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7 Ways Covid-19 Has Changed The Way We Do Business
The global coronavirus outbreak presents twin threats to both our lives and our livelihoods. It has changed the way we do business, possibly forever.
In this article, we take a look at 7 ways Covid-19 has changed the way we do business and how organizations can start to prepare for the new normal.
1. Businesses Are Going Digital-First
Being a digital-first business is a concept that has been around for a very long time, but today it's critically important for all businesses to become digital-first brands if they hope to survive in this environment.
Customers can no longer pop to the shops every time they need something. Instead, they go online which automatically puts those businesses with a strong online presence ahead of their competition.
A lot of brands are taking this even further by providing immersive experiences that are entirely online. For instance, e-commerce giant JD.com has partnered with Carlsberg, Budweiser, and Remy Martin to provide an online clubbing experience to people stuck at home.
2. Customer Expectations Have Changed
The current global pandemic has brought on a culture of transparency, openness, and trust. Customer expectations have changed drastically in terms of interactions with brands as well as buying patterns.
Check out this graphic to see how enterprises define their digital business:
As you can see, customer expectations rule all other categories.
Businesses that want to satisfy these new customer expectations need to ramp up their digital e-commerce in innovative ways.
For instance, they need to work with shipping partners in order to provide curbside pickup options, contactless delivery, and so on. Businesses may also need to alter their product lines so they can focus on catering to the more essential needs of their customers.
3. Marketers are Focusing on Sustainable Growth
With so many business marketing budgets slashed, a lot of marketers have had to completely rethink their strategies for customer acquisition and retention.
Many have put their marketing ROI under scrutiny, and expensive marketing methods that have no checkable impact, such as TV ads, are not an option anymore. Instead, businesses are turning to channels that are less traditional, but more effective, such as referral programs.
Whereas before the pandemic, the primary focus of many businesses was new customer acquisition (even though it's five times more expensive), due to the current climate, marketers are now more focused on realizing the untapped value of existing customers.
This means that, instead of reducing their profit margins acquiring one-off customers, they are more likely to focus on customer retention and brand building strategies that will help them engage with their customers to achieve long-term results.
4. There is Rapid Reskilling and Upskilling of Employees
In this quickly changing workplace, businesses will benefit from teaching their employees new mindsets, values, and behaviors. Rapid reskilling has been necessitated by the pandemic-induced push towards trends like digitalization, innovation, and automation.
That's why many businesses are focusing on preparing their employees for dealing with such environments that are constantly - and often abruptly changing.
This ability to quickly adopt new, advanced technology will be a central catalyst in accelerating the creation of brand-new roles in the workplace. This will also help to offset the changes that have taken place in the workload due to the pandemic which has resulted in unbalanced resource allocations.
So by reskilling and upscaling employees, businesses can move them around the different parts of the business.
5. Businesses Are Reassessing How Employees Work
The pandemic forced a lot of people to work from home, some with reduced pay and many others on furlough. This has given everyone an opportunity to reflect on this new way of working.
It has shown both businesses and employees that cubicle farms are not as essential as everyone believed.
Today, over 92% of workers believe that they are well-equipped for remote work, and even after things go back to normal, work from home will remain popular with the vast majority of professionals. This, in turn, will force businesses to become more flexible.
Businesses are also learning about the benefits of having a workforce that's able to work any time from anywhere. It's likely that even if things begin to go back to normal, flexible working will remain a crucial factor when hiring and retaining top talent.
This also benefits the company greatly from a revenue perspective because the flexible work culture requires less office space which helps to save more money.
6. Many Companies Are Experiencing High HR Impact
This situation has required everyone to be supportive of each other while facing uncertainty. To some extent, control has given way to trust, with people learning how to work disparately, with a lot less oversight.
Ironically, despite social distancing, a lot of people are getting closer. They are more consistently in touch with one another, which has transformed this into a time of connection.
More adaptive teams are being built that have made connecting a priority in order to make remote work as effective and productive as possible. And even beyond all that, people are connected with purpose and a sense of community. This is a trend that is set to continue even in the post-Corona world.
7. Covid-19 Has Brought About The End of Business Attire
Whereas people used to get dressed up for work before the coronavirus outbreak, today we have become comfortable with showing up for work in more casual clothes.
Even after things have returned to normal, it's likely that this trend toward casual work attire will grow very quickly.
There may be some people in certain industries like finance that may maintain business attire, but for the most part, many organizations are likely to continue with the "dress for your day" policies. In other words, you can leave your suit at home if you are not meeting with important clients.
The coronavirus outbreak is something that no one could have ever predicted. Right now, it's time for businesses to be agile and adapt optimally to a digital-first way of working.
Use the tips listed in this article to help you understand how markets work now and how they're likely to work in the foreseeable future.
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