It’s been more than a year now since the first case of COVID-19 was detected. Back then, we could not even expect that it would completely change our lives. The crossed borders and numerous lockdowns had a negative impact on the global economy and local businesses, many of which were forced to close.
Yet many industries underwent changes to serve their customers better and remain operations running even during the pandemic. Let’s see what these changes are:
During strict lockdowns, many cafes and restaurants were forced to close their doors for visitors, they needed to change the business model from serving visitors on-site to takeout and delivery. It translated into launching an online presence with convenient ordering forms, online marketing, and increased demand for couriers. More specialized establishments like bars and cafes launched new offerings like cocktail kits or virtual cooking classes so that people can make their favorite drinks and meals at home. For takeouts, solutions like the digital beer menu helped to minimize contacts with paper versions that might transmit germs and increase chances of virus spread. Even now, when restaurants are reopening, QR codes on tables instead of conventional menus remain popular.
Partial work from home and distributed working environments were not new for companies providing IT services. However, COVID-19 made this trend massive. It meant a lot of organizational changes and expenses for companies. Adopting new processes of reporting and management, the introduction of collaboration tools and reliable software were just some of the changes for the IT industry. This led to audits of the software in use, its replacements, and refusal from physical offices to optimize budgeting. The giants like Google and Microsoft started providing their corporate tools for free, the same did Zoom to support small businesses when it comes to internal and external communication.
The quarantine forced people to review their attitude to sport, so fitness and wellness services remained in demand but with the lockdowns attending gyms became impossible. Businesses operating in this niche tried hard to adapt to the new circumstances. Thus, the spectrum of their services increased including freezing offline abonnements and prolonging their duration, online subscriptions became available, and video-recorded classes so that people can train where it’s convenient for them. Individual online support and fitness consultations are other changes in the industry that happened during the pandemic.
Even real estate business that was hard to imagine in online mode, was forced to adapt to the new situation. This translated into video property reviews, more web cameras inside the property for rent or sale so that potential customers can see the objects they are interested in online. Communication with customers also transformed. Group gatherings that often happen during property visiting were considered to be dangerous, thus according to the safety rules, so customers gave preference to individual tours. In addition, it became common to replace them with virtual tours via video calls or group conferences. With the online tools for e-signature and online identity confirmation signing contracts became easier. So the real estate industry emerged into the forced digitalization that turned out to be successful and remains this way even with quarantine measures going away.
The examples of businesses that we’re able to embrace these changes, managed to survive, and even grow their success, show us that even during the hardest times it’s possible to find hope and prosperity. And the key to this prosperity is matching the primary business offerings with the market demand and changing customer habits. The times are changing, and the pandemic taught the business world a lesson that we need to expect the unexpected and be ready to quickly adapt to the new circumstances as there are a lot more challenges to come.