What does the future hold for businesses?

The current pandemic has halted global travel for most of us and has impacted all businesses in one way or another. One positive is that the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated automation and digitisation. It has compelled organisations to accept the new normal where technology is the boss.

As we now know, COVID-19 is something we can’t escape and businesses need to restore confidence in customers to reengage in economic activity even in the midst of this global pandemic. This means being innovative and convincing, and transforming your business plan to accommodate the new needs and wants of the current market.

All businesses are eager to boost demand and productivity, but what does the future hold?

It’s unpredictable.

What we know for sure is that businesses now need to be digital-centric and make virtual the reality of today.

Customer Experience

Consumer behaviour has been greatly altered with the ups and downs of this pandemic. How and where customers shop from and the overall buying experience is now reinstated! Online shopping has now become the number one means for customers to obtain their desired products. This even includes the dining experience as mediums such as Uber Eats and Menulog have become increasingly popular.

The new change to more cautious customer behaviour means that businesses need to address these concerns by being more empathetic and understanding. During this pandemic, customer centric organisations are valued now more than ever and will generate the greatest revenue. This means that businesses need to continually engage with their customers and provide them with a seamless customer experience to keep them locked in with your brand.

During this pandemic, the main reason for customers experimenting with new brands and switching over is because of product unavailability. Furthermore, with the rise in online shopping, hard-to-navigate websites or apps and difficult return processes can also change the brand preferences for consumers. Businesses need to work on their e-commerce platform to ensure the best possible online experience for their users!

As a result of the impacts of COVID-19, consumer preferences have changed towards ethical companies.

‘88% of consumers say that COVID-19 has made it more important for consumers to be ethical.’

Business owners need to demonstrate the ethical endeavours of their company by showcasing that they ethically source their products, have fair trade practices, and prioritise employees and their wellbeing. Businesses can generate greater trust amongst their audience if they mention their ethical initiatives and where and how their products are sourced. Ethical marketing is a good way to make customers aware of your brand’s conscience. Click here to find out how some of the most popular brands are doing this!

Business Practices

A business sector that has been majorly influenced is the one where workforces conducted frequent travel for meetings and sales. Not only has this impacted the airline industry, but also the hotel industry who were dependent on these business people. These have now slowly been replaced to virtual meetings with the rise in virtual channels like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Business leaders have claimed that the speed at which change is occurring has unleashed a wave of transformation. Most businesses have been resilient and have kept the momentum going even if times have been more difficult than ever before. This has made some businesses and industries faster, stronger and more flexible than ever before!

Businesses have automated their supply chains, transactional procedures, and set up new and improved e-commerce channels to foster digital capabilities that would set it apart from competitors

Companies are now investing in technology, data and automated processes to not only innovate, but to also redevelop the core of their business that will not only survive today but also thrive for many years to come.

Our next normal is all about understanding and exploring how different business practices evolve during these times with physical distancing and novel consumer behaviours taking over.

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