The New Normal

Life as we know it is no-more. Things are changing all around us and the common factor is all of us asking what to do?

By Katia Barakat

About 4 min read . Apr 24, 2020Strategy & Consultancy

Wherever we turn, multiple articles and talks are referring to a “new normal”. And we’ve come to refer to the “new normal” as something that is familiar, that we feel we understand. But what is the “new normal” really? What does it entail? How will it affect our lives? How will it affect our businesses? Many theories and ideas are being dispatched; just google “life after COVID-19” and you will find much information about the topic. But the fact of the matter is that no one really knows what life is going to look like after this pandemic…When we travel again, what will the conditions be like? What will going to a restaurant look like? Will we do business meetings online more frequently than face-to-face? Will we be wearing masks in public? Will entire business categories be wiped out? Will new ones emerge?

We don’t have answers to these questions, but where businesses are concerned and from all the research we’ve done, we believe that the digitization of businesses will remain on an upward trend, that is a key to retailers’ survival. And yes, people are taking more comfort in buying online. This doesn’t mean that some retailers and online sellers won’t take a hit; Luxury retailers will likely suffer a blow now and at least in the short aftermath of the pandemic; Tourism and hospitality outlets will see their business models likely shifting, maybe towards catering more to a local clientele. And others will have to reinvent themselves.

But brick & mortar retailers will simply have to see their business flourish online. Their storefront will now be digital. Sales’ persons will now be replaced by product descriptions and an online chat bot (which is sad for those losing their jobs and having to find their place in different organizations, but is a matter of fact for businesses). Store front models and window dressing will be replaced by beautiful photography. And the basics of customer service will remain the same: Timely delivery, clear communications, return policy, etc.

So why are many retailers hesitating? Or willing to give up? Is it because this is unchartered territory for them? Is it because they feel that the online realm is too competitive? Is it because they feel it’s expensive to drive traffic to their websites? All of these questions are legitimate. And the answers to them are legitimate as well.

• Unchartered territory… For many, it is. But that is why there are consultants and agencies who can guide through the process, hand holding and all.

• Too competitive… True. But isn’t a mall? Or Oxford Street? Your target audience will come to you and those who aren’t won’t. You just have to woo them!

• Expensive… It depends what you compare it to. Isn’t it expensive to pay rent? Electricity? Cleaning services? Maintenance?

So what are we trying to say here? Basically this: If you are selling a product you believe in, then take it online. This is the future of retail.

We have various programs to help onboard you on your digital journey. Get in touch.

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