Change is an inevitable part of the business. Some of the best breakthroughs across multiple industries result from intense market need and the efforts in place to adapt traditional businesses to the modern era—the new normal shows promising signs for both businesses and consumers.
The pandemic has permeated almost every aspect of life in the new normal. From how we interact with other people, the places we’re allowed to visit, and down to the way we do business, it’s left no stone untouched. While not unexpected, it’s certainly not something even the industry experts can reasonably predict just yet. As the world starts to open itself back up again, it becomes clear that adapting to these new circumstances is essential for any business’ survival.
A stronger focus on digitalization, technology, innovative communication, streamlining business processes, and establishing a work-life balance have been just some of thetrends we’ve seen till the last quarter of this year. A shift in consumer behaviors has mainly caused the changes to the business landscapes. As consumers begin to value accessibility, socially aware brands, efficiency, and safety, the business world has been in an uproar to be able to adapt in time.
It’s worth taking into consideration that every trend or innovative idea has a time and place. To varying degrees of implementation and rigidity, each trend works for each industry differently. Especially if you’re on the more traditional side of the business, less dramatic shifts or gradual changes would be the better choice in order to pivot your business in the new normal.
Return of consumer behavior
Though the pandemic affected consumers of different socioeconomic factors in different ways, there’s no denying the learning curve that was present during those early days of lockdown. Customers were forced to adapt to the shelter in place orders and the feelings of anxiety that it brought. The varying financial situations of every household also affected consumer behaviors during this time. Such inconsistent results led to the markets coming to a standstill, unsure how best to move forward.
Many employees lost their jobs as smaller and even bigger businesses shut down. In contrast, those in tech fields and other malleable business structures transitioned to remote work and other alternatives. This led to a disparity of wealth in the market, with some strapped for cash and the others finding themselves with a surplus of income. This liquidity came from various sources such as hazard pay, government stimulus packages, and employer allowances that served to help them during the pandemic. Due to this surplus, experts expect consumer purchases to rise as the markets begin to open up and businesses establish a new normal.
Robust online presence
Establishing an online presence is not a novice concept. Since the birth of the first search engine, having a website has been essential for even small and medium businesses. What hasn’t been vital to brands has been the inclusion of digitalization and e-commerce avenues on their web presence. While some companies maintain their websites as newsletters and a resource to take a closer look at the corporation, modern brands have taken it one step further. Offering your products through an online ordering system allows the customers to make snappier purchases right on the same web page.
Though some companies may have already been engaged with third-party online platforms to move their inventory, having an in-house website that offers real-time transactions and feedback has proven invaluable. Take small soap-making businesses, for example. While they were popular before the pandemic, the need for artisan and creative soaps only grew as hand washing became vital to staying safe. Eco-friendly packaging, wholesale fragrance oils, and creative designs all served to help these companies survive the pandemic. However, selling these products through third-party sites cuts into their profit margins, an occurrence that can be avoided by having your own eCommerce-ready website.
Prioritizing the workforce
On a more personal note, companies also took a closer look into the lives of their employees. Working from home became the go-to solution for companies that couldn’t afford to shut down and bit the bullet of dispersing their workforce. This work arrangement, like any other, came with its own ups and downs in the beginning. That initial hurdle of decreased productivity and efficiency all leveled out as the workforce better adjusted to doing their jobs from home.
When considering moving to remote working, it’s also important to consider each employee’s home environment, and it’s conducive to productivity. The pandemic shutdowns also brought increased child care needs and mental health concerns which needed to be prioritized.
Currently, hybrid work seems like the winning balance for most companies. Allowing employees to continue working from home but be physically present for problem-solving or strategic meetings has created a happy middle for both the company and its employees.
Different markets and businesses will undergo this new normal metamorphosis in different intensities. While some sectors are affected more than others, taking a page from each trend and analyzing how best to tailor it to some degree only serves to make your business more competitive in the modern market.