The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the business industry across the board. It is reasonable to say that no industry has been left untouched by the current pandemic. The majority of web design and marketing agencies immediately felt pressure as clients began to cancel, marketing budgets were reduced, and businesses scrambled to figure out how to improve their online presence with quickly decreasing financial resources.
Beginning in January of 2020, many began to realize that COVID-19 was here to stay, and it was going to make an impact on the economy, the health care systems, and businesses across the country. Today, scientists worldwide are still racing to finalize the development of a vaccine that may put an end to the pandemic. Although the health care crisis may be coming to a close, COVID-19 has created an economic crisis of unprecedented proportions.
Indeed, the pandemic has affected every business type, from tourism to foodservice, state agencies to web design. In this post, we’re going to look at how web design businesses have weathered the storm, the lessons they’ve learned since January, and what takeaways so they can use as business begins to return to normal.
COVID-19 Has Left Nothing Untouched
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted everyday life as we knew it across the nation. Restaurants needed to close dining rooms, malls have closed entirely, retailers cannot keep necessities on the shelves, government offices have closed to the public, and “curbside” has become a word used in daily conversation. Working from home is the new normal, and zoom meetings have replaced face-to-face discussions in almost every industry. While some businesses have more robust defenses in place, others (such as travel and tourism or small businesses) will struggle to find a way to persist in this “new normal.” How have these changes impacted web design and marketing companies like Bianca Frank Design in Anchorage, Alaska?
Working Remotely Is Now Standard
Before COVID-19, most web design companies operated using a similar format. Many had a central office with online support for their customers. With COVID lockdown measures still in place in many areas, web design companies have been forced to turn to remote solutions for designers, developers, and customer service.
In a matter of days, the traditional office space was replaced by home-office set-ups and collaborative software programs. If a business, web design, and development included, could not make the transition, it has had crippling effects. Companies that depended heavily on small business or lacked the resources to transition to online-only felt the pinch of the pandemic more than others. No matter the industry, the key to surviving the pandemic is the same. It requires staying resilient and embracing technology.
Why Digital Is More Important Than Ever
It did not take long for the pandemic to make it clear that it was sticking around for months, not weeks. Since then, businesses of all sizes and types have relied on modern technology to maintain some semblance of normal. Apps have allowed us to order groceries and household items, and doctor’s appointments are held over zoom. Technology has made it possible (and relatively easy) to migrate entire office environments to remote settings and for businesses that have these capabilities to remain relatively unscathed.
These changes aren’t due only to the evolution of technology. Consumer behaviors have also changed drastically in the last few months. Panic shopping rapidly gave way to unprecedented online and “to-go” sales. Be it groceries or household essentials, and people are relying on the internet like never before to avoid leaving the safety of their homes. Until a vaccine is developed, tested, and safely deployed on a large scale, consumers will continue to gravitate towards digital sales solutions and reduced-contact shopping and service channels wherever possible. For businesses, this translates to their ability to remain competitive requires leaving a digital footprint that consumers will notice.
Building (and Utilizing) A Digital Presence is No Longer an Option
Prior to COVID-19, investing, and maintaining a website was an afterthought for many businesses. Often, choosing to develop their own, or utilizing the services of a professional website developer like Bianca Frank Design, meant taking money from an already tight advertising budget. Therefore, many would choose to forego an online business platform. Today, going without one is no longer an option for any business that wants to keep its doors open through the pandemic and beyond. If a business were previously reluctant to embrace technology in the form of websites, blogs, social media, and online shopping, COVID-19 has largely erased those concerns. Staying in business has always required businesses to meet consumers where they are. With some stores still closed and many stay-at-home orders remaining in effect, everyone is now online.
In the pandemic business environment, establishing and maintaining any brand awareness requires at least a simple website. Any businesses that are not online run the risk of being inaccessible to their target market, regardless of the demographic they serve. Businesses continue to need web development and design service no more than ever, and Bianca Frank Design, the top designer in Anchorage, can provide these much-needed services.
Small Business Digital Support Through COVID-19
By now, it should be clear that businesses (regardless of size) must enter a new digital environment to stay competitive. Creating and implementing a strategic digital marketing plan is essential to generating sales in 2020 and perhaps beyond. Businesses can turn to website design and marketing professionals like Bianca Frank Design to help with these crucial transitions.
Even before wide-ranging stay-at-home orders were put into place, people opted to stay safe by staying home, and many continue to do so several months after the pandemic began. With a vaccine still not on the horizon, people remain hesitant to frequent public places such as malls and large box stores. Consequently, there has been a dramatic rise in online sales. Offering e-commerce solutions through online platforms will help businesses remain on track by continuing to provide needed products and services.
Adapting to consumers changing needs is always challenging, even in the best times. With the right marketing strategies in place, businesses will have adequate resources to juggle new consumer demands and priorities. These are highly uncertain times, and business owners everywhere face immense pressure to rapidly adapt to consistent changes. Professional design services can make these changes easier to manage by providing access to constant support with website management, marketing strategies, and SEO services.
COVID-19 has been one of the defining events of the last decade. It is fair to say the implications will last well beyond the duration of the pandemic. Also, as the economy struggles to open back up, many questions have started to arise. Will remote employment become the new normal? Will curbside and to-go orders continue to be available and popular forms of shopping? What will everyday life look like once the pandemic is behind us? While the answers to these questions remain unknown, we do know many things have irreversibly changed. However, technology has made these changes easier to implement for many businesses. With the support of professional website design and marketing companies like Bianca Frank Design in Anchorage, Alaska, businesses of all sizes can continue to monitor their market and adapt to consumer demands without putting added stress on day-to-day business operations.