Here is a look at the role digitization has played in helping businesses survive during COVID-19.
The COVID-19 crisis has forced many of us to reorganize our everyday lives, including work, leisure, entertainment, and school. With public health guidelines like stay-at-home restrictions, school closures, travel bans, public gatherings ban, and maintaining social distance to minimize the spread of the virus, digital tools have come in handy in terms of helping people create some impression of normalcy. Businesses have also turned to these tools to help them operate efficiently and lessen the impact of Covid-19.
Through digitization, many businesses have managed to remain in operation by allowing their staff to work from home. Even those that were against the remote working model have turned around with speed and are allowing their employees to work remotely so that they can get work done while observing measures to curb the spread of the virus. One of the most important things that the pandemic has taught many companies is the value of accelerating digital transformation.
In this new age of social distancing and heightened health concerns over COVID-19, companies have been forced to cancel their face-to-face meetings and meet virtually. Going virtual has gained massive popularity because it helps organizations skip rescheduling or cancellations. It also helps them host meetings more regularly due to its cost-friendly and time-saving nature. Virtual meeting platforms provide tons of interactive tools like forums and Q&A that can make meetings more engaging and interactive. Thanks to digitization, businesses are taking advantage of virtual platforms to meet with their employees working at home as well as engage with their clients.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, mobile applications have registered increased usage in various industries. Grocery and food delivery apps, for instance, have seen an uptick in the number of users. In the United States, these apps have witnessed a 15 percent surge in total sessions than a few weeks before the pandemic. The usage of these apps has also surged in European markets.
The eCommerce sector has witnessed some gains, as well. With people staying at home most of the time and limited opportunity to shop at their preferred brick-and-mortar stores, many have turned to online markets. As a result, digital shopping has emerged as a valuable solution for reducing risks of virus transmission due to its ability to do away with face-to-face contact.
The value chain is the heart of businesses of any size and type. Keeping the value chain operational, even during a pandemic, is extremely important. Many companies have managed to keep their value chain disruptions as minimal as possible by working with digitally transformed suppliers. Some are even planning global expansion, especially those dealing with essential products and services. Coming up with robust digital-marketing strategies can help companies considering international expansion to deal with the unknowns related to expanding globally.
Digitization allows the automation of recurring activities or processes in each department. By taking advantage of this capability, many businesses have automated many of their repetitive processes. They have provided their staff with convenient access to all the required tools, applications, data, and communications. This fresh and brand-new work environment has drastically brought down distracting events like water cooler gossips, longer than programmed meetings, and long commute hours. As a result, businesses have significantly improved workforce efficiency and minimized disruptions.
By using digital channels like social media platforms, website, and teleconferencing, and embracing their transparent policies, many businesses have maintained open communication with their customers. This move has helped them provide an attractive, transparent, and safe online shopping experience. Their customers are, in turn, appreciating this business continuity during a global health emergency and are rewarding them with repeat orders along with positive social proof.
COVID-19 has revealed the significance of digital preparedness, which enables businesses to continue operating as per usual during pandemics. Investing in the right technology infrastructure to meet the demands of an increasingly digitized world coupled with keeping up with the latest advances in technology will give any business a competitive edge in a post-COVID-19 period. Also, a company that’s doing business internationally can benefit from speeding up its digital transformation.