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The New Normal: What Will Recovery Look Like for B2B Commerce?

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“things change and they are never the same again. This looks like one, of those times, Hem.” Spencer Johnson, Who Moved My Cheese?

Right now, the health and safety of employees, friends and family is the number one priority for any business. This means adopting new rules for operating. It also means doing smart things right now so your business will not only be able to survive but also to thrive in the next new normal.

A recent McKinsey study, A Post COVID-19 Commercial Recovery Strategy for B2B Companies explains that companies are more likely to thrive…”if they act aggressively to capture market share during downturns rather than wait for the recovery to begin. This agility, combined with a focus on customer value and support, often gives companies a first-mover advantage that other players cannot match. First movers during the current crisis could emerge stronger in the next normal.”

What can you do now, tomorrow and in the future to be best positioned as a first mover and bounce back better than before? Revamping your website, refreshing your brand, making sure you are using all the top trending SEO keywords and enhancing customer experience should be on your list of to-dos as well as other short term, high-impact activities such as making any needed adjustments to your digital marketing campaigns.

That said, businesses should be looking to innovate in ways that they never-before imagined. According to a recent article in Harvard Business Review, The reality of how companies are dealing with the crisis and preparing for the recovery tells a very different story, one of pivoting to business models conducive to short-term survival along with long-term resilience and growth.

Even more traditional businesses, realizing that stay-at-home consumers are forcing them to operate differently, are looking at ways to incorporate digital into their tried and true business models. That’s a good thing since digital interactions are two times more important to customers now than they were before the pandemic, according to the McKinsey Research.

More and more small businesses and startups are turning to platforms like Shopify, the Canadian e-commerce platform, to help them drive more sales in the wake of the pandemic. Shopify has seen a boom in e-commerce activity at distances of less than 15 miles between sellers and buyers – a segment of the online market that has largely been untapped by Goliaths of the industry like Amazon, Harvard Business Review reports.

Many in hard-hit industries like travel have also been forced to pivot during the downturn. Airbnb has done so by helping hosts create and capitalize on online cooking, meditation and other classes to engage and convert consumers. Still, others like GM have turned to manufacturing new products like ventilators, allowing them to capitalize on becoming part of the COVID-19 solution.

In these worst of times, zone in on survival. But don’t get bogged down by the current economic slowdown. Focus on what you want for your business over the long haul and you will make an impact. For example, Tesla is keeping its eye on long-term goals and communicating those to investors, which is reaping huge rewards when it comes to the company’s stock price, according to a recent article in The Verge, “One of Musk’s greatest accomplishments is that he’s able to get Tesla investors to focus their attention away from any perceived short-term turbulence and onto his long-term goals for the company.”

As Spencer Johnson, states, and as most startups and businesses will discover at some point, “Movement in new direction helps find new cheese.”




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