Parts of the human civilization untouched by the COVID-19 pandemic are only a couple, and some may even say, none. Trade, a significant part of human lives, also underwent major changes. Throughout 2020, unprecedented headlines covered the daily newspapers. The stoppage of the entire world caused massive changes throughout the globe.
Even during such a challenging period, many businesses remained afloat as they responded to the changes in consumers’ lives. Many of such successful business practices will remain in usage even in a post-pandemic world. Here are a few such trends.
1. Modification of Just-In-Time Supply Chain
Under just-in-time (JTI), the stock levels maintained by manufacturers are only enough to meet the demand of the near future. This causes stock outs during demand shocks. This practice allows them to cut down their wastes and expenses. However, the panic buying during COVID-19 showed the Achilles’ heel of this manufacturing practice.
The stockouts of essentials in many countries caused huge chaos amongst the general public. Hence, it is believed that many companies will continue using the just-in-case (JIC) inventory strategy where they maintain large inventories to ensure no stockouts.
2. More Businesses Will Continue Moving Online
The importance of e-commerce businesses was never more evident than during the pandemic. The e-commerce industry was already a strong part of many economies. What COVID-19 caused was to move many new categories online — for instance, pharmaceuticals, education, personal care. Yes, these categories were available in some e-shops even before the pandemic but on far smaller scales. Millions of small businesses also adapted to the changing demands of customers and commenced or expanded their online presence.
3. Continuation of Work From Home
Lockdowns continued for long months in most countries and millions of employees worked right from their homes. Jobs where working from home seemed out of the question just months before the pandemic were being done exactly that way — from home.
This massive shift in the work environment was not easy to adapt to but it was embraced. Many large corporations like Google and Facebook are allowing their employees to continue working from home for an unspecified time. Even if working from home is not entirely adopted, it will still be partially integrated by several industries.
4. Improved Hygiene and Sanitation Standards
Consumers have grown immensely more health-concerned. This means that they expect cleaner products from businesses — be it a manufactured good like a toy or a service such as that received in a hotel. Companies will need to maintain strict cleanliness throughout their facilities to ensure that they are meeting the expectations of customers.
The price of US oil fell below zero; the stock market crashed but ended 2020 at record highs; millions of businesses shut down, while millions thrived — to say that the business world was unpredictable in 2020 would be a gross understatement. The aforementioned trends are just a few that analysts predict to stick to. And if there is one thing that 2020 has taught us, it’s that nothing is for certain.