After the Covid-19 pandemic struck, some businesses have experienced economic downturns and recessions and seen lower revenue resulting in less cash flow.
The significant changes in consumer behaviour, supply changes, and work style have thrown businesses off balance.
Nevertheless, the history of such shocks tells us that in every crisis lies an opportunity.
Covid-19 is rewriting the future of business.
Many innovations emerged during the first months of the pandemic, and they keep unlocking post-crisis growth.
For example, technology has played a key role in responding to the pandemic. Thus, Covid-19 has triggered a decade of digitalisation in six months (to learn more about this matter, you can read the McKinsey report on how Covid-19 has pushed companies over the technology tipping point).
This post will provide you with an in-depth look at the innovative trends that the Covid-19 pandemic has created or accelerated in various industries and sectors.
Hopefully, the business innovations listed in this post will inspire you to take your company to the next level and make it thrive by adapting your business model to the new emerging trends.
Table of contents:
1. 8 Innovative Business Trends In The Post-Covid-19 Era
2020 has marked a change in how technology and digitalisation have an impact on business.
The stiff lockdowns that governments worldwide imposed had a powerful impact on several industries, such as healthcare, customer care, manufacturing, and more, as they had to rethink their business models.
Hence, the digital revolution accelerated by the pandemic has put helpful information at our fingertips, creating incredible tools and resources.
1.1. Virtual Healthcare
In 2020, health systems worldwide adopted virtualised treatment approaches to replace the face-to-face meetings between patients and health providers.
Today, telehealth and remote health monitoring services enable patients and healthcare providers to connect using modern technology.
Telehealth services are used to screen patients who may have symptoms of Covid-19, follow up with patients after hospitalisation, participate in physical therapy, provide low-risk urgent care, and more.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, many doctors were reluctant to try telehealth in their practice. However, the live-video visits between patients and healthcare providers have been surprisingly effective.
Furthermore, there is growing interest in the use of wearable devices to monitor patients with Covid-19.
In addition, teletherapy (therapy provided via video connection) and virtual fitness have become popular during the pandemic, and they are likely to become permanent trends.
Telecommuting (or remote working) is not a new concept. However, telecommuting has become the norm since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Capterra, “as of November (2020), 64% of employees working for a small or medium-sized business in Australia are working remotely full-time or part-time. This statistic is up from 57% since March 2020 (when the country originally went into a lockdown).”
The rise of remote work has accelerated the adoption of digital infrastructure and more flexible and dynamic office spaces.
In addition, companies worldwide have unlocked the benefits of flexible and cost-effective virtual offices after implementing remote and hybrid work arrangements. As a result, this type of office space became incredibly popular in 2020.
Thus, after the work-from-home disruption of Covid-19, organisations may never return to the expensive traditional workspaces that no longer meet modern businesses’ needs.
1.3. Remote Learning Technology
The coronavirus pandemic has changed education forever.
The Covid-19 has resulted in schools shut across the globe. As a result, governments worldwide had to create distance-learning opportunities to keep students safe while also enabling them to complete the 2019-2020 academic year.
Even though remote learning is mainly associated with schools and universities, you can also implement a remote learning strategy in the workplace.
With the rise of remote working, online learning platforms can deliver support for employees by simplifying their training.
Remote workers can also access various online courses to develop their skills and grow professionally.
Therefore, several companies provide online platforms that host and store learning resources that employees can access whenever they want.
Over the last year, there has also been a significant surge in the usage of language apps, virtual tutoring, and online learning software.
1.4. Manufacturing Automation
The manufacturing industry has faced several challenges after the coronavirus pandemic outbreak as most organisations had to rethink processes and products.
According to a PwC survey, the manufacturing industry “is especially vulnerable given that the bulk of its workforce is employed in on-site jobs that cannot be done remotely. Additionally, given the nature of the industry, manufacturers should be creating social distancing in workplaces that are typically worker-dense (e.g., manufacturing plants, warehouses, material movements and logistics, etc.)”.
Nevertheless, the coronavirus pandemic has given the manufacturing industry the opportunity to improve and optimise the production processes by building smaller and automated factories with technology systems that allow them to change product lines quickly as the demand curve shifts.
Furthermore, these changes bring more opportunities for automation components manufacturers.
1.5. Online Grocery & E-Commerce
In a post-pandemic world, home deliveries are likely to become the future. The crisis has determined people all over the globe to re-examine how they get their groceries.
In other words, the pandemic transformed the economy of home delivery and turned online grocery and e-commerce profitable.
Many consumers tried online grocery delivery for the first time during the lockdown.
According to a study published by Deloitte, “the period of panic-buying has curbed as consumers have become accustomed to the “new normal” of grocery shopping. New shopping patterns, with higher reliance on online and delivery options, have become commonplace. With customers’ expectations in grocery shopping forever changed, the bar to “thrive” is now set high for all grocery retailers.”
The pandemic has also led to a significant surge in e-commerce, involving a shift of transactions from luxury goods and services to everyday necessities.
1.6. Improved Customer Experience
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced a rethinking of what customer care and experience actually mean.
During the lockdown, people needed extra information and guidance to face a new set of challenges, such as using the best products to keep their families safe.
Store closures and physical distancing measures made customer service more challenging than ever, mainly because organisations worldwide dealt with an increased number of calls from customers asking about store closures, working hours, or return and cancellation policies.
As a result, chatbots and virtual receptionists played a significant role in improving the customer service experience during the pandemic.
Chatbots are software applications that use AI to guide customers and provide them with assistance.
However, even in a post-Covid world, customers prefer to interact with humans, not robots.
For this reason, virtual receptionists (that are real agents working remotely) are likely to become incredibly popular for their ability to deliver quick, accurate, and totally personalised responses to customers.
1.7. Virtual Entertainment
Due to physical distancing measures, corporate clients and event planners rely on platforms like Zoom, Google Meets, and Microsoft Teams to host their events.
Virtual entertainment can include digital storytelling, remote team building activities, various workshops (e.g., health and wellbeing workshops), children’s parties, fundraisers, corporate events, product launches, and more.
While the great lockdown has cancelled countless cultural activities (e.g., concerts, film, food, and art festivals, etc.), virtual events have opened doors to people who might not have been able to attend the event physically.
As a result, several artists and organisers have opened up events to a larger audience online and figured out that people may want to attend virtual events even after the Covid-19 pandemic ends.
Currently, event organisers are developing new strategies to hold large-scale virtual events.
1.8. Cloud Kitchens
Cloud kitchens (also known as ghost or virtual kitchens) are designed to prepare food for delivery or takeout only.
Cloud kitchens are an excellent business idea for restaurateurs seeking opportunities to scale, explore new markets, and test innovative ideas while cutting significant expenses (e.g., rent, labour, decor, dinnerware costs, etc.).
Shared kitchens have also become popular.
Shared kitchens are kitchens used by restaurateurs, but a third party owns the space and equipment.
Typically, these kitchens take orders via their official website or delivery apps like Deliveroo or UberEats. For this reason, technology plays a crucial role in the organisation of a cloud kitchen, as integrated technology systems are required to process orders and payments.
Cloud kitchens have gained popularity as they require low financial investment, provide opportunities for experimentation, and rely on modern technology to optimise work and delivery processes.
As the world emerges from the crisis, organisations worldwide are reassessing innovation strategies and finding ways to adapt to the new reality.
The business innovations listed in this post can bring solutions for risk assessment and climate change mitigation (maybe it was time to rethink how we commute to lower our environmental impact).
Therefore, all the business innovations that emerged during the great lockdown can allow the global economy to grow stronger as companies worldwide overcome the current crisis and start planning for the future.
If you want to align your business strategy with new technologies and trends and map a bright future for your company, the B2B HQ team would be glad to help you out. We can provide your business with an innovative virtual office that enables you to work from anywhere while maintaining a physical business presence for nominal costs.
Virtual offices are shaping the future of business in a post-Covid era and allow you to work smarter and more efficiently. For further details, do not hesitate to contact us!