Author: Jukka Sundquist / Chief Acceleration Officer, Nordic Morning Group
Date: 2021-03-22

Aftermath of the Pandemic: Digital business a necessity and great digital experience the expectation

The original article was written in Jukka's personal LinkedIn profile.

Yes, last year was tough. We all felt it as individuals and businesses. We have probably also discussed in great lengths how hard it has been and what sacrifices we have been forced to make. We have not discussed the other side of the coin too much, though. What lays ahead now that vaccines are being enrolled globally, and we can almost see the end of the acute phase of the pandemic? What has changed? What will change? Here are my thoughts.

Changing consumer behaviour will continue to give digital commerce a boost

There is no denying that the pandemic has forced us to rethink the way we shop. This can be seen everywhere. For example, Kesko group in Finland announced that at best, during spring 2020, their digital grocery store sales grew by over 800% in year on year comparison. Another example is a Future Consumer Index study conducted by Ernst & Young in 2020. The results revealed that 39% of the consumers in the Nordics believe that the way they shop will change over the long term, and 26% believe that they will shop more online for things they used to buy in stores.

The speed of change in consumer behaviour towards digital is definitely accelerating due to the pandemic. Now more than ever, consumers will expect a great digital experience from the brands they engage with. What a great opportunity for businesses to gain market share.

Digital transformation accelerates in all aspects of business

Twilio, a cloud communications and customer engagement platform, surveyed over 2,500 enterprise decision-makers in 9 countries across the globe to gain insights about digital engagement as a result of COVID-19. The results found that COVID-19 accelerated companies’ digital communications strategy by an average of 6 years, while 97% of enterprise decision-makers believed the pandemic sped up their company’s digital transformation.

Another survey for B2B decision-makers (Survey: US B2B Decision-maker response to COVID-19) conducted by McKinsey revealed that over 90% of B2B decision-makers expect the remote and digital model to stick around for the long run. Also, 3 in 4 believed the new model is as effective or more so than before COVID-19 (for both existing customers and prospects).

As if that is not enough, also the internal processes within businesses are changing. In August 2020, channel-based messaging platform Slack partnered with market research firm GlobalWebIndex to survey more than 9,000 knowledge workers across six countries about their experience during the pandemic. The research showed that there was little evidence that migration back to the office was desirable, with only 12% saying they would like to always work at the office and over half of all knowledge workers (72%) expressing a preference for a hybrid remote-office model.

During 2020 businesses have needed to find new ways to communicate with their customers in marketing, sales and customer relations as well as find new ways to work internally during the pandemic. All evidence suggests that this is only the beginning. Digital transformation will continue to accelerate in all aspects of the business as a result of new ways found during the pandemic. By focusing on great hybrid digital and physical customer and employee experience companies have huge possibilities to gain both market share and employee engagement.

Digital growth and better experiences through agile ways of working

As the speed of change in consumer, B2B and employee behaviour continues to accelerate, businesses will want to find ways to make changes that have an immediately proven positive impact. There is no time for years long projects with a promise of a major impact at the end of the project. Rather businesses will be looking for quick micro system roadmaps followed by agile ways of implementation. If piloting on an improvement hypothesis is not providing results, the pilot will be quickly killed and businesses move on to the next one. Little by little digital growth starts to materialize.

We at Nordic Morning Group set off on our own change journey already in 2017. We have been working on digital transformation with our clients during this time and we have made great learnings along the way. Our approach is to provide clear digital growth and better experiences through agile ways of working.

Make sure to contact us if you want to go down that road. We will be glad to help!

Comments are most welcome and appreciated