Many people used to wonder what ‘digital transformation’ actually meant. The Corona crisis has defined it better than anyone ever could – and the message is clear: If you haven’t already jumped on the digital bandwagon, now is the time.
The current crisis has turned everything upside down – not least our shopping behaviors. Categories like clothing, cameras, briefcases and luggage have declined dramatically, while items like sanitizer, cough medicine and bread machines are through the roof.
In light of the global lockdown, it’s no surprise that some items gain in popularity while others don’t. Nor is it surprising that online shopping has exploded.
What’s surprising is that not more businesses are utilizing this shift in behavior to accelerate their digital transformation. Because change is coming – and it’s coming much faster than most had anticipated.
The time to act is now
One thing the crisis hasn’t changed, though, is that the best businesses continue to stand out from competition by delivering excellent customer experiences.
This is particularly interesting as research suggests that now is the time to capture new market shares. In fact, according to Forbes, 50 percent of consumers are more willing to try new brands at this time, and more than a third of financial leaders from consumer markets are saying it will take six to twelve months or longer to get back to business as usual.
In other words, proactivity has never been more critical, which is backed up by Deloitte who recently stated that:
“Companies that invest courageously and timely in pivoting their businesses toward the behavioral changes can capture market shares and emerge as market leaders post-pandemic. Time is now to launch that digital market place, click-and- collect universe or acquire the critical digital talent you have been considering to ensure that your business is fit for fight post-pandemic.”
Short-term actions keep you afloat – long-term thinking creates winners
So, what’s the conclusion?
Well, obviously we can’t be sure. But an educated guess would be that even though nobody knows exactly how consumer patters will look post Corona, we can be fairly certain that e-commerce will not only continue to thrive, but accelerate in speed and adaption – even among the most ‘digitally resistant’ consumers.
Adding to that, chances are that many of the online shopping habits we develop during the crisis will stick, which means that missing out on the current digital transformation can have severe repercussions for your business.
On the positive side, the crisis can also be a turning point – because while short- term reactions can be needed to survive, a long-term view will create a winning business that will thrive long after the Coronavirus is gone.
The most prominent example of this is perhaps the SARS crisis in 2003, which is widely known for kickstarting Alibaba’s e-commerce successes in Asia.
Something similar could very well be seen in the wake of Corona. And even though less will probably do it, the fact remains that it is entirely up to you and your business whether or not you will come out of the crisis a winner.