6 ways the pandemic has changed the way businesses operate

Naturally, as a business, you go where your customers go – and they have probably changed tack dramatically recently, with 86% of consumers having admitted to changing their behaviour due directly to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report by The Drum.

So, where should your business go now? You should consider where many other businesses already have in the wake of the pandemic, as the following points illustrate.

pandemic businessesIncreased digitisation of the customer experience

The days of many of us deciding to just casually wander into a bricks-and-mortar retail store to, say, check out the latest iPhones on display or invest in some fitness gear are gone – at least for now.

That’s why many businesses – “essential” and otherwise – have transferred much of their customer experience to the online sphere, where many events traditionally held in person, like product launches and fitness classes, can take place safely.

The rise of the “direct-to-consumer” brand

The term “direct-to-consumer” – abbreviated as DTC – has been used for businesses selling their products directly to customers rather than through such “middlemen” as department stores and online marketplaces.

While the pandemic has thrown complex supply chains into disarray, DTC businesses have been able to streamline theirs – for example, by sourcing from the UK rather than abroad.

Working from home

It’s an obvious one, but one well worth mentioning – especially as many workers have found themselves more capable of remote working than they had originally expected.

Research reveals that 92% of workers deem themselves well-equipped for working from home. Meanwhile, nearly four in ten homebuyers in the UK are now more willing to contemplate a move to the countryside as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, as per a report by London’s Evening Standard.

New security risks

In a survey mentioned by the World Economic Forum, 95% of security professionals reported running into new IT security challenges prompted by the coronavirus.

The leading challenge – cited by 56% of respondents – was providing secure remote access for employees. However, companies like Wandera, an industry-leading provider of remote access solutions, could help many businesses to plug this particular gap.

Walking the walk, not just talking the talk

Many brands have long been able to get away with only paying lip service to particular values rather than living up to them – simply because the brands’ loyalty to them was never properly tested. The real test has now come in the form of the pandemic – and not all brands have passed.

Businesses extending a helping hand to their customers during the crisis have attracted notice – and, more than that, positive publicity.

Reassessing how the business might operate in the future

While not everything has been permanently altered by the coronavirus, it has nonetheless forced many companies to reconsider how they do business.

Though most companies have claimed that they could return to their normal business practices with only three weeks’ notice, it would pay for these companies to prepare much further in advance. They should carefully consider, for example, how they will acquire new customers and retain existing ones.