Emerging Trends in Business in a Post-Coronavirus Market
To say the coronavirus outbreak has been unsetting across the globe is, to say the least. Many countries and businesses were severely shocked, disrupted, and almost overwhelmed by the ensuing health crisis. In most cases, companies were forced to rapidly adopt emerging technologies adapted to a reality where social controls were tighter and health risks plumper.
The pandemic has triggered acute – and perhaps sustainable – changes in the way business will be executed. We have seen significant adaptations of customer behaviors, values, and interaction to the health risks currently strewn across society.
With every passing day, we have seen that we could be living with the virus for a while. Quite heartbreaking, but the vaccine is not going to leave tomorrow, is it? This necessitates adopting measures to live and contain the virus hence the seeming permanence of these trends.
How about we explore some of these emerging business trends in a post-coronavirus world?
Money changers are being exponentially leveraged
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, many businesses and individuals have been vehemently resorting to cashless transactions. Not much is known about the likelihood of paper currency spreading the virus, but would you want to test that with your precious life? Buddy, your "NO" was so loud!
This explains why digital payments are becoming the order of the day around the world. More also, going to physical stores to pay comes with the risk of exposing yourself to a battalion of germs, especially when handling cash.
There has been a consolidating need for digital currencies as everyone yearns to go cashless. Indeed, governments across the world are peering diligently into this possibility. For example, the push to create a digital dollar is gaining more support.
With digital payment channels, payments become seamlessly personalized. This could entail transacting serious payments with just your fingerprints or say retinal recognition technologies.
With the increased profusion of digital payment technologies, we could see a concerted integration of our personal data into money. Tangibility (in the form of physical presence) will be eroded over time as digitalization adds credibility to cashless banking.
More automation coming in
Hands up, I admit Hollywood has energetically painted this rhetoric of AI and machines taking over our world. When you watch the likes of Terminator, you get even scared of your beloved and loyal car.
Truth is, talks of such AI Armageddon are far-fetched and imaginary at best. But here is what is true: automation is going to take over a huge chunk of our jobs, especially after this pandemic. Data from Invesp shows that "85 percent of all customer interactions will be handled without a human agent by 2020."
The pandemic showed the inherent unreliability of human labor. Machines don't get sick, do they? Even if they do, they don't die or take sick benefits. Rather, they get promptly fixed!
Also, given that the purses of most companies are shrinking (owing to the financial strangulation of the pandemic), it is only natural that companies adopt a cost-effective approach of replacing human labor with automation.
The trend is already underway. Artificial intelligence is particularly engineering a future where less intellectual (or less creative) and more repetitive tasks would be automated very easily.
Chatbots, for example, can -- to an appreciable extent -- interact with a human audience, correctly answering 4 out of 5 general questions customers ask. These chatbots interestingly work 24/7 tirelessly.
Getting envious of these bots? Nah, don't be.
Getting human labor to take on this role will understandably cost you a fortune. Therefore automation presents one lovely cake employers will be unable to resist: affordability and enhanced productivity. What more, automation doesn't need motivation, nor does it need to take our traditional coffee break!
More data and more data
The pandemic shot up the need for data. Governments have had a mammoth need to track citizens' movement (with a lesser focus on privacy) and contact tracing. This has pumped up the need for data-optimized surveillance.
In the post-COVID world, personalized data is going to make us more digitally traceable, and yes, accountable. With the consolidation of 5G technologies, we would increasingly see the increased adoption of personal digital signatures – just like everyone has his own barcode around which his or her entire life is wired. This mirrors a situation where everyone has his/her exclusive digital DNA.
What would this mean?
Our physical beings and activities will be profusely merged with our digital escapades, meaning less anonymity online. Oh, too bad for VPN aficionados!
So far, there have been mouthwatering advancements in biometric tech. This has significantly enhanced the machine readability of our physical characteristics. Partying in this sea of data, companies will be able to offer more customized solutions to their customers. This will lead to a profusion of hyper-targeted customer experiences.
Increased need for faster delivery
If you have been grumbling before now about how customers want their orders delivered too fast, well, they would want it even faster after the pandemic. A study by Retail Touch reveals that 88% of online shoppers are very comfortable with paying more to get their orders delivered that same day.
This doesn't mean that you should charge your customers their arms and legs for faster delivery. It merely connotes that aggressively faster delivery is going to be the norm without a proportionate hike in the delivery fee.
A McKinsey study reveals a general perception among online shoppers that shipping fees shouldn't exceed 8% of the total products they bought at that time. Formidable ecommerce giants like Amazon are energetically exploring more avenues to ship products to customers faster. The same can be said of Frankie & Claude and other boutique online shops.
Go ask Usain Bolt, the need for speed is blowing up. Research from Retail Wire showed that while customers were ready to wait at most 5.5 days to get their orders delivered (with zero shipping fees) in 2012, the same customers are now only willing to wait for at most 4.1 days in 2018 for their orders to be delivered (with zero shipping fees).
After the pandemic, customers will be favoring brands that can deliver their orders in lesser time.
Tell me, who doesn't like it faster?
There is no denying that the pandemic significantly shifted the paradigm and evolved the way society and businesses now operate. These are the emerging trends we anticipate would be furiously consolidated after the pandemic. As a business, it will give you a prized competitive advantage to tap into these trends at their earliest so that these changes don't take your company by surprise and deport you from your market.
At Eula Blue, we are helping businesses enjoy remarkable success even in the COVID crisis as we pivot their processes and adapt their structure to emerging trends necessitated by the pandemic.
Leveraging our premium strategic guidance backed with cutting-edge data analytics, we position these brands to thrive in the face of the realities this pandemic presents.
Book a session today, and let us give you a lorry load of reasons to pivot in this storm.