Hi, I hope all is well with you today,
We see it on the news most nights ( and days ), the talking heads telling us that E-Commerce growth trends for 2021 will only go from strength to strength. Analysts are predicting a doubling of on line sales in the next five – ten years. In the chart below showing ecomm. retail sales growth for 2020 note the growth of Latin America in ecommerce.
I mentioned Latin America 7 or 8 months ago in this post , although at the time I was looking at payment processors for Latin America.
So with a volatile start to the year behind us, many people may feel they are just now settling into 2021, and are pretty much over the pandemic, crystal ball gazing, lack of money and everything else. However…
Like it or not the world is going digital. Almost everything you use, consume and collect will be digitised sooner or later. That has huge implications for all of us.
For a lot of us, the fear of losing our livelihoods has caused us to become overly involved with making money. For others, the idea that what we used to do actually means nothing in the bigger scheme of things has made us despondent, and we don’t want to go back to work.
But the world is changing.
As you can see from the chart, ecommerce is now a world wide trend. It will decelerate once countries start to open up their economies again, but the trend will continue rising.
As always the devil is in the details, some countries which experienced hard lockdowns throughout covid, such as Spain and Italy are likely to see a bigger deceleration of E-commerce as they open up their economies again, but still the overall trend will maintain an upward trajectory, with predictions of about 2 -3 % a year.
Making Sense of All This.
Most of us have known this ( or at least had an inkling), for ages. Some of you may have faced the difficulties presented when a company changed its operating systems and added you to the redundancy list.
Now, Covid just bought it all together in one huge hit. That fine line between being in control of our lives or external events controlling us has been crossed again. So, whether or not you think it is a conspiracy the fact is, it has happened and the “New Normal” is increasingly shifting to digital.
Hardly a day goes by that the news reports feature government expenditure, but…
Behind the scenes throughout the Covid pandemic , economists and other researchers have been counting the beans governments have been putting on the never never, as well as looking at future economic trends for employment and lifestyle choices.
At the start of covid pandemic online market places went in the same direction as other business’s. Down the gurgler!
It wasn’t until April that they started to rise after governments around the world were announcing support packages for their populations. By May volume was ramping up, along with share prices of companies involved in digital commerce..
The charts below tell some of the story.
The above chart of Alibaba ( the worlds biggest online marketplace), showing more than a 50% increase until around the time the US election got underway. Since the sharp drop from the highs of November, it is still only $58 dollars from its high of 2020.
There are others. ASOS the Online English fashion company. Its price has risen 5 times its Feb 2020 value, and is trending higher into 2021.
The usual suspects Amazon, Walmart, E-Bay and a host of others around the world were all making hay while the pandemic sun is shining.
E-Bay for example:- In 2020, eBay sellers made 22% more sales than 2019. That is 11 Million new sellers. This is the highest annual sales growth rate that eBay has experienced since 2013.
From here the only way for it to go is up !
A question you might ask, is how were they still able to have products to sell if people were restricted from performing their normal jobs?
The cynics might say most things are made in China which never really had a hard lockdown. I have mentioned elsewhere in this blog a Makita battery drill has its components made in 3 different countries.
While China does make lots of “stuff”, a lot of components are supplied by 3rd parties in other countries.
Really, once again we have witnessed the growing shift from labor to technology.
Sectors not Driven by Technology.
The sectors that were hardest hit during the Covid crisis were the service sectors. These are not really driven by technology. Sure you can book a flight online, but travel agents bread and butter is (was), booking tour packages.
A cruise ( for instance), would might start with a flight to the place of departure, then once underway include sight seeing tours at some exotic locations, meals at a local eatery, shopping at a market. So the flow on effect from shutting down tourism had an enormous world wide effect.
* Tourism and leisure had 70% of its workforce affected, either made redundant or suffered a cut in hours, or the business closed.
In other words the tourism industry, save for a few multinationals was decimated.
*Restaurants and food services, suffered nearly a 65% reduction in its workforce due to restrictions on dining which meant many workers lost their jobs.
*Construction and Building had nearly 60% of its workforce affected due to social distancing restrictions.
For example : People cancelling planned renovations for fear of letting other people onto their property, or non-essential building being shutdown by government decree.
Of course some of the multinationals were able to continue under tight restrictions with a reduced workforce and extended timelines for their projects and no financial penalties for late delivery.
The employees in the above three industries have limited ability to work from home. Normally these are industries that thrive when economies are traveling well. Even in bad times they still tick over and are able to at least keep a high percentage of their workforces.
Generally they employ a younger workforce, many who were using them as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. For example…
Waitressing in a restaurant to help pay the rent while studying at University, or doing an apprenticeship on a building site with the idea of starting a business further down the track.
Now, while it all seems to be a complete mess, with recently graduated engineers now driving for Uber, or delivering pizzas. Many are probably wondering when all the restrictions will end so they can get back to starting a career.
But they are not the only ones.
Affects in Sectors Involving Processing and Manufacturing
These sectors have had a declining rate of employment of many years, due to automation and companies moving manufacturing to countries with lower employment costs.
However it does not end there, because those lower labor cost countries are in many cases leading the way in automation.
China is not the only country where multi national companies have various bits of machinery made. In other words, they get it done wherever they get more bang for their buck.
A Caterpillar machine (bulldozer or excavator), for instance, could have parts made in South America, Central America, Asia, and North America.
All done close to the where the raw materials are, and where automation is in a continual state of development, requiring less skilled labor.
A recent report from the New York Times shows that now even those with college degrees are no longer safe.
The Covid crisis has just expanded poverty. Many of those who were made redundant years ago have found themselves on the scrap heap again, relying on government payments for support, if they are lucky enough to live in a country with a government that provides a safety net.
Covid, has also helped hasten the development of more labor replacement technology ! Robotic security guards anyone.
The world has been trending this way for years though. It is not new.
Hector Quintanilla owner of bebusinesssmart.com shows a chart ( below), of the growing disconnect between productivity and employees compensation from 1948 to 2014.
So, while those still in employment have seen their wages increase (slowly), the aggregate income for employees has barely moved over the last 40 years relative to productivity.
Hector notes that “labor will continue to depreciate and Central banks will continue to stimulate consumption and with that, assets will continue to appreciate“.
There is much talk about the great reset and the 4th Industrial Revolution, which has been top of the agenda at World Economic Forums since 2016.
I have mentioned it previously in this blog, although only briefly.
Is it All Doom and Gloom?
Not really. One positive is, people can be ingenious when left to their own devices and many will find a way through this.
However there is likely to be a substantial downside for corporates who have their asset base in the retail space. They will require substantial innovation if they want to dig themselves out of that hole.
Airlines are basically at the mercy of governments. International flights to and from some countries have not resumed, and it will be a while before they do. Some countries are talking 2022 before allowing international travel to resume.
Employees and Their Options
The $64 question.
As I mentioned above many people have already had the experience of being “let go”. Hopefully those waitress’s got their degrees, and are managing their way through this pandemic and are not worried about the New York Times article I mentioned above.
Gradsouthwest.com notes the following
“With non-essential shops being closed and supermarkets having restrictions, more people have been turning to shop online.
With online shopping comes the need to use delivery services, as most companies don’t have their own as Amazon does.
This has meant an increase in demand for delivery drivers, and people working in warehouses.
Jobs don’t stop here though. As these companies have an increase in income from online shopping, it allows them to hire in their head offices.
This can be in a range of roles, for example, as companies are still competing with others, they may increase their marketing department for more assistance in doing all they can to become the market leaders.”
So there you go. If your a marketing genius, have training in warehousing or logistics, a drivers license, there could be a job opening near you soon.
Work From Home Options For Extra Income or any Income at All.
Leaving aside all the juggling happening in the corporate and bureaucratic bubble, It would be unusual to find someone who has not considered the options of earning online from home during the past 12 or more months. In fact many have been forced into it, and are loving not having to do the early morning commute.
There are those not far from retirement, and looking for ways to add to their skill set, or utilise their skills without having to show up at an office and answer to a boss, and supplement their retirement income.
There are companies out there advertising heavily for work from home contractors. Sitel and Alorica are two of many hunting for people to work from home. Mostly they target stay at home mums who can do a few hours a week.
Still you are answering to a boss.
The usual suspects are also on the hunt, as they always are. Too many to mention here, but this one caught my eye and, although I am experienced enough to see through the sales pitch. I am thinking many would have got caught up in the hype and lost a stack of money.
Freelancing and Other Options
In this brave new world there are many opportunities for freelancers, graphic design, photography, writers for various blogs and publications. Setting up online courses ( languages for instance).
If your good at what you do there is a huge potential for you to build a decent online income selling what you know.
Getting started online will take time. You need a website, then you need to find clients. Paying clients ! Many people start with an online “agency” until they have enough referrals to go out on their own.
Equally as good and probably a quicker way to earn a decent income is to start your own physical business. Making and selling crafts online is popular and always has been.
Candles, Soaps etc., are evergreen items that have been selling on Etsy and E-Bay since the establishment of those sites.
Often times people make complete career shifts, without waiting for the hammer to drop on their job.
A school teacher starting a landscape business might sound a little absurd, but it happens, and there plenty of others who have started something completely different to what they trained for.
Nurses into affiliate marketing, who would have thought ?
IT people, retirees, people from all walks of life are seeking ways to earn online, separate from their day jobs.
Affiliate marketing is not exactly freelancing though, still it is another opportunity for creating an online income.
Affiliate marketing is basically blogging. Using What do you know or what do you do or what can you do, as a base for your blog, then adding Adsense or Amazon products related to your blog as a means of monetarizing it. Examples could include..
- Do a blog on local tour attractions
- Dog training
- Breeding Chickens
- Health and Wellness
- Making Crafts
- Hiking and Mountain climbing
- Backpacking Adventures
- Setting up a course….
- Brewing Beer
- And many more ideas, plus affiliate training can be found here.
The list is endless. Obviously I have simplified what Affiliate Marketing is. The good platforms teach SEO for affiliates, Website building, SEO for local business’s. Plus there are other options for branching into other areas (building websites for local business’s, making courses using your knowledge.), if writing blogs is not your thing.
I have written about one here and I have a banner at the bottom of this page for another. And, yes I might be paid something if you sign up to either of them. The money roundabout, you can even buy me a coffee Here ! Thanks. 😎
MLM Home Business Opportunities. Beware of Scams.
MLM’s are usually home based, and usually follow the same old, same old path of buying product, on selling and signing up new members.
There are a number of articles on this blog reviewing MLM’s.
Generally they have a mixed reputation, however from our reviews they promise a lot, but very few people do well with them. As usual those at the top do the best. They are not all scams though !
As you can see in the chart below the interest in MLM had quite a few high points during 2020. Some people like MLM, and seem to do Ok. I am not one of them though. I can think of other topics to talk about around a BBQ.
However it is still quite popular, and looking at the chart below there is a steady interest in it throughout the year.
I would like to think many of them are reading the MLM reviews we blog about on this site. Hopefully they have saved some people from ending up in a financial body bag.
It is tough for the legit MLM companies too, very few manage to stay afloat in the long term. In some countries governments have passed legislation outlawing them, or just making it difficult for them to operate.
Still, you gotta give them points for trying.
I have seen products sold as MLM appear in supermarkets long after the MLM company has gone to the wall.
So, even though the product may be quality, there is no guarantee that selling it via MLM will be worth your while as some of our research has shown.
Funnily enough a lot of MLM products are superior to many mainstream products. Aloe Vera has a lot of health benefits and was one that started as MLM but can now be found on any supermarket shelf.
But, that transition had a huge downside, causing a lot financial pain to many people, including many growers of Aloe Vera.
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Personal Growth and Development. Loving Yourself.
Every year brings a new crisis for us to live with so is it any wonder this is a huge growth industry. I have written a little about Mindvalley Programs elsewhere in this blog. It is one of the worlds most sought after courses on personal development.
Its success coming as peoples ability to find a job, or job satisfaction collapsed, stress related mental issues due to heavy workloads becoming more common, failing relationships, substance abuse and alcohol destroying lives.
In every generation !
Government help is failing people, and nobody wants to be popping pills for the rest of their lives (supporting big pharma), so to get the results they need, people turn to organizations such as Mind Valley.
Mind Valley has a complete suite of categories, Relationships, Soul, Mind, Life Vision, Money, Performance, Work, Entrepreneurship and others to choose from.
There motto is, they teach the things that you were never taught at school.
While it may sound esoteric, these types of programs now have some longevity about them, and are becoming quite common in mainstream society. Ask around among your friends… You might be surprised !
In fact there have been personal development courses around since the beginning of time, Some people use the Bible, others well…. some may remember the 1960’s… Ever heard of “The Beatles” and George Harrison ?
To get an idea of how Mind Valley works, just click the link below and take a free masterclass.
While this does not offer you income ( you actually have to spend some ), it does help put your mind in the right place that allows you to create remarkable transformations in any area of your life, which could lead to better financial outcomes.
Elsewhere in this blog you will find some opportunities for side hustles that have the potential for a full time income. But before you dive into any of them you do need your mind and attitude in the right place.
So, E-Commerce growth trends for 2021 and beyond, plus working from home is going to become an even greater influence on our work and purchasing habits. Investing in yourself is still the most positive thing you can do. At the end of the day it is all a state of mind. Preferably an optimistic state of mind. 😎
As always your comments and suggestions are always welcome.
* Notes references from Official USA statistics. Other countries may vary.