Why 2020 has been the age of digitalisation: 2020 has been a year like no other. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on hundreds of millions of people, threatening lives and health, and causing immense economic damage.
It has also caused a major change in attitudes and behaviours, not least in business and industry. With lockdowns and people all across the globe forced to work, play, and socialise from home, digitisation has become increasingly important.
It means that where, previously, an online presence was considered an advantage for some businesses but not a requirement, it has now become a necessity, and often the only means to survival for some companies.
Like the dinosaurs from a previous age, those who cannot adapt to the new reality will simply not survive.
And, whilst there have been many more losers than winners, there are those whose had already invested in their technology and infrastructure, and who reaped the benefits as a result.
For example, the best casinos in India all were pioneers when it came to their digital strategies, and their forethought has been rewarded with a significant increase in the number of customers and the amount of money bet with them this year.
In part, this increase in online betting is due to people having more time on their hands whilst sat at home, but the casinos have made it easy for them by offering a range of games and promotions, and making them accessible online.
The pandemic is also forcing radical changes to how companies market themselves. B2B companies often rely on trade shows and exhibitions to network and build customer relations, relying on the contacts that they build up and word of mouth.
With their virtual disappearance in 2020, online marketing is their only recourse. Now a business needs not only a website, but it needs to embrace social and content marketing, SEO and influence-led campaigns.
At the same time, the new paradigm creates new opportunities as well. Because so many potential customers are forced to stay at home, they are in theory much easier to reach, provided that the right tools are available to access them. It means that marketers need to research new tactics and approaches, but they need to be supported by the overall business. Once you reach a potential client, you need to make it easy for them to do business with you.
That means having an up to date website, it means pricing goods competitively, offering flexible shipping arrangements, and making payment processing safe, secure, and simple.
One mistake companies may make is to regard digitalisation as a temporary strategy which can be quietly abandoned when things get back to normal.
In the first place, nobody knows when that will be. For all the talk of vaccines, their effectiveness remains to be proven, and it may take months, or even years, until they are available to all. And, for many people, having experienced online retailing and ecommerce, they will want to continue to embrace it because of its convenience and ease.
Why spend hours getting in your car or getting on public transport to go shopping when you can get all you need with a few clicks without having to set foot outside your front door?
For many, 2020 is the year of digital revolution, And, like all revolutions, once they have happened, it is impossible to go back to how things were before.