The next normal


Through the chaos of the past months, our world has been changed forever. Businesses have recalibrated, consumers have reflected, supply and demand have been thrown into frenzy, and even products have been altered. There is no doubt that, once the storm clouds clear, there will be no going back to what we once considered “normal.” We will have to forge a new normalcy, one that will not only survive in a post Covid-19 world, but will also thrive.

There is beauty in the capability to turn a process of restoration into a process of revitalization. Where things are broken, there are opportunities not only to rebuild, but also to fortify. And where things are unstable, there are opportunities not only to fortify, but also to revamp.

The Covid-19 pandemic has, of course, been a complete upset for businesses across all industries; however, mitigating its impact might just be the key to unlocking vast possibilities in transforming the scape of business forever.

In this report, we explore the ramifications of the shelter-in-place and lockdowns related to the pandemic in different industries, and how they are pivoting or reprioritizing to adapt to consumers’ often changing expectations. The following content is curated from an assortment of articles—sourced from McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Forbes. Several ideas and statistics have been drawn from these sources, all listed in the reference section.

The changed landscape of business

Anxious customers. One vital aspect of the next normal will be holistic awareness of the new consumer psyche. According to Bain’s Essential Guide to Post Covid-19 Consumers, people will remain anxious beyond the pandemic. Additionally, they will seek comfort and kindness, all while being mindful of their own wellbeing and health. Especially in the vulnerable act of spending their money, there will be a new layer of caution because of employment and economic uncertainties. Adapting to the understandably shaken nature of the consumer in the next normal will be a delicate job, but it will allow for wide-scale implementation of innovative improvements.

Reduction in overall spending. Due to the economic struggles of consumers through the pandemic, there has been an overwhelming shift towards value, coupled with a decrease in overall spending. Customers have become more introspective and aware of their spending. Good quality products are crucial for them, and discretionary spending has significantly gone down. They’re only buying what they truly need.

Balance between trusted brands and switching due to choice. Hand in hand with their desire to feel comforted, customers have demonstrated increased confidence in trusted brands—what is known, what is familiar. However, on the other hand, loyalty is less important to customers because, with the increase of online shopping, their options have multiplied tenfold. It’s now so much easier for them to switch brands, based on what is affordable and “safe” in this new world, and they seem to be more willing to do so as well. It is more important for customers to know that they’re putting their money in worthwhile places than for them to remain committed to brands. However, should a brand meet their higher standards, and should they feel reassured by a brand, the security they feel will surely drive their loyalty.

Digital, digital, digital. The most significant shift that has been seen throughout the pandemic, and will undoubtedly last beyond it, is the overwhelming move towards digital experiences. Customers are staying home, unwilling to risk the exposure associated with in-person transactions, and the use of online services has skyrocketed. Omnichannel and e-commerce platforms have had to adapt to their new role as the most prominent within their industries, and these adaptations have left room for even more growth and expansion.

Let’s explore what the “Next Normal” for each industry may look like post-pandemic.

How businesses are using predictive engagement to pave the path to recovery

Examining the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic across industries cultivates a bird’s-eye view of the major adjustments that must be implemented across the board. And a trend that weaves itself throughout all of these adjustments is the following: digital channels must be transformed in a way that conforms directly to consumers. Every industry must seek ways to boost engagement across digital channels and personalize e-commerce experiences; these will be the most important tools in the process of successfully renovating business structures.

In the next normal, customers’ preferences and intentions will constantly be changing, and their loyalty and trust will be more difficult to gain. Empathetic business, wherein companies make an active effort to understand customers and respond in kind, will be more vital than ever before. This process of relating to customers will be different in the next normal. Customer history used to factor greatly into personalized offers and targeted information. However, customer histories will soon consist of their unprecedented Covid-19 shopping activities; additionally, their behavior will no longer reflect pre-pandemic business mindsets. Everything they do will be uncharted territory, reflective of the pandemic’s impact on them. Consumer desires—in every moment interacting with your brand—will be nearly impossible to discern without interpreting their real-time activity.

This is where Predictive Engagement platforms such as Session AI come in. These platforms essentially take care of the empathetic aspect of business for you. For instance, Session AI artificial intelligence software not only deciphers consumer intentions in-the-moment, but it also draws conclusions from those intentions to deliver relevant 1:1 customer engagement, at scale. In the next normal, it will be of utmost importance that every individual customer feels catered towards, in order to garner loyalty and revenue.

Session AI helps businesses increase conversions, optimize their offers and promotional budgets, and drastically improve customer experiences—all while respecting and preserving margins. In the next normal, when the world will be reeling and recovering from its recent upheaval, Session AI will work hand-in-hand with companies looking toward a new horizon of innovation and exponential growth.

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