COVID-19 has brought about major changes in the business world and life in general. During these changing times, many entrepreneurs are worried about how their businesses can survive.
Are you unsure of how this pandemic will change the business world and what you can do?
In this post, we will discuss how COVID-19 will change the business world and which digital technologies you can adopt to be successful in the new world.
Digital transformation is the only way forward from here and these are the key areas that will witness the major shift.
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Customer Support – Use of Chatbots
One of the major changes in the post-COVID business world will be the adoption of online customer service solutions like chatbots. With many businesses forced to shift their operations and work from homes, this is a natural alternative.
More businesses will leverage chatbot technology to provide seamless, 24×7 service to their customers. Many will make this switch permanently to reduce the costs of operating call centers and delegating most of the customer service requests to chatbots.
This will also lead to the rise of the more advanced AI-based chatbots with natural language processing and machine learning capabilities.
Business – The Rise of Remote Work
The COVID-19 pandemic has made many businesses realize that most of their teams can work just as efficiently from home as from an office.
The added cost-benefit of reducing office space makes remote work a legitimate business model.
How will this change the business world?
This will give rise to the remote working economy where both companies and employees will prefer flexible work options.
Companies will only spend money on office costs for essential teams that need to work from an office. For the rest of their employees, they will not need to spend on office space, electricity, equipment, etc.
Similarly, employees will want more flexibility in terms of work-from-home and flexible hours as they get accustomed to it during this crisis.
Overall, the future of work is remote and this will change the business landscape as we know it.
Doing Business Online – Enhanced Flexibility
Another key lesson learned from doing business online in the midst of the pandemic has been how important a flexible business model can be. The word ‘pivot’ has never enjoyed such extensive usage, as restaurants have pivoted to takeaway services, children’s entertainers have pivoted to hosting parties on Zoom, florists have pivoted to providing online flower arranging classes, and more.
Businesses that were able to be the most flexible often fared better than their competitors when it came to overcoming the operational challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Going online when you usually work face-to-face required some extremely creative thinking in some sectors. Those companies who were quick off the mark usually found that their creativity was not in vain.
Customer Relationships – Increased Role of Social Media
If there were any businesses that were not active on social media earlier, they will adopt it now.
Because, amid this crisis that has changed the world, social media has become the primary medium for staying in touch with people.
An analysis of European brands’ Facebook pages revealed that people have started spending more time on social media since the pandemic started. Also, content related to the coronavirus crisis is trending more than any other topic.
This provides businesses with an opportunity to use social media to connect with their audience on a deeper level. Talking about how COVID-19 has affected your business and what you are doing to serve your customers will go a long way in forming lasting customer relationships.
What should you do to leverage this opportunity?
If you are not already on social media, then select your platforms, create and optimize your profile, and make a social media strategy. Start creating and posting relevant content from your social media accounts.
Use third-party tools for marketing on social media and managing multiple social media accounts. These can also help you respond to customer comments and messages promptly and build better relationships.
Finance – Contactless Payments
COVID-19 has not only changed how people work or brands market themselves, but also the financial aspect of a business.
More and more businesses will move to online and contactless payments. Traditionally cash-only businesses will also adopt this trend slowly but steadily.
Digital entrepreneurs may even come up with new and innovative technologies to facilitate contactless payments. This trend will continue long after the COVID-19 threat is over and change the way we conduct business transactions.
Retail – Use of AR and VR Technologies
Ecommerce has been around for a long time and it will evolve to be the primary retail channel for many businesses. But, that is not the only change that the e-commerce industry will see.
Wondering what else is going to change?
Well, there will be an increase in the use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in retail, to facilitate better customer shopping experiences.
As most people move to online shopping, brands that excelled at providing best-in-class in-store experiences will have to evolve. This is especially true for luxury brands that distinguish themselves through such experiences.
Many brands will leverage digital technologies like AR and VR to wow their customers. This could be in the form of virtual store tours or even virtual product-trial options.
Such innovations are in a very nascent stage, but in a post-pandemic world, these will grow at a much faster pace.
Marketing – Growth of Paid Social
This goes without saying that digital marketing will become the primary form of marketing. Traditional, offline marketing methods like billboards will see a significant decline in spending.
However, there are some paid digital marketing techniques that are likely to flourish more than others.
Want to know which ones?
Here you go.
As the use of social media grows, so will the need for influencers. If you are new to the social media landscape, then influencers can help you reach your target audience in a cost-effective way.
Working with the right influencers, who have followers that match your target audience, can help you grow your social media presence. Influencers can also enhance your brand image and improve your credibility in the market.
The only catch is that you need to work with the right influencers who are a good fit for your brand.
You can use various platforms to find and manage influencers for your brand. These can also help you run successful campaigns end-to-end.
Social Media Advertising
We have already discussed how social media will become more important for businesses. This also includes paid marketing techniques like social media advertising.
Social media advertising is highly-targeted and dynamic in nature. It can help you reach the people who are most likely to buy your products.
Most social media platforms track user behavior and show ads based on their past searches and clicks. This results in advanced audience targeting, which is only going to get better in the future as the technology evolves further.
And in the post-COVID-19 world, social media advertising will get you much better results than traditional advertising.
COVID-19 has changed the business landscape and some of these changes are likely to last for a long time. The points mentioned above are some of the key areas where the change will be most prominent.
If you want to remain successful in the post-COVID era, you will need to adapt to these changes. Better yet, you can be one of the digital entrepreneurs who lead this transformation and navigate through these tough times with panache.
So, what are you waiting for?
Get started on transforming your business practices and lead the way for other entrepreneurs.