A few months back, we heard of this mysterious virus that was causing breathing problems and pneumonia-like symptoms. Cut to the present: the world is battling with the COVID-19 pandemic and life, as we knew it, has changed completely.
From embracing Digital Transformation Company for our remote working facilities, giving up on our well-planned trips, to depending more and more on online sources of shopping and entertainment, this has turned out to be the year of the ‘new normal.’
And, with such drastic changes happening all around us, it’s natural that the businesses are strategizing and hurrying to keep up with the times. After all, be it customer choices or sales percentages, nothing has remained the same anymore. Moreover, going by looks of the situation, most of these changes are going to be around for quite a while now.
So, keeping that in mind, today we will highlight the most important new business trends to have emerged out of the pandemic situation. Let’s get started!
Remote working facilities to be around for the long term
The companies had to adapt to work from home facilities out of necessity as the states decided to close non-essential businesses. With more than four months of experience already under their belts, many businesses are appreciating the perks of remote working and planning to embrace it for the long term. Businesses are relying on apps made by Zoom, Google, and others to hold meetings and collaborate on projects.
The Anticipated Business Trends Post-COVID-19 suggest that even lifting the restrictions on work will not mean a return to the old ways completely. For instance, Microsoft is reportedly getting twice the number of new users for its Teams app daily in China. Restrictions related to COVID-19 have already been lifted in the country.
As people are worried about their health, the companies are ready to consider remote work for a long time now. Thus, companies are expected to continue with the work from facilities for a segment of the employee base. It will also be beneficial for the business because there will be savings on rent and equipment, as they can choose to move into smaller offices or completely avoid rent.
Travel and tourism sector to showcase greater flexibility
There is no denying the fact that the travel and tourism industry has been the hardest hit in the ongoing situation. As the coronavirus scare subsides a little and restrictions get lifted, the industry is likely to slowly and steadily rebound back to normal.
Two major trends will possibly come out of the scenario:
- As people start traveling again, they will try to venture not too far from home due to financial concerns and wariness of going to exotic locations.
- Companies dealing with travel and tourism will showcase greater flexibility. For example, airlines might update the cancellation policies to let customers make alterations to their reservations without hefty fees.
These ideas hold true for the rest of the verticals of the hospitality industry, as well. Customers will naturally be keener to work with companies that are ready to accommodate their needs in unpredictable situations.
Online businesses and the no-touch payment alternatives
The way customers pay for the goods and services has certainly seen a lot of innovation in the last couple of months. This is mainly true for online businesses, where alternate methods like PayPal, Apple Pay, and even bitcoins have become popular. Companies need to see this as one of the 2021 Business Trends, and use these options for gaining more customers.
The non-cash and non-card payments were already gaining ground before the lockdown. You can expect it to be a prominent trend in the coming years as people are becoming more dependent on their smartphones. So, giving the customers more avenues for no-touch pay will be crucial to earn their favors.
Making the best use of the available software opportunities
As the world has started relying on remote work these days, increasing adoption of backend technologies have gained importance for entrepreneurs. They are letting the high-end modern software to carry out most of the work.
Most of the small and medium businesses have started using lead management tools, which offer multiple facilities, such as:
- Contact management
- Scheduling software
- Billing automation
- Conversion tools
Remember when you had not much of a control over your time in the middle of client calls and invoices? You get to bid goodbye to those worries because now you can schedule calls and send invoices using the software.
Brick and mortar establishments, who were still pondering over whether or not to take their business online, have no choice other than going online to keep their doors open. Having a comprehensive technology to stay organized is an important goal.
Using automation to expand the opportunities further
Reports suggest that 85% of customer interactions will not be handled by a human agent by the year 2020. Chatbots already deal with at least four out of five common questions that businesses receive. After all, the ones posing a question also find it easier to simply type the query in a chat box instead of calling a number or sending an email.
There are multiple types of automation tools to help businesses in billing and delivering to their clients, selling products, and converting leads without the need to be in front of the computer all the time. Information products registered a major surge in the pandemic and many entrepreneurs were quick to jump to the opportunity.
Implementation of such tools turns out to be a huge time-saver. You get to automate delivering and selling the products and automating customer questions.
Increasing demand for faster and more efficient delivery
Any entrepreneur running an ecommerce brand that deals with physical products understands the significance of careful handling of shipping and logistics. The ability to offer free shipping is not always the major issue bothering an ecommerce brand.
Customers want to get the orders delivered fast. So, from boutique online stores to large retailers, ecommerce stores are providing multiple shipping options for accommodating the demands of the customers.
A majority of online shoppers are not hesitant about paying extra for faster or same-day delivery of goods. In some cases, customers might look for midnight delivery of goods. Any company that can meet these criteria at an affordable rate will win the hearts of the customers.
Even the norms of free shipping have changed, in terms of customer expectations. People are not ready to wait for weeks to get their product delivered, even if it comes with free shipping offers. A maximum of four-five days is all they can wait for.
So, businesses need to carefully plan about shipping products to the customers. Faster delivery translates into more sales in the pandemic and post-pandemic world.
In conclusion, it is important to point out that these trends are heavily reliant on the availability of internet connections. Network strengths have been tested around the world in the pandemic situation, and it will continue being so after this year passes.
This also means that any well-reputed Digital Solutions Company will have to build out the network, create better 5G compatible technologies, and beef up bandwidth and speed to cater to the customers. The most important to keep in mind in the long term is that the customers should get to access what they want and where they want it.