The coronavirus has changed the world in countless different ways. Virtually everyone in the world has been affected by the pandemic in one way or another. A significant portion of this change has been in business and marketing, including how companies do business, how employees work and how customers behave. Here are a few ways business has not only changed, but improved, since the pandemic began in early 2020.
After the start of the pandemic, many companies discovered that their employees can realistically work from home. When faced with the danger of closing completely, business owners quickly actualized the means for their employees to work remotely. This adaptation was necessary to the survival of their company. After all, non-essential businesses were closed to employees and customers for a while. Technology like virtual business networking allowed an easy transition from the main office to home offices. Now, both employees and employers realize all the advantages of remote working, including no navigating rush hours and decreased expenses (e.g., utilities), just to name a couple. Flexible working has become so common that many potential employees view a traditional office situation as a deal-breaker in their search for employment.
The coronavirus pandemic brought life to a screeching halt all over the world. You were no longer able to run to the store or for a last-minute need. There's a good chance the store was closed, or if it was open, whatever you needed was probably out of stock because it was now in high demand. Businesses with a solid online presence were the go-to.
In addition to stores closing their doors, places like gyms did the same thing. Now gym rats had to find alternatives for their daily workouts without all the fancy equipment. Fortunately, people offered more virtual exercise training than before, and some people found new workout routines.
Prioritizing Existing Customers
Although for most businesses, it's nearly always paid to keep the loyal customer base rather than focusing on winning new ones, now more than ever, companies know the importance of these loyal customers. Budgets have been severely cut for some companies during the pandemic, so paying for ads isn't doable for the foreseeable future.
However, when you have a base of customers who love your brand, referral programs can be virtually free advertising for you. It's also the best kind since it's basically word-of-mouth advertising. New customer acquisition has always been more costly than focusing on current customers, but now it's more important than ever since many businesses are struggling financially. Those loyal customers are the reason they're still in business.
Focusing More on Values
The pandemic has made people think more than ever with whom they're doing business. Now it's not as much about better marketing techniques, but being adaptable enough to continue business during the current crisis. Loyal customers will want to support brands they love to keep them in business. They're also supporting more small businesses to keep them afloat during their time of need. Consumers also notice which companies live their values, not just saying the right thing to drum up business.
Direct-To-Consumer Brands are Thriving
Direct-to-consumer brands were already taking off before the pandemic, but the pandemic made them thrive even more. Since DTC businesses don't have to struggle with supply chains (unlike department stores and others), they can offer more competitive prices. Offering great deals and quickly adapting to the changing way of life during the pandemic has helped them build a loyal customer base.
Preparing for the Future
About a year after the coronavirus pandemic began, most people are starting to see glimpses of normality. However, some parts of life will probably never return to normal. Had it not been for the pandemic, many of these changes probably would've never been adopted, or it would've taken quite a while longer. Looking back, business owners are seeing that employees are happier, customers are more satisfied, and therefore, everyone's bottom line is healthier because of it.