The new coronavirus not only came to test the survival of businesses, but will also mark a turning point in the way businesses reach consumers. There will inevitably be irreversible changes in the behaviors of customers, suppliers and employees.
Unlike other moments of crisis that a business may face, when for example it sees its income fall gradually due to some impact of the market, this pandemic has not given any warning to make contingency plans. Discretionary or non-essential consumer expenditures took a turn in a matter of days: movies, trips, outings to restaurants, buying clothes or shoes, today everything happens under a more austere analysis of personal finances.
This is not necessarily because consumers have learned to use their income more rationally, but because their cash flow has dropped off suddenly. Whether it is because of unemployment, because they reduced their working hours or suspended them temporarily, now workers must rethink how to spend their money.
All this changes the dynamics of spending, but what is applied today could change the way things are done even after the hardest phase of the crisis is over. The key to this change is to monitor the changes and quickly take advantage of them. In the midst of the crisis, the creativity of many will be tested and revolutionary ideas may emerge.
E-commerce is an old acquaintance that is getting stronger and there is still more time to know which will be the winning and losing sectors after the crisis. Some markets that had not encouraged e-commerce will now take the leap, and may not go back to the way they did the processes before. Others that already knew it, see the demand grow:
- Supermarkets increase their sales and the entire agrifood industry comes out of the crisis stronger
- Online sales of health and hygiene products are booming and cleaning service companies are turning to online marketing of their services
- Logistics services, as the last link in the e-commerce chain, have seen their work multiplied.
- Security companies are unable to cover surveillance services in all types of companies
Companies will also see how they have to adapt to new times and new circumstances:
- The way of negotiating with suppliers and the policies of teleworking employees will change drastically because many of the emergency solutions that have been applied during the crisis have proved to be more effective than traditional organization.
- The customer experience must be strengthened because the online customer is much less loyal and companies will have to guarantee that the sales process will be of quality at each of its stages.
Some calculations indicate that businesses that keep their doors open after the coronavirus must learn to navigate in the best possible way and be aware the loss of income can reach between 35% and 75% and this scenario will continue for several years.
What to do in the midst of this blow? There is no time to plan, you must act quickly in three steps:
- Stabilize the supply chain
- Strengthen delivery services
- Develop cost reduction programs
If there is one thing you should be clear about, it is that doing things the same way is not an option. You need to quickly do a financial scenario projection exercise and the effect of the crisis on the cash flow of the business (always the damn cash flow!).