Over the last 12 months, the need for agility among business owners has become clear. In 2020, many of us had to adjust to working remotely, learning virtually, and socializing through a screen in an effort to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. And while technology already played a major role in how we do business, the pandemic made us embrace digital alternatives even more closely.
As such, the demand for customized web solutions, internet security, and consistent digital connections has never been stronger. As we look forward to a post-COVID reality, it’s essential to take a look at what’s changed during the last year. This can allow you to prepare your business for what’s to come.
How Did COVID-19 Further Digital Transformation?
Even before anyone knew what COVID-19 was, Americans were technology-obsessed. But the pandemic made our digital reliance skyrocket to new levels. Research published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information revealed that as of June 2020, internet services saw astounding increases. Pre-lockdown, use of those services hovered around 40%, but usage rose by 100% during the peak of the pandemic. Not surprisingly, as many Americans adjusted to working from home, the use of video conferencing services like Zoom increased by 10 times. As more of us struggled to complete vital tasks without stepping out the front door, we depended on the internet to keep operations going.
During this time, more consumers were looking for answers online. The average online shopper has an eight-second attention span, but the way we shop has evolved rapidly. With many items remaining out of stock on local store shelves for months, we turned to e-commerce giants and even local shops with an established web presence for help. Those who were able to pivot and meet customer demand online — and leverage social media to their advantage — often made it through to the other side. And those who continued (or even ramped up) their local SEO campaigns and digital ads during the pandemic frequently saw returns; they were able to meet customers where they already were, which kept their brand at top of mind while encouraging sales during periods of economic recovery.
Overall, the digital impact of COVID-19 has proven to be profound. A recent McKinsey survey found that the global response by companies during the pandemic has “accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years.” Companies were able to come up with meaningful solutions to pandemic problems more quickly than they anticipated — and it’s likely that these changes will endure even after the novel coronavirus is no longer our chief concern.
How Can Businesses Use Technological Advancements to Adapt to the New Normal?
With that in mind, it’s evident that businesses need to adjust to our “new normal” with help from technology. But how can your organization stay competitive in a post-pandemic world?
- View Technology As an Opportunity: It’s easy to feel threatened by the growing prevalence of AI. But artificial intelligence could strengthen your organization by improving efficiency and eliminating redundancy. This can allow you to invest in other crucial areas of your business and provide even better opportunities for your employees. Don’t think of technology as the enemy; when utilized properly, it can actually create opportunities.
- Don’t Put Off Upgrades: Now is not the time to dismiss the importance of the latest technologies. If you’ve been putting off upgrading your customized websites or you still don’t understand why you need a mobile friendly website, you’re already behind the curve. Make custom web solutions a priority to stay current post-COVID.
- Stay Active Online: The pandemic increased our reliance on custom web solutions, but that isn’t going anywhere after the viral threat dissipates. Make sure that you’re engaging on social media, leading with transparency and empathy, and making it easy for consumers to make a purchase online. Those custom web solutions will allow you to compete with others in your industry all while connecting with your audience online.
As we prepare for what life will look like after the pandemic, it’s obvious that digital technologies will continue to prevail. For more on how our custom web solutions can support you during this time, contact us today.