors and peers.
The niche of digital products that can cover all these aspects is currently almost empty. But startups will probably try to gradually occupy it in the foreseeable future.
Innovations in e-commerce
Online retail has always been one of the most dynamic business sectors in terms of technology adoption and innovations. But the COVID-19 pandemic has given even a stronger push to the development of new e-commerce solutions.
Since brick-and-mortar stores have been unavailable for some time, the competition in the online shopping field has become tougher than ever before.
Consequently, internet merchants started to look for the tools that will allow them to better service digital buyers, from optimizing buying experience to improving shipping and enhancing customer support.
As a response to this market trend, startups started to create products that aim to satisfy the newly emerged demands of the e-commerce industry.
For example, robotic delivery that involves minimum or no human intervention is currently one of the hottest topics among startups. Since contactless delivery solutions are safer and cheaper, they will probably become something that most digital sellers will be ready to pay for.
Meituan, a Chinese company, and Starship Technologies, a US-based company, have already made some progress in building autonomous vehicles for delivery. But we don’t have a ready product yet. So, there are still good chances to be the first on the market.
The final word
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions it triggered, the past year was challenging for most startups. Many of them had to pause or cease their activity because of the lack of investments and other problems. But lockdowns have also made the world more reliant on technologies and created a huge demand for new digital products.
As a result, tech startups received a real chance to become a pioneer in newly emerged markets and get on the list of modern tech giants.
If you’re looking for a product idea for your startup, remote work, telehealth, edtech, and e-commerce are among the most promising areas to explore. But, of course, there are many more vacant niches today.