As well as being a public health crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic has also had an unprecedented impact on society and business too. It has forced the closures of premises, made remote working the norm, and moved a huge percentage of transactions online. All of this has forced changes to the way business is being done.
No longer having the draw of a real-life storefront to entice shoppers in, business owners have realized the importance of their virtual storefronts. The need for a user-friendly website has never been more essential.
With in-person support out of the question, consumers are turning to phone, email, and social media to contact businesses. This surge in customer service communications has left some businesses floundering.
The surge in online sales, however, have shown that, despite small business revenue being down 20% and there being a spike in unemployment, there are sales out there to be had if you can get customers coming to you.
Waking up to web
Of course, web sales have been on the rise for a long time now but never has a business relied so heavily on its website. Recent figures show $200.72 billion was spent online with U.S. retailers in Q2, up 44.4% year over year.
With this in mind, survival depends on business owners updating their websites and making them more user-friendly.
These changes range from simply updating web copy and adding a contact form to harnessing tech such as chatbots.
The increase in online customer queries and complaints during the pandemic has shone a light on a problem that already existed – deteriorating levels of customer service.
Businesses are now adapting to this increase in demand by investing in technologies that help streamline the process, such as happitu which simplifies an omnichannel approach using software that brings everything into one place.
One of the greatest shifts caused by the pandemic is the rise in remote working.
While it was once believed working from home just wouldn’t work, it appears for a lot of industries that simply isn’t true.
The pandemic has forced employees, like it or not, to work from home, and research suggests, once the pandemic is over, most offices will never return to quite the same set-up they had before. Homeworking, in some capacity, looks to be sticking around.
Click and collect
Ordering shopping online and then collecting it from a local store is nothing new, but when the pandemic forced stores to close their doors, the option for many businesses was to lose their sales to online retailers or find a new way of serving their customers.
For many businesses, click and collect was the obvious answer, meaning their regular customers could continue to shop where they always have, just in a rather different way. Some businesses simply scaled up their current curbside collection service, while others who were new to the game started from scratch.
Businesses big and small have had to dramatically change the way they do things. Those already switched on to the online side of their business have found they could transition more easily, while others are still facing an uphill battle to adapt.
One thing is true for all businesses though; when this is all over and people begin returning to “normal” it will never go back to quite how it was before, so updating your business in the face of the pandemic should also work towards future-proofing your business too.