Coronavirus has already taken a toll on tourism, fashion, sports, and music – and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Stocks are continuously falling, and now business owners in all fields can’t feel safe. Does this concern have any actual merit? How will the economy during and after coronavirus look like?
Experts are pessimistic
In its March report, OECD released updated forecasts for the global economy. The signs are alarming: the organizations downgraded its initial forecasts – it’s evident from the graph that we are falling a lot behind compared to 2019.
Predicting the development of economies during and after a coronavirus isn’t a simple task. We don’t yet know if we are dealing with the worst-case scenario or when the outbreak might pass. So far, most governments have been imposing quarantines up till May – and in the best-case projection, the situation should improve till then.
Even so, will businesses be able to carry on till then? We analyzed the impact of coronavirus on multiple industries and projected possible growth solutions.
Digital stores and marketplaces
E-commerce is one of the most significant fields of the economy right now. Fluctuations here will certainly impact global progress.
Negative impact on the industry
Conducting shipping and managing the supply chain will become more difficult. Companies will have to shift their focus from sales and promotion to managing internal operations. Getting a customer is not the problematic part anymore – the challenge is to fulfill the order.
What to do?
- Communicate: Talk to your customers about the process of product delivery and explain the difficulties that the business is facing;
- Encourage self-pickups: if a client can take goods independently with his own car, offer a bonus to support these actions;
- Focus on local markets: marketplaces and businesses that were providing international services can look for clients nearby. This means re-orienting your target advertising and promotional activities to zones that are closer to your warehouse.
The positive impact of coronavirus
Online shopping, deliveries, and from-home interactions are highly encouraged by governments during the pandemic. The digital economy can help us to contain the spread of the infection and live relatively unaffected lifestyles.
In China, where coronavirus is a reality for several months, digital content is on its rise. Alibaba stocks are growing despite the virus – or possibly, due to the situation it created. A similar thing already happened during SARS in 2003, when Chinese online sales spiked.
In areas impacted by a coronavirus, e-commerce shops will offer a way to get food, clothes, entertainment. Delivery applications, peer-to-peer marketplaces, and virtual assistants – this software will thrive.
The experts of fintech are divided. Some say that in the absence of typical face-to-face interactions in physical back offices, clients will be more willing to embrace digital solutions. Payment systems, on the other hand, worry about the decline of international trade. Let’s hear both sides out.
The primary headache of all fintech businesses right now is the decline of international payments. Digital financial providers always positioned themselves as comfortable intermediaries for global exchanges – and people care much less now.
Don’t forget that flights are canceled, and tourism is in jeopardy – and these were always among the main drivers of global money transfers.
- This is why Visa and Mastercard downgraded their predictions for the first and second quarters of 2020.
- PayPal and Payoneer worry about the decrease of international e-commerce profits, which are true, declining (and for local shopping people prefer direct bank transfers).
Coronavirus leads to changes in users’ and governments’ mentality.
- WHO is already asking people to use contactless technology to slow down the spread of the infection.
- China Banking Regulatory Commission points out that coronavirus drives fintech’s growth in the country.
- South Korea talks about simplifying fintech regulation to encourage providers and users to turn to remote payment methods.
- Blockchain, with its independence and decentralization, is used to verify medical data, the validity of pharmaceutical products, and control smuggling.
Few industries are taking as damaging of a hit as logistics. Supply chain providers are already facing a crisis.
The negative impact of coronavirus
The Manufacturing Report on Business, published by the Institute of Supply Management, is full of red flags. The delays in the production of electronics, which are heavily China-based, already lead to a decrease in delivery demands and lower profits.
According to Harvard Business Review, logistics depends on quarantined areas the most – about 2,730 facilities in China alone are located in the red zone. Even U.S. delivery volumes are declined.
Food companies suffer a similar fate. It’s yet another industry that heavily relies on Chica, and now, as may manufacturers are slowing down, transportation companies are losing valuable deals.
Another problem is the workers’ safety. Drivers, couriers, and managers are exposed to many people every day, and under strict quarantine – like in China or Italy – mobility severely decreases.
The positive impact of coronavirus
The situation with logistics is admittedly bad enough, but hey, it’s not hopeless. When people refuse to move on their own, innovative logistics solutions can be the ones to save the day. If supply chain providers will cooperate with government and healthcare initiatives and develop solutions that minimize people’s mobility, it can bring additional profit and strengthen the company’s reputation.
Impact of coronavirus on health tech
Digital health care is now on the frontline of the coronavirus outbreak – no less. From hospital management software to remote solutions that connect patients to doctors – health tech is taking responsibility in many ways.
The positive impact of coronavirus
EHR systems in hospitals now have a life-saving value because doctors need to track availability, symptoms. Admission statistics and doctors’ activities. Mobile apps that allowed patients to connect doctors without leaving houses aren’t a luxury anymore, but a necessity.
- Alerting: health tech plays a crucial role in informing doctors and patients about coronavirus patients. OptimizeRx added COVID-19 notifications to its network of HER tools.
- Research: DeepMind, an AI company, studies proteins linked to the spread of the virus. The deep-learning system participates in studying the virus and helps improve the understanding of its nature.
- Supporting quarantined patients: people who suspect to have the symptoms of coronavirus are advised to avoid going directly to the hospital. Instead, they should contact hotlines and call doctors. Healthcare apps and software-as-a-service have been preparing the ground for this for years. Datos, a monitoring company, helps doctors to examine patients without being directly in the room.
The negative impact of coronavirus
Health tech is now presented with many opportunities from government and investments. However, with bigger responsibilities, more enormous challenges come rushing.
- Elderly patients aren’t used to health tech: the main risk group, people over 70 years old, most aren’t familiar with mobile technology. Companies need to launch education campaigns, encourage young people to explain technology to the elderly and make their interfaces increasingly more straightforward.
- Misinformation is everywhere: talking coronavirus and answering the crisis is tricky. Businesses should avoid wrecking panic, but also, it’s essential to keep people aware of dangers. Picking a strategy is a difficult decision that requires an expert team.
- Hospital resources are drained: a lot of healthcare tools rely on medical institutions to provide actual consults and assistants to patients while they act as intermediaries. The healthcare system is overloaded with work, and it might be difficult for healthcare solutions to get the necessary expertise.
How to minimize the impact of coronavirus on your business?
Coronavirus is challenging to talk about – especially for businesses that don’t have medical expertise. You have to face challenges that you never knew existed, while hundreds of thousands of people depend on your decision. So, here are 5 steps that every business can take to survive the pandemic.
- Take care of your team. You need to respect the quarantine and switch work to remote models. This requires the adoption of digital project management tools, time trackers, productivity assessments.
- Create a team for the response. You need to form a unit of communication specialists and consult a crisis management expert. Your content marketing department must be focused on explaining the risks and reassuring clients. Your financial experts should update you on any monetary changes.
- Prepare to face a liquidity crisis. You need to plan reinvestment strategies and follow the actions of competitors and companies in similar fields.
- Re-evaluate the needs of a supply chain. Coronavirus spikes the demand for one type of product (like masks or toilet paper) and decreases the demand for others (electronics, luxury). You should revisit your partnerships and resource distribution strategies according to demand fluctuation.
- Talk to customers. Make sure that the customer support asks clients how they are coping with the treat. You need to show caring and attention.
How Syndicode optimized work due to coronavirus?
At Syndicode, we’ve issued the new Policy Statement in response to coronavirus. For more than 5 years, we have elaborated well-established practices of working as a remote team for our clients worldwide, primarily in Europe and the United States. This experience helps us better adapt to the great challenge facing the world.
So here are the top measures for software development companies to follow based on our own experience:
- Close your offices
- Transfer all operation to remote
- Сancel all trips
- Stay efficient in changing conditions
- Create support groups
Syndicode switched all employees for 100% remote work in less than 24 hours. Since we work as a remote team for our clients, employees at Syndicode are totally equipped and well-trained for remote work.
We communicate via official Slack channel, transfer business meetings and onboarding sessions to Google Hangouts, Skype, and Zoom.
Coronavirus keeps us worried about our health and lives. Planning business changes is not easy when we are busy looking out for ourselves. Still, it is essential to keep your head cool and look for opportunities to make this crisis more bearable and help out your clients.
The first step is digitalization – if you have not switched to software for internal management and client communication, it is about time.
Think about what digital products you could release to adapt to the situations. Syndicode team is ready to help – just drop us a line.