Signum.ai | The Future of Business in the Post-COVID-19 World

The Future of Business in the Post-COVID-19 World

May 9, 2020
7 min. read

The world as we have seen it before will never be the same. The concept of a new normal has emerged. The way consumers think and buy has changed extremely fast due to recent events. They are worried about the future, both in terms of their health and the economy. People all around the world are operating in a state of shock. The two most common scenarios for both businesses and individuals currently are either pause all activities and wait for the events to unfold or get overwhelmed trying to manage many things at the same time and adjust to new conditions.

Although we cannot predict all the economic consequences of the pandemic in their full yet, we can already see some patterns that seem like they'll continue after the epidemic using predictive analytics.

We recently released a report where we shared the most important insights, market signals and trends powered by our market intelligence platform.

The current situation raises many questions:

- What should you prepare for in the upcoming months?
- What will businesses look like in the post-COVID-19 world?
- What industries and niches will be growing and which ones will be negatively impacted?
- How will consumer needs change, and what indicators should you be looking for?
- What actions you need to take now to thrive in the post-pandemic future?

The impact of COVID-19 on businesses in China

As a first country to get back on track from COVID-19, we can see that people are returning to work, factory production is gaining momentum, restaurants are opening up (albeit under strict restrictions), and daily life is, for all intents and purposes, slowly resuming.

As the incidence rate of COVID-19 decreases in China, life there is slowly returning to normal. Many service businesses like food delivery have quickly oriented themselves to the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic.

High-speed rail, in combination with advanced e-commerce systems created by market giants such as Alibaba, have quickly turned online delivery into the fastest, cheapest, and easiest option available to Chinese consumers. This new habit is likely to remain in the post-pandemic world.


The impact of COVID-19 on the global market

Disruption of the global supply chain: The virus originated in China. A large number of Chinese citizens were quarantined, leading to a partial or complete shutdown of many factories, which had a global impact. For example, Apple experienced a shortage of iPhone parts.

Changes in e-commerce: On the one hand, since people must stay at home and cannot go shopping in-person, online sales would theoretically increase. On the other hand, e-commerce stores are already seeing a decrease in their conversion rates. Delivery services are doing their best to expand their capacity - Amazon has hired 100,000 workers as orders accumulate.

Logistics: Due to the fact of closed ports and borders, the supply of the goods on the international level has shifted. The only two available options for the market are cargo airlines and truck services, which right now are already in high demand. Although logistics is not the only factor that has been affected by COVID-19, it is indeed one that resulted in a higher transportation cost for business owners.

Negative impacts on verticals associated with personal contact: Businesses all over the world need to change. Those verticals where money turnover is associated with personal contact between the seller and the buyer are experiencing losses. Even if the spread of the virus slows, it will take companies a long time to make up these deficits. It is estimated that COVID-19 will cost the world economy a total of $2.7 trillion when all is said and done (Bloomberg reports).

Verticals of the highest growth

People are now spending inordinate amounts of time at home and need to fill their free time somehow. This is a business opportunity to engage and build trusting relationships with future customers. Creating content has never been so profitable before. With influencer marketing on the rise, it's an opportunity to build a brand that people trust. Post-COVID-19 Era will be all about talking to consumers, not at them. Use this opportunity to engage with future costumers through your content.

The most promising areas to act in:

- Remote work
We’ve created a tool that monitors the number of job postings and vacancies in various industries. We show this data in real-time so you can see which ones are rising and falling. You can monitor the industries here;

- Supplies for working at home
This category includes not only the work service themselves, but also the products necessary for creating a comfortable work area: lamps, keyboards, headsets, computer chairs, and so on;

- Content creation and production
Try to inspire and spread positivity through your social media accounts. You can do this by sharing useful content, suggesting ways to solve common pain points, and openly discussing the consequences of the crisis and what steps are being taken to mitigate them;

- Gaming & Streaming
Online games can be a great way for people to pass the time. Since most of us find it difficult to stay within the same four walls day after day, many actively monitor discounts on games and subscribe to interesting streaming sites.

- Dating and adult content
Adult content and dating services are in demand now more than ever. The reason for this is clear - being isolated at home increases our desire to socialize;

- Home repair / DIY
Since the future is so uncertain, consumers are trying to reduce their costs by doing things themselves. This means refurbishing and making do with what’s at hand, rather than purchasing new equipment and materials;

- Survival kits
Irrational panic continues to spread. As a result, more and more people are interested in products and offers that protect one’s health or help one deal with the crisis.

How to gain momentum in the post-COVID world

Regardless of the impact the pandemic has had on your business so far, you need to answer three key questions now:

- Are you ready to completely rethink your business processes?
- What resources can you use to restart these processes?
- When can you be ready to start?

Tip: Consider a partial reconfiguration. Determine which areas of production or sales will be more profitable in this new environment. Consider going online.

Take a moment to evaluate current processes

Analyze the changes. Think about what needed to be temporarily adapted or permanently deprecated. We’re talking about business processes related to customer flow, conditions for hiring employees, the ability to scale and analyze competitors, as well as those influenced by social and political changes.

Make a clear action plan. Think through each step

Rewrite your cycle model from production to supply to support, taking into account the resources you have available today. These are things like personnel and funds.

Take it one step at a time

Remember, that at this point, you are literally re-launching your business. You will need a step-by-step launch plan to give yourself room to pivot as needed. Take it one step at a time and religiously track how effective each action is. Be prepared to quickly test hypotheses and find new best practices. 


Think about both your online and offline actions

Online strategy:
Work with your company leadership team remotely to build out a new strategy, action plan, guidelines, and best practices. When you have enough resources to revitalize your business, the rest of your employees can return for duty with newly relevant instructions in hand.

Offline strategy:
Neither employees nor partners nor customers should visit the office until it is safe and absolutely necessary. Remember, safety should be your key concern.

Build the right communications system

Work with key employees to introduce a new corporate culture and a positive mindset. Then have them work on this with their respective teams.

Get your customers’ perspectives

Don’t just try to imagine what it would be like to walk in your customers’ shoes. Set up direct lines of communication with current and former customers and ask them for their perspectives. Be sincere in your messaging. Try to build a strong relationship and help them overcome the crisis.

This article is a short summary of our report "The Future of Business in the Post-COVID-19 World". In the full report, you can find more data insights that we gathered and analyzed on the post-COVID trends and get a free checklist for businesses: How to gain momentum in the post-COVID world. Read more here.

No matter your company size, industry, or data needs, Signum.ai has a solution to help you drive sales, product and marketing success, powered by artificial intelligence.