Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the global economy has been hit hard and god knows when it will be on track. Manufacturing, travel, hotel, automobile, transportation, oil & gas, hospitality, you name it, each and every industry has suffered economically in this COVID-19 pandemonium.
Some have affected more while some have little less. Safety measures like social distancing and complete lockdown have forced people to stay at home and due to this, those businesses which require manpower to operate or customer’s presence, have come to a standstill.
On the other hand, there are few industries and businesses like Video conferencing & collaboration, Audio & Video Streaming apps, Fintech, Edtech, Grocery, and businesses that operate online have found their way to be financially stable or in some cases have witnessed unexpected growth.
In this article, we are going to talk about industries that have stayed strong despite the crisis and why digitization of the business will be the new normal after the Post COVID-19 situation. We will also go through the anatomy of online business and know how it works.
Why Digitize Your Business: Advantages of Digitization
So why is Digitization is good for business?
If you look at the above-mentioned businesses, you would find that these are the firms that had started as a complete digitized platform.
Take, for example, an online grocery delivery, customers can download and register on the platform, shop for the groceries they want from the app, and pay through the app. The only physical interaction comes when a grocery delivery guy comes to deliver your groceries.
But let’s go through the overall advantages of digitizing your business and shed a light on why digitization could in the future help you keep going even in a situation like COVID-19.
One of the first and foremost benefits you get by digitizing your business is the decreased operating cost of your business. Due to the digitalization of business, every document and important data goes into cloud storage. Hence, you don’t need any paper, physical place, and resources to manage it. This ultimately leads to a much lesser cost to run your business.
Important information written on the papers and stored locally can be stolen easily. But if you have an online business, your data and private information stay safe. Sophisticated security algorithm protects vital business and customer data.
Customers and your employees can access their respective data online through mobile devices or desktop devices on the internet. This facilitates the overall process to happen faster than the physical business. By digitizing your business, customers can get access to your products or services 24/7. Moreover, if customers have any queries, your support staff can aid them in solving their problems.
Now, this is simply the sole cause of your business to move online. You can encourage more customers to buy your products or services through digital transformation.
Today, people prefer online platforms more than ever. From booking a flight to ordering food, from online transactions to grocery shopping, people would give preference to websites or mobile apps. Therefore, moving your brick & mortar store to the online is a good idea for getting more customers and increasing business. It enhances customer experience to a great extent.
While the number of mobile users in the world is increasing exponentially, it becomes imperative for you to implement a mobile-first strategy for your business. People love mobility. They like booking a cab on the go. They admire the apps that allow them to hire handymen through just a few taps. To cut it short, customers will favor using the app than going physically and using the services.
With the 2 million apps in Playstore and 2.2 million apps in the App store, many businesses have already taken advantage of mobile apps for their business growth.
These are some of the few benefits of digitizing your business. Let me give you some practical benefits of having an online business.
Below I have mentioned businesses that have managed to excel their business even in the COVID-19 pandemic. And they are still doing great due to digitization.
These Businesses Are Doing Great in the COVID-19 Pandemic
Believe it or not, where the global economy has been upended with the Covid-19 crisis, those who have an eCommerce store are witnessing a surge in the number of buyers.
Getting bored with this lockdown period and to fulfill their cravings of shoppings, shopaholics or even normal people have started to rely on eCommerce apps. They know that only these online stores are capable of delivering needed things at their doorstep.
Video Conferencing & Collaboration Firms
Do you know in this COVID-19 pandemonium, where social distancing and work from home have become a new normal, business video conferencing apps have been downloaded in record numbers? 62 million downloads from 14th march to 21 march! Yes, that’s the number of combined downloads of these conferencing apps.
Zoom Cloud meeting, Google Hangout, and Microsoft teams have topped the chart witnessing a high number of users in the US, UK, and Europe.
Employees and teams are using these apps for strategizing and collaborating on their ongoing projects. Whereas, families have found a new and safer way to connect with their loved ones on these conferencing apps.
Reports have claimed that Zoom Video Communications have seen massive growth in their share price (130% growth) from the starting of this year.
Not only the video conferencing app, but other B2B collaboration tools like Trello, Evernote, Slack, and more are also being used more than ever by the big companies to stay on the same with their employees.
Streaming & Video Content Platforms
These perhaps are the most beneficiary segment of the businesses who are witnessing a surge of users due to digitization of business.
People need to occupy their children by providing them a dose of daily entertainment through streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney, or more. The reason is there are no other ways that can tame their children in this lockdown.
Adults have also found an alternative to kill their time by replacing their habit of shopping and going to pubs, clubs, beaches, parks, and theatres through these streaming platforms.
Investors are also betting on Netflix, as subscribers all over the world have been increasing at a rapid rate. According to the market watch, Netflix has seen an all-time high share price during the coronavirus outbreak.
Read Also: How to Start Streaming Service like Netflix?
Online Grocery Delivery
It’s not surprising that grocery delivery businesses are experiencing the best time of their business in the COVID-19 outbreak.
Where local grocery stores and shops have been shuttered due to lockdown, people are forced to buy their weekly groceries from online platforms like Instacart and Amazon Fresh.
Online grocery delivery Ocado had to close its website for a temporary time due to increased flux of users purchasing their groceries from the online store. The share price of Ocado rose due to more numbers of users having started to put online orders. The company has assured that it will reopen the bookings as soon as the supply of the grocery will meet the demand of the people.
Read Also: How to Start Grocery Delivery Company?
Fintech & Online Payment Platforms
As eCommerce has seen a rising trend in shoppers, digital payment systems are also witnessing soaring transactions amid this pandemic.
In this uncertain COVID 19 situation where cash transactions are nothing but an invitation to unwanted virus spread, people are more inclined towards cashless transactions. Every online platform has integrated payment gateways like Paypal, Stripe, and Amazon Pay, and more.
According to TechCrunch, fintech will be one of the trending categories among Edtech, SaaS, Healthcare, and Cybersecurity in which VCs are going to invest for better results.
Read Also: How to Start a Fintech Company?
The above-mentioned examples pretty much clear why and how digital innovation has helped these platforms.
Healthcare sectors and educational sectors are also understanding the need for digitizing more than ever, as online consultation and booking has become a common sight in this scenario. Apps like Practo and Doctor on Demand have flooded with the patients asking for online consultation.
Online learning platforms like BYJU’s, Udemy, and Unacademy are experiencing a rush in the students and educators registering in it.
Industries Affected in COVID-19 & How to Digitize Them?
So these were the positively influenced Industries & businesses but what about those industries which have been striked hard by the COVID-19? Let’s discuss how they are affected and why digitization is required in these domains.
Car sellers & dealers have seen a major hit by the pandemic. Especially those who only operate their business on-site. As social distancing has become a norm in this day, people purchasing a car have turned to online before stepping foot in a dealership. Thanks to companies like TrueCar that allow people to buy a car and complete the paperwork from home. Even they deliver the car to your home.
Maybe your business wouldn’t have affected this much if you have transformed your showroom into a digital marketplace equipped with Virtual reality car models. Car lovers can virtually open the door, view 360 views of inside and outside of view and other important things of the car, and book the car.
The supply chain flow has also been affected due to social distancing guidelines. However, due to major demand in the groceries and medical supply, transportation and trucking companies are running on government guidelines.
Some trucking companies were reluctant to digitize their business and incorporate software tracking systems and digital documentation due to some misconceptions before the pandemic. They considered it unnecessary. But with the increasing risk of Coronavirus spread, the companies have understood the need for digital signature and trucking software. Even they have come to know that these technology steps increase operational efficiency.
According to Reed who is vice president of business development and supply chain optimization at global transport and logistics company GEODIS, “the trucking companies are going to favor more digital-savvy operations after the COVID-19 crisis.”
Read Also: Uber for Trucks: Ultimate Transportation & logistics technology solution
By temporarily imposing lockdowns, governments have taken some required steps to safeguard the consumers as well as the workforce that works on a manufacturing unit. As manufacturing jobs are on-site and can not be done remotely, the sector has been impacted majorly.
In the coming months, factory owners and manufacturing owners should consider automation solutions to reduce the number of workers on the factory floor. They will have to understand why digitization is needed. Manufacturers that have already incorporated solutions should ramp up by considering new digital solutions. Those who have not yet thought of it should focus more on digitizing their factories. They should focus on tools like autonomous material movement, industrial robotics, IoT solutions, and AI solutions which lessen the reliance on manpower.
In the upcoming time, big corporate offices will have to take preventive measures to stop the COVID-19 spread in office spaces. For example, airports are implementing infrared cameras to measure the body temperature of passengers to determine if they have a fever.
You can implement this technology in your office to measure the temperature of your employees. Smart office solutions will allow operating the windows, lights, and other things to control through mobile phones, which more or less reduce the risk of the spread of coronavirus happens through touch.
Why This Crisis Demands Digitization of Your Business? (Importance of Digitization)
There surely will be a paradigm shift in the way people are doing business or have done. It will be divided between Pre COVID-19 and the Post-COVID-19 era.
Novel Corona has in a way made business owners think more about digitization. It has encouraged people to create a sustainable business that does not wobble in this kind of economical crisis. They have understood the importance of digitization in business.
Of course, humanity has survived many such pandemics (1918- Spanish flu) and economic crisis (the great depression in the 1930s and the great recession in 2008). And there may be some other crisis in the future. Having an online business will guarantee a smooth run in a crisis like COVID-19 where there is no way of doing business physically. Below mentioned infographic lets you know how has These kinds of pandemic affected businesses in the past.
How Does Online Business Work?
The USA and other countries are already undergoing recession and unemployment. Also, the lockdown has given these jobless people and physical business owners to take some time and think about their business aspirations. This might cause them to think, “How Does Online Business Work” or “How to Digitize My existing Business?”
I have listed Some steps through which you can start your online business. Expand the section and go to our other resource where you will find a complete guide on how online business works for different industries.
Types of Online Businesses (Different Business Ideas)
Deciding the business you want to start can be a tricky process. If you are fortunate then probably you know what your niche is. If you will search on the Internet, you would find many online businesses operating on a different business model and various scales. Below I have listed some of the business ideas which work on app-based ideas.
Top Examples of Online Businesses
Also, if you do not want to go deeper into particular types of business and have any idea of a popular app, then you can start your online business.
As I have explained today, apps like Netflix, Trello, Zoom, Paypal, and more are popular among users in this Pandemic, you can choose any one of them. Below I have listed some of the popular examples of different apps that are generating handsome revenue despite COVID-19 situation. Explore the full article to know more deeply about these apps and how they become top apps in their domain.
How to Save a Failing Small Business Through Digitization?
Are you operating a physical business that is on the verge of collapsing in this COVID-19 outbreak?
Chances are in this situation you are actively looking for the strategies to revive your business. Don’t worry, Digitization can uplift your business in such a grim time.
One of the most responsible factors that affect the business is losing regular customers. Your loyal ones!
But if you dig through your problems, you would find there is a deep underlying problem with your business strategy. Maybe it’s your business model. Maybe you are not keeping up with the new trends. Maybe you have taken your customers for granted.
To keep your customers coming back to your business, you must adopt a new approach. A new approach of digitization. A new way of reaching your customers.
Digitizing can be done in multiple ways. You can incorporate the latest technology that could enhance your customers’ experience. You can build an engaging website or a mobile application for your business as I have explained earlier. There are multiple technologies out there that could facilitate you in elevating your business. AR (Augmented reality), VR (Virtual Reality), IoT (Internet of things), Chatbots, and other trending technologies are transforming today’s business.
Restaurants are considering building a dedicated mobile app or an AR menu to attract more foodies. Ecommerce businesses are integrating Chatbots or Live chat so that they could provide their customers an experience they deserve. Startups are investing in Fintech, Edtech, Cloud computing, SaaS software, Telemedicine, and more. It’s time for you to take the much needed first step with digitizing your business.
There is hardly any industry that is immune to an uncertain economic crisis. It is the strategy and understanding of what the current time requires makes successful businesses different from the failing businesses.
Your industry requires digitization. People are making themself aware of it. They are embracing new technologies. They are learning new ways to buy, use, enquire, search, and implement their needs. The question is: Are you ready to deliver them this experience? OR Why is digitization good for business?
If you want to talk about why digitizing your business, feel free to contact us. Also if you have any online business ideas, let’s talk!
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FAQs on Digitizing the Business
Digitization is the process of converting your physical documents like text and picture to digital form.
On the other hand, digitalization means converting your whole business to online business through digitization. For digitalization to happen there must be digitization.
You can start by converting your paper-based documents to digital documents. Then gradually, you can move your whole business operation to the cloud.
You should digitize your business because your users are on the internet. It provides your user convenience and comfort they are looking for. Also, it is beneficial for your business as it provides security and helps businesses grow and provides security.
Depending on your budget and interest, you can start any kind of app or website that provides value to your customers.
You can build online platforms like Uber, Airbnb, or other on-demand delivery apps and websites as your startup. Also, you can start a SaaS-based platform for starting a digital business.
Define the goals of your business after evaluating the current situation. 1) Decide the budget 2) Choose the right technology 3) Create a digital culture 4)Track the progress