The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented event that has changed our world in numerous ways. One of the most noticeable changes has been the rapid growth of technology and internet usage across the world. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technology, making it the most important factor for businesses and individuals alike.
In this article, we will explore the reasons behind the boom in technology and internet usage during the COVID-19 crisis.
● Remote Work And Digital Collaboration
In-person communication is eliminated by remote work during the covid-19 crisis. But we discovered that participants did not merely substitute video and/or voice conversations for in-person interactions. We found that introducing remote work across the entire organization caused an overall drop in synchronous communication, such as scheduled meetings and audio/video calls. Yet, we found that employees who worked remotely used more asynchronous forms of communication, such as emails and instant messages, than those who did not. The media richness theory, the media synchronicity theory, and other hypotheses are supported by earlier empirical findings. While employing different communication channels, it could be more challenging for staff members to convey complicated information and/or come to an understanding regarding its interpretation.
The pandemic, covid-19 crisis forced many companies to shift their operations to a remote work model. This meant that employees had to work from home and use digital collaboration tools to communicate and collaborate with their colleagues. Video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams became the norm for online meetings and communication during the covid-19 crisis. Collaboration tools like Slack, Trello, and Asana also saw a significant increase in usage as teams used them to stay organized and communicate.
This shift towards remote work and digital collaboration tools also led to a rise in cloud-based services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive. These services allow users to store and access their files remotely, making it easy for remote teams to work together. As more and more companies adopted these tools, it became clear that the pandemic accelerated the trend toward digital transformation.
● E-Commerce And Online Shopping
The pandemic covid-19 crisis also led to a surge in e-commerce and online shopping. With many physical stores closed due to lockdowns and social distancing measures, consumers turned to online shopping to fulfill their needs. This led to a significant increase in demand for e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba.
Retailers who had not previously embraced e-commerce were forced to quickly adapt to the new reality. This meant building or expanding their online presence and investing in digital marketing to reach their customers. In addition, online marketplaces such as Etsy and Shopify saw a surge in usage as small businesses and individuals turned to them to sell their products online. As a result, coupon sites also flourished during the covid-19 crisis (coupon sites, like Retailmenot, FashionSaviour, KidsVoucherCodes, OffOnShoes, etc)
● Lessening Loyalty
Consumer loyalty to their preferred brands has declined for a variety of factors during the covid-19 crisis. More than 80% of customers reported purchasing a different brand than usual in the middle of 2021, according to eMarketer, and this was a pattern that emerged early in the epidemic. The two main factors cited today are typically lower prices (65%) and out-of-stock merchandise (51%).
● Payment Via Contactless
Expecting online transactions to completely replace all in-person purchases is not realistic. For this reason, significant advancements in various contactless payment solutions were developed throughout the pandemic. According to eMarketer, there was a 22.2% year-over-year increase in proximity mobile payments worldwide in 2020.
● Coronavirus-Friendly Fulfillment
While some customers used online shopping, others used their local, physical stores’ new or expanded pick-up or delivery options. Grocery stores began allowing online purchases in part as a result of this, and food delivery services like DoorDash and Uber Eats. Third-party delivery firms like Instacart have teamed with grocery stores to speed up delivery services. In particular, curbside pickup from restaurants and physical businesses gained popularity as a contact-free alternative for customers to pick up their goods on their schedule.
● Shopping On Social Media
Due to the increased demand for online retail, several social networking sites added more commerce capabilities. Allowing customers of participating online retailers to browse and buy things without ever leaving the platform during the covid-19 crisis. These platforms are frequently tightly integrated with e-commerce platforms, allowing e-commerce operators to promote their products with ease across various channels.
● Online Education And E-Learning
The covid-19 crisis also forced many educational institutions to close their physical campuses and shift to online learning. This led to a significant increase in demand for e-learning platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, and edX. These platforms offer a wide range of courses and programs, allowing individuals to learn new skills and enhance their knowledge from the comfort of their own homes.
In addition, schools and universities had to quickly adapt to the new reality and find ways to deliver their courses online. This meant investing in digital tools and platforms such as learning management systems (LMS) and video conferencing software. While the shift towards online learning was already underway before the pandemic, the crisis has accelerated the trend and highlighted the importance of e-learning in the digital age.
● Telemedicine And Virtual Healthcare
The covid-19 crisis also led to a surge in tele-medicine and virtual healthcare. With many people unable or unwilling to visit their doctors in person, telemedicine offered a safe and convenient alternative. This allowed patients to consult with their doctors remotely, reducing the risk of exposure to the virus. Telemedicine platforms such as Teladoc, Doctor on Demand, and Amwell saw a significant increase in usage during the pandemic. In addition, many healthcare providers quickly adapted to the new reality and started offering virtual consultations and services to their patients. This shift towards telemedicine is likely to continue even after the pandemic, as it offers a more convenient and accessible way to receive healthcare. Telemedicine leveled the playing ground by making healthcare more accessible at the start of the COVID-19 epidemic. The use of telemedicine for clinical care delivery during COVID-19 changed overnight. With the help of telemedicine, medical professionals could connect with a wide range of patients from different societal backgrounds, age ranges, and geographic regions. This made it possible to identify and treat both acute and chronic problems.
● Entertainment and Streaming Services
The covid-19 crisis also led to a surge in demand for entertainment and streaming services. With many people stuck at home and unable to go outside. Here social media entertainment platforms helped them in spending good quality time with family inside the home.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend toward digital transformation and led to a boom in technology and internet usage. Remote work and digital collaboration tools, e-commerce and online shopping, online education and e-learning, and telemedicine and virtual healthcare are just some of the areas that have seen significant growth during the covid-19 crisis.
While the covid-19 crisis has been a challenging time for many, it has also highlighted the importance of technology and the internet in our daily lives.