Businesses were aware of the much needed shift into the digital world, but it was anticipated to happen gradually over the years. With COVID-19, going digital has become mandatory for businesses that want to survive.
Marketing Dive’s Tatiana Walk-Morris wrote an interesting article with regards to this topic and interviewed a few technology leaders, including Ryan Webber from SOTI. Morris states, “The silver lining of this pandemic, if one could be found, is that retailers are now going to adopt mobile technology at a faster pace than before, which will enable them to accommodate changing consumer behaviors and expectations, Webber said. It’s critical for retailers to invest in e-commerce and mobile technologies now, because consumers’ in-store and online shopping habits will change, he said.”
Many businesses already had the digital infrastructure in place to take on additional mobile and online traffic, but other businesses do not. The healthcare system has had to adopt video appointments in order to to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to be able to provide their patients with the treatments they need. Any non-essential surgeries have also been put on hold for the same reason.
Other businesses have been resistant to going digital- prior to COVID-19 and with the new way of things today, they’re forced to go digital or risk having to shut down their businesses all together. Millenials and Gen Z want to be able to access everything on the go and from their mobile devices–if businesses want to reach this large market, they have to adapt to consumer needs. Digital was always the way to the future, but COVID has certainly brought that future closer to reality.
This change doesn’t necessarily replace all foot traffic, but it could definitely lead to more business exposure as well as introduce new consumers to businesses they otherwise may have never found. Depending on digital also means taking the proper security measures and investing in a strong online infrastructure that can handle and keep up with sales demands while implementing CRM and other consumer/sales trends. This could potentially drive more business to cyber security firms, digital marketing specialists, CRM specialists and system etc.
This could be seen as the silver lining but, there will still be some stores that won’t survive the digital trend- and unfortunately, their failures won’t just be due to COVID.
Walk-Morris, T. (2020, April 29). How the COVID-19 pandemic is pushing brands to connect digitally. Retrieved from https://www.marketingdive.com/news/how-the-covid-19-pandemic-is-pushing-brands-to-connect-digitally/576930/