How Coronavirus Pushed Businesses To Embrace Digital

Igor Piatnytskyi
April 10, 2020
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But with a new viral player on the field, the popularity of digital is going sky-high. COVID-19 brought a wave of closures, cancellations, travel bans and restrictions. Let’s take a look at the latest digital transformation trends and how they meet the current business needs.

The introduction of digital technology led to rapid changes within several industries, from Finances to Retail. But with a new viral player on the field, the popularity of digital is going sky-high. COVID-19 brought a wave of closures, cancellations, travel bans and restrictions. While staying homebound is necessary for combating the outbreak as soon as possible, stepping away from business tasks and goals is not an option.

So, let’s take a look at the latest digital transformation trends and how they meet the current business needs.

1. Stabilize: Banking

Finances got hit pretty hard by coronavirus. In the UK, major banks such as Lloyds Banking Group and TSB had to close large parts of their branch network, thus limiting access to financial services for offline visitors. The same tendency can be observed globally, with both local and international banks. The number of transactions has reduced for all fintech firms in the payments area, affecting their profit and ability to update their software to stay connected to the consumers. In turn, consumers started choosing safer investments, causing damage to new fintech companies and venture capital funding. This change may lead to many small fintech services firms to collaborate or seek investment from larger banking enterprises.

How are banks going to recover from that?

  • The new quarantine restrictions led to a sharp increase in demand for digital banking services. This change will push credit unions and banks to work with fintech software developers to introduce advanced efficient digital solutions that can handle the increased volume of consumers and provide them with a sophisticated toolset. This makes up around 75% of our current activity. Right now, we’re staying in touch with our fintech customers, both loyal and new ones, to help them strengthen their assets, scale their workflow and make their in-house teams work easier and more structured.
  • The new challenge created a necessity for reaching out to retail consumers and ensuring that their clients can make online purchases without having to use other services or performing many operations. That includes expanding their online purchase and payment options, collaboration with major e-commerce platforms as well as providing useful guides and information support to all segments of their target audience.
  • The weakened state of the economy may motivate the governments to support the development of new fintech solutions in order to stabilize the market, from WHO –approved contactless payments to fintech breakthroughs that will remain even after the pandemic ends.  

2. Maximize: Retail

The outbreak was a huge blow to the retail industry worldwide. Luxury brands, supermarket chains are closing down worldwide to secure the safety of their customers. However, how do they secure their survival in the crisis when their consumers mostly stay at home and don’t go out shopping?

In that case, e-commerce is the answer. According to the report by Marketing Week or Econsultancy, the number of online buyers is going to increase considerably within the next few months. This transition to online is already happening. For some areas, it’s a slow and gradual process, for others, it’s incredibly fast. For example, Coolblue (retail company in Netherlands) had to transform its approach to retail overnight due to the increased number of online numbers. The retailer had to close all physical stores and expand its shop with new categories to meet the needs of homebound consumers.

It's estimated that by the mid-term of the COVID-19 outbreak, all retailers are expected to go fully online. That happened in China during the quarantine – the majority of offline consumers switched to online orders, thus allowing retail shops and businesses to maintain their target audience and quickly recover after the end of the epidemic.

This is a deciding moment for many retail businesses. To ensure smooth transition without losing potential customers and buyers to a faster and more flexible competitor, they need to ensure that their online shopping options perform at their pull capacity and provide the following features:

  • Mobile-friendly shopping. The increased use of mobile phones and gadgets makes it essential to develop apps that allow buyers to view, order and buy products as well as track their purchases without complications. Sometime before COVID-19 made digital transformation such an urgency, our team of around 20 experts has already been working on a mobile app for Leroy Merlin, the largest DIY retailer. So, I can confirm that this task is not only possible, but can be implemented promptly with the right insights and right tools – and at Nullgravity, we’re happy to provide both.  
  • Loyalty programs. At this point, customer retention has never been so important. Retail businesses and e-commerce projects must remain in touch with their target audience, providing discounts, advertising and loyalty rewards. This should be achieved via both social media marketing and adding consumers to the brand network.
  • Omnichannel products. When it comes to improving digital assets, retail businesses must pay attention to digital software that allows monitoring all marketing and sales channels. It will let them stay in control of their customer experience and respond to any challenge without losing precious time.

3. Contain: Healthcare

The development of healthcare software used to be focused around apps and smart tools, while the primary goals were patient data organization, appointment management, and improved data security. However, the emergence of COVID-19 has put healthcare systems under pressure. The experience of China indicated the necessity for protecting medical workers from contracting the disease by limiting any human-to-human contact that is not required for providing treatment. That means, that healthcare systems found themselves in a need of software capable of:

  • Preventing facilities from becoming overcrowded by providing a quick way to register new patients and provide them with important instructions and guidelines remotely;
  • Tracking patients who show no signs of heavy illness and can be treated at home;
  • Monitoring the transmission rate, tracking new cases and providing analytical data;
  • Reducing the time necessary for training new staff and informing experts of important changes;
  • Handling the volume of telehealth patients and making it more convenient to provide virtual care.

Given that video services were made available to citizens on Medicare, it’s a clear sign that coronavirus will force healthcare to fast-track its digital transformation, providing a window of opportunity for many telehealth developers across the United States and Europe.


As you can see, the main digital transformation trends can be divided into three directions:

  • Stabilize: Prepare the economy for a quick recovery by backing fintech firms and letting them design new solutions for carrying out contactless financial operations and designing advanced tools for accessing bank services.
  • Maximize: Letting businesses perform at their normal pace by implementing digital assets that help teams communicate, brainstorm and exchange data safely while working from home.
  • Contain: Protecting healthcare workers from the risks of contracting the virus by working in overcrowded hospitals, providing the ways to optimize human resources and avoid potential carriers with mild signs of the disease receive the necessary treatment without human-to-human contact.  
With great power comes great responsibility. With great trouble comes great opportunity.

In the case of the COVID-19 outbreak, new digital transformation trends are generated by the urge to work around its challenges and stabilize the industries that serve as the main supporting pillars of our community. It’s a joint effort, where every initiative is welcomed and every new idea can become a game-changer.

Therefore, it’s a good opportunity to see how you can apply your services and product in any direction mentioned above in order to see what industry would benefit from your assistance – and whether this benefit will be there after the pandemic ends.

What do you think about it? Do you believe that COVID-19 will accelerate digital transformation? What industry is going to be completely redefined by innovation? Please, share your thoughts, comments, and experiences! I’m looking forward to your feedback.

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