The Covid-19 pandemic changed the world in ways that altered behavior and one that will linger around for a long even after the pandemic subsides. The vaccines are being rolled out but the world is within the woods and no hope of getting out any time soon.
When the pandemic hit, companies and organizations moved rapidly to deploy digital and automation technologies, dramatically accelerating trends that were unfolding at a much slower pace before the crisis.
Work went remote, shopping, entertainment, and even medicine went online, and businesses everywhere scrambled to deploy digital systems to accommodate the shifts. It was a time that change unfolded right before our eyes and those who resisted were shaped out.
It is beyond any doubt that the pandemic shifted both consumer and business behavior. Virtually every activity that was capable of being handled online was indeed moved and handled online. We witnessed employees being sent home businesses traveled being minimized or completely cut off and, in their place, a “virtual world” took over.
Consumers were not left behind. They had to adjust and move online. It was during this period that the world witnessed tremendous growth in e-commerce. In Kenya, for instance, there was a surge in the purchase of such items as groceries, alcohol, and medicine.
It is important to note that the pandemic was not all about havoc and gloom but came with a unique awakening in terms of making the world and Kenya realize the immense power that had always been with them; technology.
Some of these technological changes delivered more convenience and greater efficiency and so are likely to endure well after the pandemic has receded. These changes are like a train that has already left the station and we are not looking at any other “normalcy” apart from this one. It is the “new normal” and it is here to stay.
What are some of the opportunities?
E-commerce is here to stay. Any business that is looking at outliving the taste of time should and must first think about going online. It is through this that the business will be able to get in touch with consumers.
Consumer behavior has also changed. People are now looking at hygiene, timely delivery of products and services, and the human touch in everything that they want to subscribe to. Even as businesses go online, it is not just about being online but what one does differently from the others.
Opportunities in the health sector will keep on unfolding. Anyone dealing with stuff in the medical world has a future in business. This will include dealing in medicine, distribution of health products that people will feel safe with.
Although many people do not want to admit it, education in Kenya is becoming more of a business, presenting so many opportunities for those who want to venture into it. Homeschooling is a new opportunity that has started taking shape.
There is a demand for wellness products not only in Kenya but around the world too. Kenyans have become cautious of what they eat and interestingly, many have increased the uptake of fruits. This is an emerging opportunity that will not go away soon.