COVID-19 has forever changed how we live, play and work.

The pandemic has pushed businesses to elevate their strategies and think of unconventional ways of operating. Companies that choose to stay up to date, or ahead, of trends will have a greater chance of succeeding. Their resilience and innovation will be the competitive edge they required.

Here are some emerging digital trends shaping the post-pandemic business landscape.

1. Operating business anywhere and everywhere

As a result of COVID-19, many businesses have shifted to a remote-first work environment. This new normal allows a company or worker to conduct of their business from anywhere in the world.

Many large-scale global companies, including Google and Shopify, have already adopted a “work from anywhere” policy for their employees, and some have even eliminated physical office spaces entirely.

This new approach leads to a variety of advantages, including the ability to quickly react to opportunities and unparalleled access to global talent, resources and infrastructure.

2. International e-commerce operations

Building off the first trend, a remote-first environment paves the way for international business operations, reaching larger and distant target markets that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

COVID-19 has proven the importance of e-commerce sales for any business. In May 2020, e-commerce sales reached a record $3.9 billion according to data from Statistics Canada, a 2.3% increase over April and a 99.3% increase over February. Year over year, e-commerce sales more than doubled – with a 110.8% increase compared with May 2019.

To no surprise, these record numbers happened as brick-and-mortar sales experienced record declines.

Even more so, brick-and-mortar retailers now need to compete with online retailers within their own walls. An overwhelming number of shoppers report using their devices to compare in-store prices to online deals and research in-store purchases, with 75% admitting that online ratings and reviews influence their buying decisions.

3. Increased investment in technology

With the importance of digital technology for today’s businesses, allocating increased investments for innovation and technology will be critical in the formula for a successful strategy.

It’s clear that technological infrastructures are imperative in running many of today’s business operations, so prioritizing and setting aside a budget to update the company software, technology and even IT department will be key. This will help the business to keep up to date with these ever-evolving technological trends and patterns.

4. Shifts in consumer behaviours

Like many other things, consumer behaviours have also changed as a result of the pandemic.

According to a Google Trends retail search consisting of data points from 23 different markets around the world, Google determined that several consumer behaviours have been accelerated due to the impact of the pandemic.

The results show that consumers are now window shopping online, carefully considering who they buy from, seeking better value than ever, expecting extensive delivery options and demonstrating a dynamic demand of goods and services.

These trends show just how much the pandemic has affected the way consumers shop and their spending habits.

Businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve will need to keep these trends in mind and learn to adapt.

5. Data security will become a top priority

In an increasingly digital world, data security and privacy will become progressively more important, not just for businesses but for consumers as well.

With the amount of data companies are keeping, consumers are becoming more aware of how their personal data is being used.

Moreover, the shift to a predominantly remote work environment leads to an even more critical need for data security and protection, especially against cyberattacks.

Published on March 18, 2022.