How did various sectors fare in 2021 and what can we expect from the new year even as the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus seems ominous.
Even as the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus added to an already jeopardised economy, industry forged ahead, leveraging technology. Sectors like FinTech, EdTech, Healthtech, and eCommerce have leapt ahead with breakneck speed, trying to keep up with consumer demand.
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Now, industry is preparing to take on a new year. Difficulties arising from the Coronavirus don’t seem to be abating in the near future, so that another year of struggle lies ahead for many.
Technology will definitely be a support again in pushing forward industry. Amidst this crisis, businesses are planning all they can. The Tech Panda gathered a few takes of various industries on the year that was, while looking forward to 2022.
In 2021, the FinTech sector matured with ample innovations that facilitated holistic financial services over a single mobile interface for Indian users across the world. New-age FinTech platforms offered consolidated solutions to users, enabling them to carry out a range of operations, including spending, lending, investing, fund transfer, etc.
Assisted e-commerce on existing B2B2C platforms is another feature that new-age FinTech provided to Indian users in the year 2021.
Fintech has already altered the market forever and shown immense potential to close the gaps in the delivery of financial services to consumers and businesses alike
Financial companies have made huge progress, says Vineet Tyagi, Global CTO, Biz2X, a digital lending platform that improves the efficiency of the credit application process, resulting in a 3-5X reduction in the turnaround time.
“Fintech has already altered the market forever and shown immense potential to close the gaps in the delivery of financial services to consumers and businesses alike. Collectively, FinTechs have reimagined the once-daunting tasks of opening a bank account, sending money to friends, applying for a loan, and planning for retirement,” he says.
“Ultimately, fintech has emerged as a disruptor, leading the next wave of technology and innovation,” he adds.
Sustainable fashion has become all the rage, with consumers questioning the origin of fashion products. Last year, RGE, the world’s largest viscose producer, formalised two partnerships in Singapore to advance sustainable fashion. British heritage brand Mulberry launched a new collection of bags made using the world’s lowest carbon leather.
This year already, clothing brand Weird Fish is introducing environmental impact metrics to its website in joining hands with sustainability platform Green Story to boost transparency with its customers on the positive environmental impact of its products.
Right now, we clearly do not have fashion industry that is sustainable. However, that is all beginning to change because of consumer behaviour, awareness from the brands and the overall increase in the number of new brands that are coming up in this space
“We are looking at exponential growth as the awareness of sustainability and climate change is greater than ever before and customers are looking for options now where they are doing their bit for the environment along with being fashionable,” says Kapil Bhatia, CEO and Founder, UNIREC, a brand that manufactures garments from recycled plastic bottles.
“Right now, we clearly do not have fashion industry that is sustainable. However, that is all beginning to change because of consumer behaviour, awareness from the brands and the overall increase in the number of new brands that are coming up in this space,” he adds.
SaaS Based Ecommerce
The year 2021 brought with it an array of newer opportunities and technological advancements that changed the way people shop. From being highly dependent on offline retail and local mom and pop stores to getting comfortable with the idea of eCommerce becoming an inseparable part of our lives, 2021 was a game-changer.
About two years ago, only 13.6% of sales occurred online. Today, that number is closer to 19.5%, a 45.8% increase in eCommerce market share over two years.
2022 will be the year of game-changing technologies in eCommerce. We’ve already seen some of them in action, and others are on their way to disrupt the sector
“eCommerce in India is experiencing a very exciting period of continued growth and constant innovation,” says Punit Sindhwani, CEO, Paxcom, an eCommerce solution.
“Given that our eCommerce penetration is still in the single digits, there is significant headroom for expansion. Now, more than ever is the time to evaluate, strategically plan, and build to scale your digital business for growth, in 2022 and beyond,” he adds.
“Technology is referred to as the backbone of eCommerce and now it is evolving to be more human, preparing eCommerce for a better experience than ever before. Be it artificial intelligence or voice search commands, it has marked its flags everywhere, making it easier for customers to make their purchases. While numerous industries have profited from digital sales, some are still struggling to compete in this arena,” he says.
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“However, 2022 will be the year of game-changing technologies in eCommerce. We’ve already seen some of them in action, and others are on their way to disrupt the sector. Quick commerce, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, Web3.0, voice search commands, live streaming, omnichannel sales, and chatbots are the top trends expected for 2022,” he predicts.
“All these emerging trends have one thing in common: their end goal is to make a customer’s shopping experience easier and more enjoyable. Shortly these trends will be a part of our daily routine, start optimizing your business before it becomes obsolete,” he advises.