The world was already progressing into digital; COVID-19 accelerated the pace. The acceleration was such that it upended the way businesses worked. One year into the episode and the old digital methods seem to have lost their power. Digital has become the default. The question now no longer remains whether digital is an avenue for business, but about how it’s put into use. Thanks to the changing customer mindset, digital businesses are already seeing positive signs.
- More than 50% of the companies have increased their investment in digital and technology innovation as a result of the pandemic.
- Almost 45% of UK e-commerce brands saw an increase in their e-commerce sales in 2020.
- In Latin America, 13 million people made their first-ever e-commerce transaction in 2020.
Between lockdowns and curfews, consumers have seen a drastic shift in digital habits in the way they work, shop, and engage. Sources from the Mckinsey report cite the number of customer interactions in digital space has not doubled or tripled but accelerated ahead in “years”.
McKinsey further shows a “decade in days” snapshot of the trends and accelerations in digital adoption:
- Online delivery: 10-years-in-8-weeks
- Telemedicine: 10x in 15 days
- Remote working on video conferencing in 3 months: 20x participants
- Remote learning students who went online in China: 250 million in 2 weeks
- Online entertainment: Disney Plus achieved in two months what took Netflix 7 years 7 years in 5 months
This rapid shift in consumer behaviour has important implications for businesses, giving an opportunity to help shape the Next Normal. To thrive, businesses need to listen to consumer demands and craft meaningful experiences to stay relevant to the present times. Unlike the yesteryear marketing tactic of consumers sitting at the heart of marketing strategy, businesses today are expected to sit at the heart of the customer journey- making them the centre of your marketing.
The effect of COVID-19 is not going to die any time soon and it’s definitely going to determine our everyday life for much time to come. Brands that empathize, relate, and offer value-added content to consumers beyond a simple ‘thank you can win much more than a sale from a customer. Though not immediate, tangible results- but going by that attitude can provide opportunities to improve proximity, engagement, and Productivity. These are the key determiners of successful marketing today that help marketers achieve bigger metrics in marketing such as Lifetime loyalty, advocacy, and more. Companies that radically and holistically rethink their digital marketing initiatives can thrive and win amidst businesses that don’t.
All of us as consumers or business owners intend to save money as much as possible. When consumers decide to spend money, they wish to go through a great brand experience- whether it’s online or in-person. Brands need to understand the relevance and play according to the paradigm shift. For example, the present scenario demands health and safety as differentiators, when it comes to providing a fantastic in-person experience. In such cases, brands need to make customers feel understood by drawing parallels of their business to the COVID19 scenario. This relevance can win an edge for your business amidst the thick competition. Customers today are exposed to plenty of digital storefronts and have hundreds of options to choose from. To stay on the leading edge of competition, designing meaningful experiences not only gains you customers but can also make them your return customers.
The key takeaway businesses have learned from the pandemic is that change can be abrupt, and we must be prepared for it. Technology has done much heavy lifting and made the digitalization of businesses possible amidst the rush of events. It’s time that businesses realize that digitalization is no more a ‘convenience’ but an element of survival. It’s time businesses take a bold step to tap on the unexplored aspects of marketing. Is your business prepared yet?