It’s been six months of COVID-19 and customers have changed both in how they consume media, products, and more, and what they are purchasing.
- COVID-19 changed the world
- Consumers’ behavior has changed
- Business need to keep up
It’s been about six months since the United States got pummeled by the COVID-19 virus, and the ensuing time has been spent trying to flatten the curve and prevent further outbreaks. The degree of success you see in the United States depends on a number of factors, and location is one of them.
While the pandemic still rages on, the country as a whole has experienced a number of changes. Shopping malls, restaurants, doctors offices, and more have had to rethink the whole experience of their industry. Where does that leave them? And where does that leave consumers?
Airlines and Hotels
COVID-19 has been rough on the airline industry, cruise lines, hotels, as people stay away in droves. Business models that reaped the benefits of corporate travelers for years were suddenly caught without any traveling being done at all.
Business travelers may have made up the majority of airline passengers, raking in miles on corporate accounts, but family travelers also stayed away. Weddings and bar mitzvah celebrations were cancelled, being conducted via Zoom and other video conference sharing services. Couples cancelled their weddings, or held smaller ceremonies in an effort to flatten the curve and resist putting their loved ones at risk.
As the corporate world readjusted to work after the initial shutdown, workers remained home and telecommuted. Screens made it possible to work wherever one was, without the need to travel and be in-person for meetings, conversations, negotiations. That meant airplanes weren’t flying, and hotel rooms weren’t being booked. Even now, months later, airlines are suffering at the loss of business travelers.
If meetings could be held over video conferencing, and weddings could be held without being in person, who would fill airlines’ seats? While the industry won’t go away, travel will return to some degree. But airlines are advertising that mask are required and middle seats will be empty. Will that bother those trying to reach their destinations?
COVID-19 And Customers
So what are industries supposed to do? LIke the airlines, customers are looking at things in new ways. Instead of business travelers who spend a healthy amount because they’re billing to the company, the new travelers are looking for basic economy and no-frills packages because they’re young, broke, and spending their own money.
Hotels and airlines are trying to get new customers into their offerings, and it’s a good example of how industries have had to pivot, moving away from what they might want the landscape to look like to dealing with the new COVID-19 and customer landscape.
Beyond the travel industry, retirement is changing, too. Instead of trusting someone else to invest in stocks, many are joining the ranks of those self-directing their futures. Starting a Self-Directed IRA or Solo 401k is a means of allowing investors to take control of their retirement planning. Starting on the road to financial freedom can be easy.
The stock market has fluctuated wildly since the COVID-19 pandemic struck. With a Self-Directed IRA or Solo 401k, there needn’t be the sort of chaos that scared investors so much. Investment opportunities such as real estate and cryptocurrency can fund a future that isn’t dependent on the stock market.
The Changing Future
No one can predict the future with complete accuracy, but there are some certainties. If industries want to survive, they will have to make changes to their business models. Consumers and customers of all sorts are making, and have made, changes to their purchasing habits. This means that there are still changes to be made in industries if they want to keep up with their purchasers.
There are many changes that have been wrought by COVID-19 and customers are looking to do more online than ever before. Younger generations especially are investing online, booking travel online, ordering food online, the list goes on. More than ever industries have to keep up with their customers, more than the other way around.