It is believed that every 100 years, a new pandemic breaks out that threatens our way of life. So, pandemics such as the modern Covid-19 are not a new occurrence. One of the deadliest pandemics in history was the Justinian plague that started in 1346 and ended in 1353.
Why do these pandemics break out? Largely because viruses have the capability to mutate. A virus that previously had nothing to do with humans, mutates and infects them. Since these viruses are not primarily human diseases, the body fails to recognize them and launch an immediate counter effect. By the time the body adapts to this new virus, it has already taken the form of a pandemic.
Businesses and Digital
While there is nothing new about pandemics, there are things that it has taught us. Perhaps the most important of these is how swiftly and efficiently buying behavior can change. According to a study, online sales are 76% higher this year than they were in June last year!
While the fear of the Corona virus is one thing, one of the strongest factors in this trend are government efforts to curb the virus by way of lockdowns. As people are forced to stay inside their houses, and supermarkets are forced to close, there was only one way to buy your essentials – the internet.
In a way, businesses were forced to adopt ecommerce. Had they not done that, they could not have covered their fixed costs such as labor salaries and rents.
The Changing Online Landscape and How Brands Must React
Organizations that failed to make the shift to digital were forced to shut down in absence of any revenue. At the same time, many new organizations have emerged with a business model that relies entirely on the internet.
But even those that were able to make the shift in time and thrive have witnessed the ecommerce landscape change, primarily in terms of how consumers are scrutinizing every aspect of a brand’s behavior.
Consumers can tell what organizations are simply in this for the money; they are observing organizations that are laying off their staff in these times; they are observing the CSR initiatives; but more so than ever, they are observing how empathetic an organization is. Statistics suggest that 42% Americans will not buy products from an organization that is not empathetic.
In light of this fact, organizations must make changes to their strategy. Firstly, the most significant change must be in how they market their product. Any advertisement simply focused on the functional benefits of the product and continually promoting the brand will fail. All advertisements must look to establish an emotional connection.
Secondly, convenience is the key. People are locked in their homes with minimal interaction to the outside world. This is a rather gloomy situation and discourages any effort on part of the customers. In such cases, your offering will only make a difference if it can add to the convenience of your target audience.
Thirdly, luxury goods are bound to experience a decline in sales. With rampant pay cuts and a predicted recession, consumers are looking to manage their expenses carefully. Rather than buying a golf kit, they are stocking up on toilet papers and food. But this is temporary and any brand that gets desperate in its attempt to sell, will surely create a negative sentiment for itself.
Brands that Have Emerged Victorious
Brands that figured how to react to the pandemic are now on the top and earning huge profits even during the pandemic. Some of the most prominent examples of the brands hitting it out of the park are:
Amazon has been profitable for as long as we can remember. With its online presence, it was apparent that Amazon had no qualms over using the internet as a tool to win. Instead of laying off its workers, Amazon has hired about 175000 people during the pandemic. In addition, it is delivering products at lightning speed to its customers sitting at home. In addition, it offers its streaming services at minimal costs to keep customers engaged. Why wouldn’t it win?
Netflix offers online streaming services for some of the best shows across the globe. In addition, it makes its own high-quality content. In a bid to connect emotionally to its customers and allowing them to connect to each other, Netflix introduced Netflix Party, when the lockdowns began.
Netflix Party allows you to watch content with your friends remotely via internet. So, people locked in their houses could connect with their friends and family. In addition, Netflix made some of its most acclaimed documentaries free for people on YouTube!
Zoom is a video/web conferencing service that suddenly saw a boost when educational institutes and workplaces closed. More and more instructors started using it to conduct their classes while workplaces used them to hold meetings.
When Zoom saw its demand rise, it continuously released updates to curb all security and privacy concerns for all applicants. This helped it secure a distinct space in the customer’s minds and establish brand loyalty.
In making an impact during the changing landscape of the internet, every brand must evaluate its choices carefully, how to contribute towards creating a humanize element to the brand, if need be, how to buy logo / logos to create that customization. The changing behavior of the consumers demands that a brand be conscious in these decisions and consider the externalities like never before. Failure to comply to the new norms will eventually lead the brand to bankruptcy.