So what will the trends to watch out for in business be post-coronavirus?
Firstly let me add a little caveat, just because we’ve written about it don’t go and start a business on the back of it. Some of these trends are a bit mad, although let’s face it the mad ideas are often the best. In fact let me rephrase that and say if you take one of these ideas and run with it remember where you read it first!
So what will the trends to watch be?
I think it’s fair to say panic buying of toilet roll was a short lived phenomenon and the same with pasta, unless something else comes along that simultaneously ignites a craving for Italian food and gives you a bad belly. That aside there are going to be some changes that will happen in consumer and business behaviour.
The virtual experience economy
If you’re missing out on your favourite events, concerts and live sports as the fuel for your status fixes then virtual experiences could be the next big thing. People will want to maintain their social status in the short term and finding that fix will lead them down the virtual road. Will we see less competitive routes take centre stage such as travel (Ok not right now), retail alongside things such as E-sports demanding social currency.?
I’m a little on the fence about this if I’m totally honest, I think in the medium term people will hopefully start to re-evaluate what is important and this trend could go either way.
If you read our article with Sticky cofounder James Garner last week this is an area that they work in, connecting real world and digital. Originally an emerging trend in Asia a few years ago, it’s a convergence of e-commerce and livestreaming. It’s basically the direction that online shopping and social connections: interactive, experiential, and in real time are going. The recent crisis has seen the Chinese livestreaming market explode and this experienced based retail, social environment is going to be big, globally.
As people have got more used to virtual assistants, alexa, siri etc the next logical step is for some people to seek out virtual companions. Basically virtual friends.
I’m not sure whether these people should be seeking virtual friends or someone a bit more qualified to properly diagnose what they are suffering from if you get my gist but hey it’ll happen, why fight it.
The end of just in time?
Lockdown has played havoc with just in time supply chains. This is big because it’s something businesses have developed their entire models around since the 60s. Lockdown has made it incredibly hard for companies to operate on a just in time basis with components and products sourced from across the globe. Whilst lockdown will ease companies may not be so quick to just revert back to normal. They will be looking hard at their resilience and how they can mitigate from future supply chain challenges. This brings opportunities to connect with more local suppliers.
Becoming more local
Could coronavirus put paid to the steady march of globalisation? It’s unlikely but what is certain is that people and businesses will become more local. It’s predicted that people will travel less, flights will be more expensive, and connect more with their local environment. Already communities are making huge efforts to support local businesses, community connections are on the rise and this is being fuelled by the technology that connects us. Hyper local is a trend to watch.
Online shopping will dominate
Kind of an obvious one as we all get our daily Amazon fix, I just had to have the Boba Fett onesie honest. The landscape however is likely to become even more competitive. Those online retailers that can blend experience into the shopping cart will undoubtably win. It may transpire that the digital world sees the same challenges faced by the high street where the tired brands that fail to build an online experience loose out just as they have done on the high street, lets see.
For those that can make it work there’s no doubt that in 12 months time more of us will be splitting time between home and office. Some of us will make the jump full time. Lockdown has shown us it works, the technology exists, the infrastructure is there, there’s simply nothing stopping us. We just needed a push.
The Decksender view
It’s a fact that some of the best businesses have been born out of the hard times and one trend we know for sure is that there are some hard times ahead. Don’t loose heart though as a community of start-ups we are the hot bed of ideas that will fuel the next wave of post-coronavirus businesses.
Stay safe! (Mike loves me saying that)