In the midst of the cost-of-living crisis, the business world is still attempting to study the ship. When it comes to Wales, this has not exactly been easy, and the path ahead is not yet clear.
According to a recent financial report, business confidence throughout the country has fallen 14 points to 18% — 14 points down to 28% on business prospects month-to-month and 15 points down to 7% on economic optimism.
Across the country, however, firms are more optimistic. In the same report, it is listed that 34% of UK firms are expecting business to increase over the next 12 months, with coronation’s economic impact having boosted overall business confidence to 43%.
So what should the thought process be for businesses in Wales, and what exactly does the future hold?
B2B Companies Digging Their Heels In
When it comes to B2B, there have long been signs of a bright future, and this doesn’t look set to change. A few years ago, the director of Research at the e-Commerce Innovation Centre stated that the “B2B side of e-commerce had the potential for a great impact on Wales”.
Indeed, B2B companies across the country have been digging their heels into the online space, with several b2b loyalty programmes propped up by solid social media networks, web platforms and content that is designed around their consumers.
In the same report mentioned earlier, Welsh businesses identified new tech as a top target for growth in the next six months.
With this new tech, B2B companies can find new ways to optimise their e-commerce and nail their online presence, which will similarly aid their consumer loyalty prospects and stimulate growth – only a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a B2B company’s revenue by 25% to 95%.
B2C Companies Given Chance To Evolve
While 25% of Welsh businesses listed new technology as a target, another 26% stated that they would target “evolving their offer”. This is an important point when it comes to the impact the last few years have had on the Welsh landscape. Businesses selling directly to consumers will not survive if they do not adapt – as their consumers have had to adapt.
Obviously, a big factor in this is financial security – with uncertain economic times comes a more targeted consumer behaviour, with a focus on essentials over luxuries.
But the other major buying behaviour comes in the embrace of sustainability. According to another survey, over 66% of consumers are wanting to shop more sustainably and direct their buying towards more sustainable companies.
When it comes to Welsh business prospects, 27% of businesses also identified sustainable investment as a top target over the next six months. It is clear, therefore, that although business confidence has fallen across Wales, companies are still keenly focused on growth – and are focused on the right areas.
Change always brings about unsteady ground, but for any business, it also offers the chance to evolve in tandem with consumers. Over the next few years, there is every chance that businesses in Wales can evolve and find more confidence in the landscape that’s been dealt.