Digital adaptation to COVID-19 – How to prepare your business

Monday, 23 March 2020  |  Posted in: Most Recent, News  |  5min read

The global Coronavirus pandemic is having an enormous effect on the way we all think about business-as-usual. Companies all over the world are accelerating digital transformation plans to help mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on people, products, services and their businesses.

We are already seeing short-term digital adaptation approaches such as transitioning to working from home and a shift from person-to-person meetings to video conferencing affecting staff efficiency. The future may even see us having to ration our internet use as we all try to work and run our businesses offsite sitting next to our kids watching Netflix while being kept home from school.

The reality is that even though we are experiencing significant disruption to our business-as-usual lives some things have not changed:

  • Businesses still have to adapt to consumer needs and a changing digital landscape that is only changing more rapidly as we enter greater social isolation
  • Businesses still need to operate in an effective, streamlined way through technology – now more than ever to combat the lost efficiencies of working from home or offsite
  • Consumers still need to purchase their products, advice, programs and services being offered in most instances and these options need to be provided online as much as possible
  • Businesses still need to educate and create awareness of their brands, product and services and market them effectively through advertising, content marketing, lead and sales strategies and initiatives

How prepared are you to continue to meet these needs on behalf of your customers and staff?

Many things can be done in the short, medium and long term to help navigate through the current crisis and prepare for the future.

Short-term strategies

One of the most important things you can do right now is to review your digital ecosystem and ensure it is optimised for meeting the current needs of your customers and staff. Even if you are not in a position to optimise your current situation, just being aware of your weaknesses and limitations allows you to be pro-active in addressing them.

Social media and email marketing should be put to use as part of your short-term marketing strategy to keep your customers updated on your preparedness, what actions you are taking and where they can find more information. One of the best examples of businesses being proactive on digital platforms is the number of restaurants using digital communications platforms to advise customers that they are moving to online ordering and delivery rather than having customers dine-in, a luxury that is now being restricted anyway.

Medium-term strategies

In the medium term, the best thing to start considering is how you rebuild trust, customer bases, systems and processes. The digital environment will continue to rapidly change once the worst of the Coronavirus pandemic has passed and those that have started to prepare for the recovery stage will be off to a quicker start.

Can you be in discussions with existing suppliers to get back on track quickly or fast track the development of new products or services so you have something new to get to market to capture the attention of customers again? What digital tools do you need to make this happen?

We are expecting there to be a bounce in interest for SaaS applications as companies rush to get projects off the ground quickly to capitalise on the opportunity created by a month of reduced capacity. While in the long-term you might move to more robust and custom-built solutions like WordPress or Kentico Xperience, simple websites and eCommerce stores can be set up on subscription-based platforms. Services like Amazon Workspaces can be implemented quickly to facilitate staff working from home.

Long-term strategies

Now is the time to be looking at what is failing and prepare for the next major disruption. Take note of the issues as specifically as possible and any downstream effects you are seeing as this will assist in the building of business cases for future large digital projects.

Already we are seeing interest in more expansive hosting arrangements, web and mobile app development that facilitates better online experiences, upgrades in the digital supply chain to more robust suppliers, custom development to replace third-party applications and even early discussions for entirely new digital communication platforms that will help improve internal communications for when the next crisis occurs.

Digital adaptation builds business resilience

This pandemic has changed the world forever and much of the business world response will be to investigate digital options for making businesses more resilient and able to meet customers expectations regarding the brands, products and services they love.

We at The Digital Embassy are here to support our clients and established organisations faced with assessing and implementing their digital strategies and online initiatives both during and after the global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whether you’re redeveloping a website to support eCommerce, optimising paid online advertising effectiveness or using social media to communicate with your customers, stakeholders and digital consumers, our web agency can support your organisation by extending its capacity with access to our team of skilled digital and marketing professionals as well as digital transformation services to help fast track your initiatives.

Get in touch with our Solutions Team and find out more about our current services can support your digital initiatives.

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