COVID-19 has sent companies into a tail-spin, forcing many to adjust by moving fully online as quickly as possible.
Whether it's order fulfillment, asynchronous customer service, or remote employees, each industry has felt the effects of quarantine. Several months have passed since the start of the outbreak. Now, businesses are taking a fresh look at successes, shortcomings, and lessons learned from how commerce has changed in response.
The business landscape has changed since the country was placed in quarantine, and the future is looking more digital. But what do these changes mean, and how can you optimize your company’s digital strategy to be prepared? In this blog post, we'll talk about some of the major adjustments to come from COVID-19.
One big change is in how employees work: gone are the days of the traditional 9 to 5 on-premises job. Whether or not this change remains permanent has yet to be seen. Still, with this seeming to be the new normal, businesses may have to adjust. Changes in flexibility can be used to the advantage of both employees and employers. Employees may realize benefits like the ability to more freely modify hours or reduced commutes. This leads to increases in productivity while also saving money.
Employers can realize new advantages as well. They can utilize this same set of flexible arrangements to save money on things like physical office space rent. New efficiencies in workflows by opening up new means of communications, like Slack or other live chat programs, are possible. Even trying out new work patterns that may have been politically challenging to implement previously could be a benefit.
Store Reach and Hours
Stores are no longer limited to selling services during certain times of the day and to a limited audience. For many years pre-COVID, e-commerce made inventory available to a global audience during any time of the day or night. With people stuck in their homes and unable to go into stores, online orders have been at an all-time high. Getting online, even with a regular non-ecommerce website, is now even more of a priority than it was before. It is vital to adjust your selling to suit a digital-first mobile audience. COVID-19 has only lengthened the gap between businesses that are offline and ones that are online.
Getting online and into e-commerce may have additional benefits besides relevance to post-pandemic audiences; new business opportunities could emerge that could prove to be lucrative.
Data Insights and Online Interactions
Recently, companies have relied on “following the data” for understanding what is or is not working for their customers. With more businesses moving online, companies have to monitor feedback in a way that doesn't rely on face-to-face interactions. Keeping an ear to the ground online is more important than ever to maintain relevance. A post-COVID consumer-base is more likely than ever to be speaking up on social media channels.
Customers may be stuck in quarantine at home and have limited in-person interactions. This represents a new opportunity to reach new audiences you may not have considered before. Get out and communicate; people are looking to talk!
What This Means for Digital Strategy
Simply, the pandemic has proven that businesses need to stay ready to adjust to rapidly changing conditions to stay operational. What may have been a month-long process to implement large projects now have to be achieved in days. Staying open-minded to change and fostering a flexible workplace culture is the best way to navigate these challenges.
Today, being ready to greet inquiring customers with a fully functional and well-designed website at any moment is crucial. This is on top of being consistently responsive on social media. Using tools like a content calendar can make sure your social media presence and website receive regular and pertinent updates. A speedy website with clear calls to action and beautiful images can entice potential clients and keep them coming back.
All of this may sound intimidating, but with a professional partner, businesses can achieve success whether their physical location is open or closed. Ready to get started?