Four key business trends to emerge after COVID-19

No one knows exactly what is going to happen to the economy after lockdown, however, it is safe to say that things will be different. And that means most businesses will need to adapt if they are to become more resilient and prosperous in this new trading environment.

Research from leading data insight companies, such as Kantar (COVID-19 Barometer) and McKinsey (COVID-19: Briefing Note, May 13 2020), are beginning to identify key consumer trends as we leave lockdown.  Here are four that we believe will have a significant impact on many UK businesses. 

A new wave of digital shoppers

Kantar reports that ecommerce will continue to outperform traditional retail in the year ahead.  Almost one in three households (32% overall – 40% of households with children) have increased or significantly increased their ecommerce spend during lockdown.

McKinsey’s research shows that UK businesses in the B2B sector rate digital channels as almost three times more important than they were before COVID-19. This is across all business sectors, including many of which that had very little digital activity previously.

Expect an extended period of value-consciousness

According to Kantar, 45% of households have already seen their income fall during COVID-19 with a further 1 in 4 (26%) expecting their income to be impacted in the future.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics (Business Impact of COVID-19 Survey) show that 60% of businesses in the UK reported a decrease in turnover in the first few weeks of lockdown, with expectations of sustained lower turnover in the months to come.

This will inevitably have significant impact on business expenditure and investment as we leave lockdown.  It will also mean B2C brands will use discounts and promotions to drive demand.

Localism will become mainstream

Kantar reports that the sourcing and production policies of brands will become a more important factor for mainstream consumers.  All over the world, consumers are now more in favour of products that are have been produced locally, with 65% of people in favour of buying goods and services from their own country.

For businesses, the FT reports that COVID 19 has laid bare the weaknesses in existing supply chains and there are already examples of many switching to a local supply of services and raw materials.

How we work will be different

You can expect to see some big changes for how we work in the future. Forbes Magazine cites research that suggests working remotely will become more normal with continued use of technology such as video conferencing.

The way businesses engage with customers will also change as there will be ongoing restrictions on face to face interactions which will impact the sales teams of many businesses.  Online customer portals will be commonplace for many business sectors.

Time to do more with less

The COVID-19 crisis has presented you in a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform your business into something more resilient, productive and profitable. You now need to do more with less.

Blue Wren have the expertise and the software platform to help you. So, if you would like to discuss how we can help, please don't hesitate to get in touch. You can do so by calling the office on 01772 823734 or getting in touch via our enquiry form.