The Biggest Challenges Facing Digital Businesses In 2021


It would be a colossal understatement to describe the last twelve months as challenging for businesses. No matter their size, no matter what sector they operated in, 2020 and the first few months of 2021 have pushed businesses to breaking point, and beyond for the unlucky ones. During that time, we have all had to learn how to adapt to a range of different tricky situations, from making sure that we had all the technology we needed to work from home to figure out how on earth we were going to home-school our kids. But if it felt like the last twelve months have been the equivalent of white water rafting when you were expecting a gentle fishing trip, then you need to prepare yourself for more of the unexpected still to come in 2021.

We may be starting to get a clearer idea of just how intense the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic was on both the global and national business landscape, but the fact of the matter is that many of the challenges we’ve been facing since March 2020 are not going anywhere any time soon. What’s more, it will be some time still before we can expect things to truly get back to normal, or something approaching normal, and you know that means more unforeseen challenges in the month ahead.

However, just because we don’t know exactly what’s coming our way, doesn’t mean that we can’t have a good strategy in place for how to handle it. With the springtime currently in full swing and a little much-needed optimism in our hearts, this is a great time to step back and take a deep breath, to recognize you and your team’s achievement in getting to this point, and to figure out how you can continue to steer your business through these choppy waters into calmer ones ahead.

The Unexpected Will Happen

Over the course of the pandemic, all of us at one point or another made the decision that it was probably safe to make some concrete plans, and all of us had to face the realization that pandemics don’t really allow for concrete plans. It’s been a humbling year in the sense that every business has had to accept that some things, whether it was specific business goals, expanding the workforce, or bringing everyone together to celebrate a milestone anniversary, would have to be cancelled or postponed. If you want to keep things running as smoothly as possible in the months to come, keep that hard-learned lesson at the front of your mind as you plan ahead.

Your Team Will Continue To Need More Support Than Ever

One of the very few positives to come out of the pandemic was a hugely increased awareness and sensitivity when it came to issues of mental health. We all found ourselves in tough spots over the course of the last year as it became truly impossible to separate our personal and professional lives, and everyone needed someone to talk to or time off to deal with issues of stress, support, or indeed grief.

Over the course of the last twelve months, we have seen businesses and managers everywhere step up and provide much-needed support for their employees or colleagues, and this is something that you cannot afford to stop simply because the vaccination program is moving at speed. The statistics on how the pandemic has affected mental health around the globe are truly shocking, and we are all going to need to be vigilant and understanding to ensure that the people we work with stay happy and healthy.

The Marketplace Is Only Getting More Crowded And More Competitive

When hard times hit everyone, things get a lot tougher out there in the marketplace. Because the impact of the pandemic was felt by businesses across the world, everyone is working twice as hard to make sure that they can stay afloat and endure as little disruption as possible. What that means is that getting the word out there about your business is getting even harder. You may not have endless resources to throw at your marketing, and you may not have all the time in the world to trust that good word of mouth and a recent SEO audit will bring in the numbers that you need for your company to survive.

What that means is that you are going to have to get a lot smarter about your digital marketing. You are going to need a strategy that is carefully considered, well thought out, and targeted with pinpoint accuracy. If you have heard the phrase “programmatic advertising” but you’re not sure exactly what it means, now is the time to learn.

The short answer is that programmatic marketing combines cutting-edge ad technology with human expertise in creating the best strategy. A top-of-the-line agency like War Room uses its proprietary technology to access premium ad publishers and their team of specialists to execute and optimize customized, cross-channel campaigns for their clients. This means that you will know that your brand is getting out there to your target audience, and you can learn more about how it can work for you at

Security Is Only Going To Become More Of An Issue

It was inevitable given how much more time we were all spending online that cybercrime statistics would spike, but the statistics are pretty unsettling. Digital businesses simply cannot afford to coast on old habits, and new businesses with limited experience may be particularly vulnerable to attack. Now, the good news is that software companies are always improving their security, but businesses will need to be proactive when it comes to making sure that their information and their finances are secure.

Over the last twelve months, it feels like we all know at least one person who has fallen victim to a scam, a malware attack, or something similar, and these crimes will not go away just because we are all feeling more optimistic about the upcoming year. You should also remember that security will be of paramount concern to any potential customers or clients, so you will need to make sure that you can demonstrate that you have everything you need to provide them with peace of mind.

Customers And Clients Are Going To Need Reassurance

This brings us to our final point. As we mentioned, the last twelve months have been brutal for everyone, not just businesses that have been able to offer reassurance and great customer service will have enjoyed a better rate of retention and satisfaction than those who did not. As you move forward into the new year, remember to leverage your message to any potential customer or visitor to your website, to show that you are there to help them and that you understand their concerns.

One of the other consequences of our massively increased online time besides the rise in cybercrime is that we have all become a lot less patient with bad customer service, and a lot more appreciative of any businesses that go the extra mile to show how valuable we are. Be the business that people want to come back to.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.