“Everything always seems impossible, until it happens,” says the old adage, and we see its impassability especially in these days. When the first news came out about the Corona virus, or the Covid-19 virus pandemic, it seemed like it would never reach us -but here we are facing it today. In the sea of accurate and inaccurate information, pressure, crises and the information boom; the pandemic has once again confirmed that nothing is impossible. What has been planned and worked out for years and finally happened overnight is nothing other but – digitalisation.
Hit by a situation that keeps us in isolation and reduces physical contact to a minimum, we rely today, more than ever, on digital technology. As countries began to close their borders, we became compelled to reduce social contact and digitise every aspect of life as much as possible. Drinking coffee in cafes has been replaced by video calls, meetings have been replaced with video conferencing , lunch and dinner at a restaurant with delivery, and shopping in stores with online shopping. Even the market vendors found their solution and started delivering their fresh vegetables to our homes.
We are also witnessing major changes in the labor market. On one hand, many jobs have been lost and jobs that are closely related to the service industry and tourism are put on hold, but on the other hand, almost everything that doesn’t require a physical form of work has been converted to digital. In some industries, more workers are required. Numerous jobs that have always been solely related to physical space and people have taken on a new shape. Great example is online teaching that successfully adapted because of the crisis. The pandemic has shown us what we can digitise – not in a month, a year or a decade, but now – without any major problems.
Restaurants are delivering food, so we can still enjoy our favorite meals at home. But restaurants are not alone in this new situation. Today, you can order virtually anything – food, beer, wine, fruit, vegetables, toys, household supplies and even medicine. The whole concept of social life seems to have changed overnight. Online clothing stores such as Asos have virtual video displays of pieces of clothing on real-life models. Online stores are giving free shipping and are enabling longer return period to theit customers. In this way, they are making it easier for customers to buy their products while ensuring the success of their business. Even taxi platforms like Bolt have introduced the option of delivering packages – all to maintain a “normal” life.
Furthermore, even the government has digitised. That means no more long waiting in lines, bringing documents and papers (we always need another one) has become available in just a few clicks. We no longer have to wait in line to submit a request for an ID or drivers license – now we can do that through the screen of our smartphone or computer.
Social and business life have moved to online platforms and apps. Cloud storage, video call communication, document digitalisation have become a part of our daily lives. Social media also plays a significant role. For a long time social media has stopped being only personal profiles and platforms for sharing images and text – now it has great advertising power. Facebook pages and groups, as well as Instagram profiles, can reach up to several thousand people with one share. With one click on an image or tag you can find everything you need and the next day it may already be at your address. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
The big question that we are facing in the terms of the marketing is: can a crisis also be a great business opportunity? Technology development and digitalisation are an ongoing process. The world is changing, and so is the process of supply and demand. In short, life is changing. There is no doubt that after this crisis the world will remain greatly changed and digitised. Digitalisation is something that we were waiting, and this pandemic has greatly accelerated this process and has given a great push to development and has once again shown us that nothing is impossible. What is yet to come and in which direction it will take us – we just have to wait see.