Will the coronavirus change how we shop, travel and work for years?

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Today the world is paralyzed due to a crisis caused by COVID-19 or coronavirus. The world pandemic declared by the WHO has not only affected the health of millions of people, generating the greatest health crisis in recent times, it has also affected the economy of many countries, including the strongest economies.

 

Every crisis leaves a legacy, and this crisis that the world suffers is going to change the way we all shop, how we plan to travel and also the way we work. We can say that these routine actions have undergone such a great change that they will surely not return to their total normality.

 

In this article we tell you about how we think the coronavirus will change how we shop , travel and work . We encourage you to think about how this paradigm shift is going to affect your business or work as you read this article.

Surely you already know what coronavirus is, but to be clear here we explain:

“Coronaviruses represent a family of viruses that normally cause respiratory diseases. These can range from the common cold or flu to more serious illnesses like Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

 

 

1. Background:

It is no secret that this is not the first crisis that the world has suffered, in fact it is important to remember the most recent one before the coronavirus. For this we are going to go back several years, exactly to 2008.

 

The 2008 international financial crisis originated through the US mortgage problem, which affected not only the entire economy of that country, but also those of many others, including members of the European Union. But there are also other examples …

The Asian financial crisis was a period of financial difficulty that gripped Asia in July 1997, raising fears of a global economic disaster from financial contagion.

Another example of a global economic crisis is the Great Depression , also known as the Crisis of 29, it was a major global financial crisis that lasted during the 1930s.

All these crises, at the time, generated changes in how society operates and that lasted over time.

And like all previous crises, this one is not going to be the exception. It also has an additional implicit ingredient, which is the increasingly present digitization of the world (yes everything … not just companies) together with the temporary burial that confinement has meant for the few activities that currently maintain social contact; such as going to a restaurant, going out to shops to buy, enjoying leisure places and moments, or sharing with co-workers.

Sometimes they are small and ethereal changes in behavior , how can it be a greater tendency to save after a financial crisis; and sometimes they are big changes in behavior and to stay , as it seems will happen with this crisis.

 

 

2. Consumer behavior in times of coronavirus (and the importance of knowing how to adapt the business):

 

Surely one of the most frequently asked questions is when all this is over, will we return to normal, or will there be a new normal? There is no certain answer, it will have to be experienced when it arrives. What is clear is that this situation is already changing consumer behavior (by force).

The crisis has caught many companies in the process of digital transformation, for which the current situation will cause this process to accelerate (they are at a good starting point); while other companies are unfortunately more behind, which, far from discouraging them, should motivate them to put their foot on the accelerator. Very few companies are those that arrived at this crisis with all the duties done.

Online stores come to lighten the economic impact on companies, and it will be the norm that all businesses, that their business niche allows, must address first if they want to survive. However, this will generate a host of collateral events that will make having an ecommerce not enough.

 

The increase in online stores will obviously also lead to increased competition in the digital medium. Although this is expected to be offset by the increase in online shoppers, it remains to be seen if the increase in supply and demand will go hand in hand, or if, on the contrary, this paradigm shift ends up accelerating more than one. other. In this case, logic (and reality) says that it would be consumers who will go faster than businesses, simply because they are more easily adaptable, which would be good for those companies that arrive first in the e-commerce race. .

With the increase in the offer it is natural that consumers become more demanding, with everything! That is why we focus on differentiation and the customer experience (or Customer Experience).

To find that differentiation, the main thing, as always in marketing, will be to meet our new consumer. Yes, the new, because the old will no longer exist. It is time to redo the Buyer Persona, and to review them periodically, because as long as the uncertainty continues, everything will change very quickly, and identifying it quickly will make a difference.

 

3. Teleworking:

The Telework is a method of organizing work activities, which performs professional activity without the physical presence of the worker at the company for a significant part of their working hours. I mean, without adorning yourself, it’s about working from home .

This is a method that several companies had already adopted at the convenience of themselves and the worker, and that the confinement generated by the crisis has forced those that do not.

That is why the current global crisis will change the way we work, how we interact with customers and, therefore, how we are going to sell. For this reason, we recommend that you start considering this method (not only during confinement), since in most cases it is a win-win for the employer (cost reduction) as well as for the employee.

 

4. Online education:

It is another case similar to teleworking. Online education is nothing new, but what is new and nobody expected (so soon at least) is the impact suffered by all those educational entities that did not have this model in their offer. However, those that do have been able to take advantage of the moment to expose their brand in parallel to a goodwill action .

An example of this is Coursera, a company that has a wide range of online education, which in response to the coronavirus opened its entire range of courses to any university in the world that wants them. On the one hand, this helps those universities that did not have a robust online preparation to face this situation, and in turn puts Coursera on everyone’s lips, generating a positive image and brand awareness, which in the future will surely translate into growth of the company.

 

If you have an educational institution and you do not have an online offer, surely you are already exploring options, but if not … it is already taking time!

 

5. Tourism:
As time has passed, traveling has become more and more accessible to people who want to do so.

Tourism companies (whether they are airlines, cruises, hotels, tours, etc.), and the tourism sector in general, has been one of the pioneers in adopting digital as their first business provider. They are ready for digital, but sadly the confinement suffered by a large percentage of the world’s population has completely wiped out the industry.

But it remains to be seen how this will affect consumer behavior once the borders are reopened. Perhaps it is the industry that has the most uncertainty in this regard. It is to be expected that for many of the travelers this crisis will put the risk of contagion on their radar, as something negative, during their purchase process.

So in this process it is best to pause and start creating strategies to raise the confidence of the tourist again, remove the fear of traveling again. The companies in this sector (airports included) will have to take great care of hygiene and safety details, as they will be reviewed with a magnifying glass.

Informing clients, or interested parties, of the measures that we as a company are taking to ensure their physical safety and health, will be essential if the traveler’s trust is to be restored, and it is a task that the industry in general must tackle as a team .

In short, it will take time for tourists to trust again to travel again, so you must regain trust and offer incredible experiences, as you have always done, but now also safe in terms of health.

 

6. Health:

The coronavirus has come to directly affect the health of human beings as a single race. They do not understand nationality, socioeconomic status or sex; collapsing healthcare systems around the world.

The current crisis has only shown that no country was prepared for this type of disease that takes the lives of thousands of people around the world. But it has also been seen that in times of crisis, the human being also brings out the best of himself. The universal vaccine, something that was previously only talked about at conferences (like this one by Bill Gates), has come to be commented on by everyone. This gives hope that the different countries of the world and the scientific community will join economic and political efforts for the common good of the human being. Will we be facing a solidarity boom ? I wish!

 

7. Final considerations:

The world is experiencing a great depression that has paralyzed everyone. People have learned that if there is no health, the rest of the social and economic activity is going to suffer. But in the face of all adversity: adaptation

 

Finally, some tips to apply in these moments of crisis that will help you to be more empathetic with users and, hopefully, more sales:

  • Meet the new consumer who created the crisis. What changes has your behavior undergone? What changes has it brought about in society?
  • Think, draw and theorize about how the new Buyer Journey that this consumer will walk will be like when purchasing your service or product. (Spoiler alert: it will be different than the current one.)
  • Invest in customer experience. It is time to build lasting relationships and the opportunity is there.
  • Show empathy. We know that many companies are not having their best time and it is very easy to fall into despair. This is not the time for this, that it does not cause you to generate insensitive sales communications, because they will punish you.
  • And last but not least important, but the opposite: Transformation digital YA !!!

If you want to know how to implement a marketing strategy in the face of this crisis, please contact us here: Click here

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