Small businesses are gradually recovering from the initial effects of the pandemic that affected many industries around the world. At this point, the use of technology was highlighted as businesses turned to it to allow them to recover.
It also allowed them to connect with their customers who started to flock online for their daily needs. The situation also paved the way for collaborative efforts within the tech sector to help businesses stand up as well as continue the fight against the virus.
Here are some ways businesses adapted to the pandemic with the help of technology.
Even as employees started to return to the workplace after the different states lifted the shelter-at-home orders, it became apparent to closely monitor Covid-19 transmission. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidelines for businesses when they reopen, it’s still important to set contact tracing procedures to help the authorities in their effort to contain the virus.
The contact tracing methods encountered several issues mainly due to the reluctance of some individuals in participating in the process. The process was further complicated by asymptomatic infections where it wasn’t easy to know if someone has the virus or not.
But two of the biggest players in the tech industry, Google and Apple, joined together to build a contact tracing app that is accurate and easy to use. Even as the app became available to iOS and Android users, several states have yet to adopt it for use in their jurisdictions.
Despite this limitation, the app gives businesses a heads up in case someone who tested positive visited the store. This allows them to take the necessary measures to prevent the virus to spread. The concept of partnership can also extend to using apps to enroll in a co responder program to help maintain the mental health of its employees. These apps also help businesses ensure their employees are healthy in the middle of the pandemic.
Big Data and AI
Big data is important for the future and was nice to have in a business. But the pandemic accelerated the importance of data and made it essential for businesses to have to survive the current situation. Aside from its application in the healthcare industry, businesses can also use data to predict demand patterns, consumer behavior, and changes in the market.
To use the data, it’s necessary to use artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze the information before the business can use it. Depending on the programming and available data, AI can provide the things a business needs to streamline its operations.
For instance, it can provide information about the ordering behavior of customers that the business can use to ensure it has enough stocks to meet the demand. It can also provide information about potential disruptions in the supply chain. With this information, a business can look for an alternative source for its products.
One of the most significant changes many businesses went through during the pandemic was adopting digitalization. Many businesses that relied on customers walking into their brick-and-mortar stores suddenly found themselves with no customers. To survive, they had to make their presence felt online.
These businesses had to build a website, create social media pages, and market their products digitally. Additionally, it also resulted in growth in the digital marketing industry as more businesses sought their services to increase their online presence. With social distancing highlighted by authorities, businesses had to rely on digital solutions to reach their market.
Some businesses also had let their employees work remotely. Only a small percentage of the workforce had to work on-site. These were mainly employees of service industries, including restaurants, groceries, and even pharmacies.
The increasing number of remote workers also increased the market of businesses that already had an online presence. Some of these businesses combine digital and physical commerce to meet the needs of their customers. They offered online ordering and payment. They also offered curbside pickup and delivery services.
Even as more people and businesses went online, it became essential for service providers to ensure they offer a reliable network for the consumers to use. And with the rollout of 5G, businesses will have better connectivity and allow them to connect with more customers in the market.
With the majority of the population connected through 5G, businesses should use it to increase sales and offer more products to the market. Additionally, it’s also an advantage for employees who are working remotely since they can easily communicate with their colleagues even if they are located at different ends of the city.
Technology has always been at the forefront of business expansion. The pandemic simply highlighted this and businesses should learn to adopt any innovations, or they’ll be left behind by their competitors.