The year 2020 will always be remembered as the year that changed modern history. If there are any lingering uncertainties about the role of digital technology to businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic has completely shut them out. One of the great implications of the pandemic is how it amplified the role of technology as a necessity. In this contactless era, the majority of interactions between companies and customers have to take place in the virtual space.
While these changes aren’t entirely new, the pandemic has brought everything into focus. Before the pandemic, big companies are already seeing a shift towards the digitization of the economy. Since everything has to be done online, having an online business is the only way to stay afloat amidst restricted activities and shutdowns.
As we head towards another year into the pandemic, it only makes sense to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic is propelling the digital economy into an unprecedented rise. Let us look at how companies learned to embrace digital solutions in these times of global unrest.
During the first few months of the pandemic, the economy witnessed a sudden shift in how entrepreneurs are operating their businesses. This gave way to the rise of the remote work setup, virtual workspaces, and contactless transactions. They became a driving force for non-techie business owners to adopt digital solutions. Unfortunately, those who are reluctant end up unprepared, forcing them to close their business completely.
As entrepreneurs shift their businesses online, they learned to adopt different business models and maximize the role of the Internet. Business owners focused on stepping up their marketing campaigns by turning to digital marketing agencies, local SEO services, lead generation, and eCommerce optimization. These tools became their way to increase their online presence as more people are spending time on social media platforms.
While shifting online sounds like a great business move, most business owners found themselves struggling to transfer their workforce and operations to a digital environment. This left them with no choice as health organizations encourage business owners to limit contact and protect their employees and customers from compromising their health and safety.
For tech-savvy business owners, adopting digital strategies not only help them develop a new perspective towards their businesses but also brought them in a better position against their competitors. Going digital helps them thrive in the current economic condition and come out stronger despite these challenges. This led more companies to invest more in digital strategies to arm themselves better while navigating the post-pandemic era.
Companies that learned to adopt digital solutions developed greater resiliency in times of adversity. Having this quality led them to pivot and recover quickly in keeping their business afloat while everyone is struggling to chase growth and the changing consumer behavior.
Businesses that recognize the power of digital technologies pushed them to automate manual procedures and streamline on-site operations. This resulted in less waste, greater efficiency, and a renewed focus on profit-generating initiatives. In turn, employees set up their work at the comfort of their homes, which helped them discover virtual collaboration tools, sustain work culture, and maximize productivity even in a remote environment.
As businesses succumb to the digital transformation, cybercriminals found an opportunity to penetrate private data and endanger business operations. But business owners became adept in dealing with these challenges as they prepared themselves for the growth of cyber threats in the existing climate. They became more resilient and careful in mining consumer data while using them to understand emerging consumer needs.
The digital transformation has played a role in bridging gaps presented by social distancing practices and government-mandated shutdowns. Through digital tools, people found a way to shop, work, learn, and more.
Although remote working shocked the entire workforce, this change in work setup led to an impressive growth of digital collaboration. Digital tools facilitated these interactions and ensure the workers’ safety and comfort. For retail businesses, omnichannel commerce helped them to integrate the digital and physical aspects of their businesses to cater to the emerging needs of their consumers. This is very evident in grocery deliveries, online shopping, online payments, and contactless deliveries.
For institutions, using digital platforms became their way to continue their services amid a pandemic. These include schools offering online courses and virtual classes through streaming services. Events and large-scale conferences are now happening online, while the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) introduced online trading.
While some businesses might still consider reverting to traditional operations when everything returns to normal, others might continue adopting a hybrid strategy to maximize the benefits of digital solutions.
Technology has become more critical than ever in this age of digital economy. Business owners became more efficient in dealing with opportunities and potential problems that may arise post-pandemic. By continuing this approach, businesses will become stronger and resourceful than before as they learn to adapt to different adversities.