The world has transitioned to online working, selling and interacting, which is why the big tech giants have predicated 4 online changes to remain post-pandemic. 

#1 Rapid change in consumer habits

The pandemic has changed the way people shop, and this has forced businesses to adapt and improve on tracking real-time insights and respond to the data.

“To better respond to rapid shifts in consumer behaviour, brands created real-time insights tracking, elevated insights within their organizations, and established new processes to quickly act on their discoveries. This new reality will ensure brands are positioned to lead with insights.”

– Google

There are many habits that have changed, namely:

  • Searching before shopping: Thanks to the toilet paper shortage of 2020, consumers are now turning to Google to search for businesses with their items in stock before venturing out into the COVID-19 infested world. Google’s data reported in the early months of the pandemic, the most searched terms were “who has” and “in stock”. These search terms were up over 8000% in the US alone. 
  • Fewer trips to the store: The worldwide lock down forced people to buy in bulk and reduce their trips out for necessities such as food. Google noted a growing search interest in certain queries such as “home delivery” in France and “can you freeze” in the U.K.
  • Limiting spending: The pandemic has taken a toll on personal income for many people, resulting in consumers spending less on nonessential items. Google’s data shows 71% of people from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States stated that their personal income was impacted by the pandemic. 2020 saw a large population of retrenched employees, ultimately resulting in saving more and spending less. 
  • Finding alternatives: When lockdown began people were unable to visit places they would most likely frequent, such as a gym. This resulted in consumers finding alternatives to what they depend on. As schools shut down, Google says searches for “online learning” have increased by 400%, fitness app searches jumped 200% and as people were isolated, people began to search for “with friends online” which increased by 300%. 
Image Source: Unsplash

#2 Virtual Events

Events were canceled due to the pandemic which forced marketing teams to pivot their marketing efforts towards virtual events. Live events such as concerts, festivals and sporting events will eventually return, but Google predicts it will not look the same as before. The simplicity and convenience of attending virtual events from their living room with a business on the top, party on the bottom attire makes it more compelling than live events. Live events will be required to up their marketing game and deliver an outstanding experience to draw back consumers. 

Google does predict virtual events to continue post-pandemic, however, the tech giant does advise that virtual events are not suited for all events. 

Image Source: Unsplash

#3 Remote working is here to stay

Companies and employees began working remotely during the lockdown as a way to keep the business afloat and the economy moving. Companies noticed the amount of money that was being saved by not paying to rent out an office space, purchase employee consumables etc. This is why Google predicts remote working is here to stay. 

According to the tech giants search and shopping data, it suggests that working remotely started pre-pandemic. For quite some time people have longed to spend more time doing things that bring them joy instead of boring things like commuting. Now that remote working is here to stay, businesses are required to find a way to meet the basic needs of their employees. 

“The in-office work model has likely changed forever, shifting consumer habits and workplace cultures. For businesses, this means finding ways to meet people’s most basic needs and taking steps to foster a more resilient workforce.”

– Google
Image Source: Unsplash

#4 E-commerce for the win 

The rise in e-commerce occurred thanks to COVID-19, now we will not be judged for couch potato shopping. Many people started online shopping for the first time out of necessity. 

Google is aware of the increase in online shopping activities for items one would normally not purchase online. 

“There was a meaningful increase in the number of people willing to buy groceries, clothing, and even cars online. In the first six months of 2020, for example, nearly 10% of cars were sold online, compared with just 1% of cars sold online during all of 2018.”

– Google

The convenience that is offered by online shopping is what draws consumers more towards it. Brick and mortar businesses began updating their GMB profiles and started offering local delivery and curbside pickup services. 

Image Source: Unsplash

Why should you care?

As much as the pandemic has negatively impacted our lives personally as well as professionally, it has brought about a positive change as well. Businesses have tapped into the untouched potential of remote working, being able to reduce event costs and stress, and honing in on consumer purchasing behaviours. We would like the world to go back to normal soon, but for now the convenience consumers have been provided with is going to be around for a while. The best thing for all businesses to do is to adapt to the online world and make their business as convenient and simple for consumers as possible. For starters, businesses can update their GMB profiles with the new COVID-19 health and safety attributes, here’s how it works. 

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