Today, I would like to take this further and suggest that we have now reached a point of no return, with the world recovering, consumer behaviours have changed forever.
No Going Back For Customers
Consumers, rapidly growing accustomed to engaging in digital technologies, appear to be happy to shop from the comfort of their own homes, and look set to continue to develop and embrace this habit further. Older generations who previously shunned shopping via a screen have had to become more familiar with their devices in tracking down supermarket slots, figuring out online banking and ordering their beloved gardening resources. This way of interfacing shows no signs of diminishing and businesses across all industries will need to revisit every aspect of their digital presence in order to ensure that they are providing a highly effective experience for the customer.
Healthy Digital Trends
Higher demand for digital interfacing is emerging not only in the product sector but also in services where digital interfacing is becoming more commonplace. Telehealth, for example, has seen an explosion in its use as people seek health-related services such as therapy, patient care, advice and interventions via electronic information and telecommunication technologies rather than face-to-face. Companies such as Peloton have seen an unprecedented surge in demand with its interactive at-home workout bikes and streaming service growing ever popular as gyms across the globe closed. Selling 400,000 bikes back in Feb 2020, Peloton has seen an exponential rise in demand for its fitness equipment and monthly subscription rates and has now doubled its sales to over 886,100.
Bring Your Own Device
World responses to the pandemic saw many employees begin working from home in March 2020. Having the freedom to utilise their own technology, with no work restrictions brought a whole new meaning to Bring Your Own Device. Even where workers had a business laptop, they were able to depend more heavily on their own personal devices to access work resources. Pre-lockdown, 87% of businesses relied on employees to use BYOD and these figures are only bound to have increased. Productivity rates already increased by 34% where employees were allowed to use their own devices so we can only wonder if this rate has grown significantly since workers have shifted to home environments with limitless access to their own hardware to stay organised and remain on task.
App, App and Away
At one time, apps were seen as something that much larger businesses invested in but now we are reaching a point where nearly every business will need to provide an app. Social distancing has forced the need to leverage the power of apps to provide contactless experiences for ordering, loyalty schemes, and booking systems.
Working from home had already grown 159% since 2005 but with corporations now considering if they need their large office spaces, our city centre landscapes are due for a wholesale change. Flexible working has proven to generally improve productivity, stress levels, and overall wellbeing and all of this will be increased post pandemic now we’ve had a taste of it enforced upon us. Much like our own head office space at Blam which is being converted into a recording studio, companies are now reinventing how they use their space as remote working becomes the norm. Property in both commercial and residential will now evolve as people and companies crave more creative use of office space both in the home and at the corporate headquarters. And let’s not forget, other benefits include less pollution, reduced costs, and more time with family and friends.
So What Does All This Mean?
The global pandemic has accelerated us roughly five years into the future in terms of how consumers make business decisions and purchases. We were already starting to see signs that online retail and mobile apps
were the future, but now it’s here, all in the space of three months! There will be short-term winners and losers in all of this, but when the dust settles and people and businesses readjust, I can see the upsides far outweighing any negatives. People will be happier, the world will be less polluted, businesses will be more efficient and technology will be leading the way.