The Growing Trend of Conducting Business Online during the Pandemic
It can easily be said that the coronavirus pandemic was the most significant factor in 2020 that had an impact on all the aspects of our daily lives. As time is passing, it is becoming more and more evident that the current circumstances have become our new normal way of life, which is why people are continuously learning to adapt to this situation.
Before 2020, people were accustomed to dining in restaurants, going to offices, visiting shopping malls etc. However, the urge to keep people protected and the restrictions imposed by governments have completely changed the business landscape. Not only individuals, but businesses all around the world had to incorporate a number of changes in the way they conducted their business.
Let’s have a look at some of these new business trends:
Purchasing at physical stores and shopping malls has traditionally been the most popular modes of shopping worldwide. However, as seen in the previous year, people have become extremely cautious and a lot of them avoid going to public places. The world needed to figure out a way for acquiring the basic necessities of life, and online shopping was a solution to this problem.
Today, the majority of businesses have shifted their operations on online platforms, where they provide customers the opportunity to choose from the variety of products/services available, different payment methods and even support services. Companies like Samsung are also providing convenience and safety for their customers, as Samsung recently launched its first e-store in Pakistan, giving customers the option to buy Samsung products from their homes along with free nation-wide shipping. Apart from this, Uber Eats also initiated contactless delivery to ensure the safety of their customers as well as employees.
People nowadays can be seen using the internet at almost all times. Before 2020, the internet was used mostly for leisure activities, but now, the internet has become a necessity to stay interconnected. With the growth in the usage of the internet, businesses are now shifting their focus on developing digital marketing strategies.
Traditional marketing does not have the influence that it once had on customers, and especially during this pandemic, the internet has become a key element in everyone’s lives. Whether it’s influencer marketing, affiliate marketing, email marketing etc., businesses are putting in money and effort in reaching out to their customers through online means. Another example from the mobile sector is of Huawei, which used social media marketing i.e., Facebook groups to achieve its marketing targets.
In addition to avoiding contact with others during the pandemic, people also avoid exchange of items as much as possible. Keeping this in mind, many businesses are providing their customers the options to use digital payment systems. While digital payments had been introduced in the market a long time ago, their popularity has been significantly increased during the pandemic, with almost 50% of the global population having increased their use of digital payments.
A lot of businesses have introduced the option to pay through their mobile apps, payment through credit cards and through digital wallets. According to a survey conducted by Electronic Transactions Association, about 27% of small businesses in the U.S. have seen an increase in the use of digital payments in 2020. Fast food chains such as Burger King and Chick-fil-A have also urged their customers to use their apps to make payments.
Omnichannel supply chains
The pandemic has disrupted the supply chains of businesses to a large extent, however, businesses which had converted their previously existing supply chains into omnichannel supply chains were better able to adapt to the new circumstances. Omnichannel supply chain basically integrates all distribution channels which makes it flexible and customer centric.
Since omnichannel supply chains have a strong interconnected system of all supply chain actors and it also involves the use of data and technology, omnichannel supply chains found it easier to adapt to the rising trend of ecommerce and were better able to address customer concerns. Brands like Zara and H&M have been offering options such as visual search and virtual try-on, which seem more feasible to customers during the current circumstances.
The pandemic changed the business landscape greatly and businesses are still in the process of understanding how to understand and cater to customer needs. The growing trend of ecommerce and digital marketing has encouraged businesses to change their current business models and to incorporate necessary changes.
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