Reinventing your Business with Digital in the COVID-19 Era
by Keshav Jeet, on Jun 1, 2020 4:10:15 PM
COVID-19 has forced a number of businesses to reimagine their business models and take urgent measures to not only sustain their existing business but also tap new markets. As mentioned before in our previous blog, talking about the industry impact of COVID-19, digital technologies will play an inevitable role in minimizing the impact of COVID-19. In this blog, we provide recommendations on how exactly businesses can adapt to the situation and create new revenue streams with the help of digital technologies. Let’s explore them:
1.Move to a Digital Platform
For some retail stores like gifting stores, clothing, accessories, etc, COVID-19 presents a perfect opportunity to get on to the digital channels if they haven’t yet, to ensure their business and brand name survives beyond the crisis. Ferns and Petals, for example, has launched a new gifting service to overcome the social distancing problem. Airbnb is giving new digital experiences to its customers with live tango concerts and wine classes online on its digital platform. Brands can start online meditation or yoga classes, launch new learning platforms for students, facilitate online sports learning, etc. For the entertainment industry, movie releases can be done on OTT platforms since the theaters are shut down.
2. Reinvent for Social distancing and Contactless World
The pandemic has not just impacted people’s financial situations, but also their routines and lifestyles. For instance, social distancing has become a way of life now. Businesses need to reevaluate their offerings and calibrate their business models to recognize consumer social distancing as a priority. Developments like Digitally Accessible Delivery Pods in Apartments and Homes, queue busting, pre-booking, pre-ordering & digital payments for restaurants, contactless Devices - for elevators, doors, cabs, etc., contactless payments, etc, are already here and can change our lifestyle forever.
3. Adopt Digital Work Culture and Operations
Adopting a work from home digital culture should become a norm for most industries that employ white-collar labor. Businesses can digitize the onboarding of customers as well as employees through video KYC. They can also use widely available productivity tools as well as leverage the concept of digital control towers to streamline operations.
4. Adapting to the changed CX Behavior
The consumer buying behavior will also drift towards thrifty and prudent buying. So, how can you ensure that your business aligns with their changing needs and buying patterns? The first step you need to take is of building trust. For example, food delivery giants like Swiggy and Zomato are reassuring customers with their hygiene and safety precautions. Similar considerations include:
a. Understand the emotional need of your customers
Knowing your customers well and reciprocating on what they want is winning half of the battle. Here is what we recommend
- Be transparent with your operations
- Use AI and Chatbots for customer support
- Give personalized offers and subscriptions
- Establish customer connect through emails & push notifications
b. Recast your target audience
Pandemics trigger a dynamic response in user personas when it comes to spending. With people re-analyzing their spending profiles, it becomes imperative for businesses too to revisit their target audience to reach different cultures, age groups, demographics, and previously excluded groups. Talking about apps, an all-inclusive design with ease of use is something that is the need of the hour.
c. Design for AR/VR
With AR/VR already being at the forefront of driving growth for enterprises, the pandemic situation can offer a reliable stream of revenue and brand awareness through these technologies. In a world where it has become impossible to touch and feel products like furniture, household accessories, eyewear, sports gear, and equipment, etc., AR/VR can offer you a way to showcase the value proposition of your products from the comfort of your as well as the customers’ homes.
We recommend three ways to design for AR/VR to have a constructive outcome on your business:
- Induce a sense of virtual community & gamify with technology just like Euro kids and Mondly has done for learning.
- Increase engagement by creating digital models for increased user engagement. For example – AR Games, AR Video Apps(Filmr), AR Fitness Apps(Strava)
- Innovate within a user's mental model, for example – OnePlus, Ikea
COVID-19 has disrupted a number of businesses while having prolonged repercussions on the operations of others. Businesses need to respond with short and long term measures to build resilience against the effects of the pandemic and prepare for tougher times ahead to ensure growth. The digital space looks promising in such times, given that businesses accurately identify the necessary actions and make prudent investment decisions.