It is said that after the pandemic nothing will stay the same. Everything will change, including the workflow or communication channels, but the change will also affect the way business is conducted. Not so long ago nobody thought that restaurants would have gone ‘full-time takeaway’ and local fitness clubs would have become ‘full-time online gyms’ for those who wanted to work up a sweat in the middle of the living room. A huge transformation is taking place before our very eyes and it is possible because of technology. Thus, various types of business can survive in the coronavirus era. What has already happened? How will COVID-19 change the world? Who will survive?
Quarantine? For who? For what?
Not so long ago, an Average Joe used to utter the word “quarantine” as often as he used to wash his hands. Moreover, loneliness appeared in a conversation only when reminiscing about the short stay in an infectious disease isolation room because of childhood rubella. American scriptwriters were much quicker in this particular case and they predicted the pandemic a few years ago. The television show entitled “Containment” is a perfect example. The American TV series follows a pandemic that breaks out in Atlanta and the inhabitants are cordoned off under quarantine, fighting for their lives against a deadly enemy. It was very Hollywoodesque back in the days, in 2016. Nowadays, our reality is not as dramatic as depicted in “Containment” but the line between fiction and real life is blurred.
The quarantine has contributed to the rising popularity of platforms such as Netflix or HBO GO, which offer unlimited streaming of movies and TV series . When the sun is shining through the invisible virus wall, there is undoubtedly the only right way to spend free time – watching movies and TV shows. Will we have a revival of cinemas after the pandemic or will we stick to our quarantine routine? We will find out in the months to come.
Our online life
Our social life is practically dead at this point – we have stopped using sports and recreation facilities, we have abandoned going to cinemas, theatres, museums or gyms, we have ceased hanging out with our friends in pubs and restaurants. A hot meal during a lunch break? Oh, dear friend, yes, please. Our lifestyle is drastically changing right now. This raises the question whether the life we lived before the pandemic will ever return in the same form. According to the Pizza Portal’s report, “Almost half of the takeaway food will be ordered via the Internet in 2025 and the supply market will reach the value of PLN 11.8 billion” . So it can be said that the coronavirus has just accelerated this prophetic trend because at the moment a majority of restaurants offer their delectable takeaways with delivery. Those who have shifted toward this system quickly will survive in the new business reality.
“In the era of social exclusion, Facebook has become the main channel of communication with customers – after all, the #stayathome hashtag is now used to relocate life relocation to the digital space. That is why we are able to see increased expenditure on Facebook Ads, as well as the increasingly well planned organic actions: not only declared support for hospitals, but also some tributes paid to all users left home alone. There are live streams on practically every single topic, different online tutorials and training sessions or virtual walks – all these things make isolation time a little bit more bearable, but they also create positive brand awareness through showing solidarity in the coronavirus crisis. This, in turn, will provide a great opportunity to less-known brands which have struggled for survival against majors to date.”, says Aleksandra Mazur, Social Media Specialist & Copywriter at MakoLab.
“Online authors, who treat social media as their job, aren’t lounging about. Most of them have intensified their activity by adding new content (which usually takes a consolatory approach) and exploring new channels. In terms of increasing content generation, conscious selection of distribution is gaining importance. Some of the influencers seem to be very busy – they add YouTube clips, share Instagram relations, broadcast IGTV and… take dance challenges on Tik Tok.”, says Monika Szyszka, Social Media Specialist at MakoLab.
Will a sharing economy go out of date?
A sharing economy approach will change and is inevitable. The services such as car sharing or short-term rental can lose their popularity after the pandemic. We don’t know who used a car before us or who will be our travel companion. The companies do their best by conducting image campaigns such as Panek CarSharing. The main aim of this particular action is to reward volunteers who help seniors and do shopping for them . The prize is quite nice – PLN 70 on a free ride – but it also raises a question: Will it be sufficient? The time will show if the industry remains strong after the pandemic and returns like a comeback kid. Messages are coming from everywhere – it is widely recognized that there will be a dramatic increase in the number of small cars on our roads and the control mechanism alike.
“A research team from Carnegie Mellon University in China and other institutions have released an early version of the application which is claimed to be able to analyse your voice for a potential COVID-19infection. Of course, it isn’t a professional diagnostic system and it shouldn’t replace a medical examination. It means that the technology gives us a wide range of solutions which were just pipe-dreams a few months ago.”, states Dominik Smajek, Head of Mobile at MakoLab. “However, there is something that bothers me – it’s technology which monitors and tracks us. It goes even further than Orwell could have imagined. This is happening with our silent consent. Moreover, no one has asked us about it. For example, there is a tracking technology which is currently being developed by Apple and Google, and it will be able to analyse COVID-19 contacts . I can image a scenario where a smartphone or another device (maybe a chip) will act as a ‘digital passport’ providing access to various services or places.
Watching, buying, ordering a car online
Some brands have already introduced services which offer an opportunity to watch vehicles online. For example, Renault dealers in Poland are able to use the Virtual Car 360 system modules as part of their daily routine. It means that customers can visually examine the car they are interested in without leaving their home. To watch an unlimited number of models, you only need a computer with Internet access and a comfortable couch. Renault in Poland and Hungary also offers a door-to-door service which can be used at the time of booking a service. In practice it means that we are able to arrange a tyre change or another service without visiting an automobile dealer. The staff will come, pick up the car and then return it to the client after the repair has been completed. Check out how to watch thousands of cars online!
Forewarned is forearmed
It turns out that a lot of things in this world can be predicted but a global pandemic paralyzing social life and the economy in 2020 is not one of them. A fire, flood, gas leak, etc. – these things are usually insured against and, if it is possible to do it online, the better for us. Many people had used this method even before the pandemic. Why? It is fast, comfortable and time-saving. Industry giants such as Gjensidige (a leading brand in the Scandinavian insurance market) have been offering their services online for a very long time. That is why our client did not feel any changes caused by the pandemic because its clients did not change their online habits.
E-learning – missed chances and well used opportunities
Even though e-learning is not a new concept at all, its time is right now. It is anticipated that online learning may replace traditional methods in the next few years. When speaking about Polish education, everybody sees that it is not ready for this change at this moment. However, it has a lot of potential to carry the torch for virtual learning in the future.
There is no place for an inflexible business which sticks to its static rules in such a dynamic world. Fortunately, there are some companies in Poland which operate very well despite these hard times. Those enterprises seek solutions, not problems. RIWAL is a perfect example of this approach. The company which has been operating on the Polish aerial work platform rental market continuously since 2008 provides high-quality online training courses with a professional tutor for operators who want to improve their skills and get an international IPAF certificate. Yes, we can!
Quarantine – perfect time to gain new qualifications?
The tutorials, tips & tricks videos (content which fills up the entire YouTube catalogue) and cuisine portals (e.g. Uwielbiam.pl) fulfil an e-learning mission. Have you ever wanted to prepare foie gras at home from scratch? Have you dreamt about becoming a sushi master since you were a child? Or maybe you just want to peel and cut potatoes into equal pieces, right? The time is now! Let’s become a MasterChef!
The compulsory social distancing and the huge amount of spare time – these are perfect conditions for learning. If we were to talk about finding positives in the current situation, time to learn would be one of few.
This is the courier’s world
The last few weeks showed that couriers are among the most important people in our life. Of course, they are the very same people who constantly irritated us by leaving our parcels with our least favourite neighbour without our knowledge and permission, or by treating our package with certain offhandedness. But today? We turn a blind eye to these situations.
At the time when interpersonal contacts have been reduced to a necessary minimum, we are able to present the big winner in the form of the easypack machines. Why? This is an ideal solution from an individual customer’s perspective. The easypack machines have a very competitive delivery price, offer a very large number of locations, provide fast order processing which usually takes no more than 48 hours and, last but not least, there is no need for seeing the courier face to face. To conclude, the vision of giving a post office a wide berth is highly probable in the nearest future (with the exception of recorded delivery parcels the failed—to-deliver note).
Social distancing and online partying
Chats and video conferences have become a natural alternative for everybody with “a little party has never killed anybody’ state of mind. Thanks to the technology, there is a chance that our social life will not become extinct but will gather momentum instead.
We are still able to sit on a couch and talk with our friends while sipping on our favourite beer (discovered for example with The Brewer’s Eye app). Although it is currently impossible to sit with friends in a local pub over a pint of cold beer, you can still test a wide range of beers based on recommendations from The Brewer’s Eye community.
Our life has undergone a great revolution in the recent weeks. The Earth has started spinning backwards and hardly anyone expected that. The bustling streets and boulevards, the entire venous system of urban and rural spaces – everything has gone into hibernation, transferring the real life into virtual reality. The coronavirus pandemic has united almost all inhabitants of the global village called the Earth. Aware of the scale of the looming threat, people all over the world have logged in to life in search of global solutions. Their aftermath will be apparent soon. We only need to wake up in the new present. It is important to prepare for approaches that are compatible with online users’ needs and fully meet their expectations.
Do you need a solution which will be perfectly suited to your business? Please contact us!